What Are The Essential Ingredients Of A Symmetric Cipher?


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A symmetric encryption scheme has five ingredients (Figure 2.1):
Plaintext: This is the original message or data that is fed into the algorithm as input.
Encryption algorithm: The encryption algorithm performs various substitutions and transformations on the plaintext.
Secret key: The secret key is also input to the encryption algorithm. The exact substitutions and transformations performed by the algorithm depend on the key.
Ciphertext: This is the scrambled message produced as output. It depends on the plaintext and the secret key. For a given message, two different keys will produce two different ciphertexts.
Decryption algorithm: This is essentially the encryption algorithm run in reverse. It takes the ciphertext and the secret key and produces the original plaintext.

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