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Cyrptographic attack explained

Encryption is used to protect sensitive data from a malicious hacker. This is precisely why cryptographic attacks are one of the most popular forms of cyber-attacks in the world. Successfully comprising a cryptographic system means complete and unlimited access to all the information that is being transmitted in the network.

The field of cryptography has made rapid and widespread progress in the last few years. So much so that today, anyone with a computer can employ cryptographic service without understanding the inner workings of the processes or the mathematics behind it.

Common types of Cryptographic Attacks

  • Cipher-text-only attack - This form of attack is difficult to execute as the attacker has very little information about the target. Cipher-only refers to collections of unintelligible information that hackers think are parts of encrypted information. Attackers usually gather several such pieces of ciphertexts and piece them together to extract the complete information. By piecing together such information, they identify patterns that help them break the cryptographic algorithm.

  • Known plaintext - known plaintext attacks involve the attackers successfully obtaining both ciphertext and plaintext. The attackers then analyze and try to connect the dots between the two. Once they successfully do so, they obtain the cryptographic key which can be used to decrypt all messages operating on that cryptographic algorithm.

  • Chosen Plaintext - Chosen attacks involve the hacker already in possession of the algorithm used for the encryption. The attacker might also gain access to the system that encrypts all the messages. The attacker then gains access to the cryptographic key which is used for decrypting the messages. This usually happens when the attacker is able to feed his own chosen version of plaintext into the cryptographic system and obtain the results.

  • Differential Cryptanalysis - This is also known as a side-channel attack and is a complex form of cryptographic attack that measures the execution times and the power required by the cryptographic machines in order to encrypt or decrypt messages. By such measurements, hackers are able to figure out the exact device and the cryptographic algorithm used.

  • Reverse Engineering - This is probably the most common form of cryptographic attack. This involves one crypto firm obtaining the product of another cryptographic organization. It then reverse-engineers the product thereby accessing the cryptographic key.

  • Temporary Files - Cryptographic systems reply on temporary files to carry out their calculations. If the hacker gains access to these files, then the key can be discovered

Related Article:Importance of Cryptography in Network Security

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