Keep Your Information Secure

30/11/2010 13:38


Encryption is the process of storing information in a way so as to make it unreadable without special knowledge. Encryption has been used to protect communications and secure information for centuries, but only organizations and individuals with an great need for secrecy had made use of it.

Julius Caeser is the first known user of an encryption system. His system was known as Caeser's keys. He wanted to send messages, but did not want the messengers to read them. To prevent this, he used an alphabetic substitution in his messages; replacing "A" with "D", "B" with "E", "C with "F", etc. The recipient of the message was aware of the secret of the encryption, so for him it was very straightforward to decipher the message.

An example of a sentence using Caeser's keys is below. It is not difficult to see the pattern.

Obviously, this method of encryption is not very secure. Though encryption has been around for thousands of years, only in the last century have we seen great advancement in the field of cryptography.

The invention of computers changed the face of cryptography completely. Computers were able to calculate much faster than the people who worked on them, and suddenly an encrypted message could be broken within a few minutes on a normal PC, and consequesntly the message was no longer secure. In response to the need for new and secure methods of encryption, the cryptographic world flourished in the latter part of the 20th century. In the mid-1970s, strong encryption emerged from the preserve of secretive government agencies into the public.

In cryptography, the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES); also known as Rijndael, is a block cipher adopted as an encryption standard by the US government. Rijndael is used worldwide and analysed extensively. Rijndael became effective as a standard May 26, 2002. As of 2006, Rijndael is one of the most popular algorithms used in symmetric key cryptography.

The cipher was developed by two Belgian cryptographers, Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijmen, from whose surnames the term Rijndael was conceived. The cipher was submitted to the AES selection process, stating that Rijndael was designed based on the following three criteria:

1) Resistance against all known attacks
2) Speed and code compactness on a wide range of platforms
3) Design simplicity

Rijndael was evaluated by the National Security Agency (NSA), based on its security, its cost and its algorithm and implementation characteristics. There were several candidate algorithms, but Rijndael was selected as it had the best combination of security, performance, efficiency, ease of implementation and flexibility. NSA stated that Rijndael was secure enough for US Government non-classified data. In June 2003, the US Government announced that Rijndael may be used for classified information.

It is the mark of good quality software if it uses the Rijndael encryption method to secure information.

One such program is Info Manager. PortaWhiz Info Manager uses the Rijndael encrytion method to keep your information secure. The program gives you one place on your Pocket PC your desktop where you can organize and store all of your important information into neat folders. This means that all your important information is stored together, in neat and tidy bundles; which are easy to retrieve at any time you require. Only the bearer of the administrator password will then possibly be able to access it.


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