Cryptography is one of the most influential encryption techniques at present; being cryptocurrencies one of the sectors where it is most used. However, the usefulness and capacity of cryptography is extremely extensive, being able to cover a large number of systems, platforms and projects that work today. That is why, it is interesting to know what it is, how it works and what are the little known uses of this encryption technique.
What is cryptography?
Cryptography is an encryption technique that is used with the aim of altering messages or linguistic representations, so that they are incomprehensible to recipients who are not authorized to visualize them. In this way, it is possible to protect what was originally written.
How does cryptography work in the crypto world?
Cryptography is mainly in what is called blockchain, because this chain of information blocks, uses different types of cryptography to ensure the security of transactions.
First, there is hash cryptography, in which large amounts of information are transformed into a combination of letters and numbers that is very complex to imitate. Basically, this summarizes large batches of information and quickly verifies that all the processes performed by the blockchain nodes, really coincide.
Also, the hash code allows the creation of public and private addresses, with which cryptocurrencies are received and sent. On the other hand, within the data of the blockchain in question, different levels of cryptography are used, which can only be solved by computers of considerable power.
Basically, cryptography is the basis of all blockchain security, and not for nothing, cryptocurrencies have "crypto" at the beginning.
What other uses does cryptography currently receive?
Although most of the people knew the cryptography between 2012 and 2017, the truth is that this concept has been applied for decades on the Internet, and that cryptography guarantees an almost absolute level of security, which allows to protect information , despite the fact that it is at the mercy of all in a certain way.
Among the most frequent uses of cryptography, the following can be mentioned (they are only some, since cryptography is used in thousands of sectors):
On the Internet, in what is called SSL
One of the most common uses of cryptography, is found on the Internet. Without going any further, sites that are HTTPS (something that can be verified in the URL section of the browser), have active something called SSL, for its acronym in English, Secure Sockets Layer.
This security protocol is basically responsible for encrypting the communication that exists between server and user. That is, when entering a website, you are really entering the server where the website is hosted; and to protect all the information that is provided, what is called SSL is activated, because this protocol encrypts all the data that the user can send to the server.
In this way, third parties are prevented from intercepting communications and discovering sensitive data. A clear utility of this technology, is in the sites of purchase, where it is required to place banking information to make the corresponding payments; If you do not have SSL on the site, it is possible for a third party to intercept the communication between the user and the server, just when this has placed your banking information, which would give this third party access to confidential information.
In the same way, this encryption protects access data, emails, names and much more. Basically, it is currently recommended that every website has this encryption, because it guarantees the privacy of visitors (in case it has not been noticed, CryptoTendence has SSL).
In emails, with the system called S-MIME
Sending and receiving emails was, has been and continues to be a means of communication of vital importance to many people. Although currently its use has been reduced significantly, this means of communication is still preferred for companies and formal contacts.
Now, S-MIME, is a cryptography technology, which is responsible for encrypting all emails sent from a mail platform; in this way, third parties are prevented from having access to the confidential content of these emails.
On the other hand, this system also provides security when authenticating, integrating and not repudiating a user of the mail platform in question.
In all cases, the S-MIME system uses cryptography to prevent third parties from having access to the data that they wish to protect; and although large platforms such as Gmail currently use proprietary encryption systems, S-MIME remains one of the most important.
In any virtual financial system
The banks, the virtual payment platforms (PayPal, Neteller, etc), the exchanges, the brokers, and in general, all the financial institutions that manage money within their platform, have cryptography.
Cryptography on these platforms is found in many ways; starting from the SSL protocol, going through the own encryption in the realization of transactions and reaching the internal financial system of the platform in question.
Basically, this kind of financial sites, invest real tons of money in computer security engineers, so that all the data handled in these virtual platforms, are encrypted; in this way, third parties are prevented from having access to money that does not belong to them.
Although this kind of cryptography is much simpler when compared to blockchain, it is still faithful and safe, guaranteeing an invulnerability of 99.99%.
Around the protocols or technologies used, we can mention hash, WTLS, SSL, among others. Not to mention, many of these institutions also use their own security mechanisms, to ensure greater security in their virtual platforms.
In any information storage system
The privacy of information is currently very important, perhaps 20 years ago the data backup was not so fundamental, but currently, it is. Practically, service providers such as Google Drive, Mega, and in general, any cloud storage provider, uses cryptography to safeguard their customers' information.
That is why, most of these providers use SSL to protect the transmission that occurs between the server and the user; Once the information is in their databases, they use different types of cryptography to prevent third parties from accessing it.
Also, these platforms in question have encryption in their coding, to prevent external agents from having access to sensitive links or lines of code.
Even hard drives and external memories have encryption technology, but this only happens when a folder with password is stored in the database of the disk or in memory; in this way, instead of saving the password as it was written, it is encrypted by hashing, to prevent any external program from obtaining it.
Cryptography is very present in the lives of people. It can even be displayed on mobile devices and in telecommunications
On the other hand, cryptography also receives other uses, such as:
- In the military area. As mentioned in the topic the 5 most famous cryptographers in history, cryptography plays a vital role in the military field.
- In the business area.
- Bank tellers.
- Satellite communication (more specifically with the GMPCS protocol).
- In almost all user databases.