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Glossary of Terms (Page 4)

factor - Given an integer N, any number that divides it is called a factor.

factoring - The breaking down of an integer into its prime factors. This is a hard problem.

factoring methods - A method of finding the factors of an integer. See elliptic curve method, multiple polynomial quadratic sieve, number field sieve, Pollard p-1 and Pollard p+1 method, Pollard rho method, quadratic sieve.

FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation, a U.S. government law enforcement agency.

Feistel cipher - A special class of iterated block ciphers where the ciphertext is calculated from the plaintext by repeated application of the same transformation called a round function.

FIPS - Federal Information Processing Standards. See NIST.

flat keyspace - See Linear Key Space.

function - A mathematical relationship between two values called the input and the output, such that for each input there is precisely one output.

general-purpose factoring algorithm - An algorithm whose running time depends only on the size of the number being factored. See special purpose factoring algorithm.

Goppa code - A class of error correcting codes, used in the McEliece public-key cryptosystem.

graph - In mathematics, a set of points called nodes (or vertices) and a set of lines connecting them or some subset of them to one another called edges.

graph coloring problem - The problem of determining whether a graph can be colored with a fixed set of colors such that tow adjacent vertices have the same color and producing such a coloring.

GSS-API - generic security service application program interface.

hacker - A person who tries and/or succeeds at defeating computer security measures.

Hamiltonain path problem - A Hamiltonian path is a path through a graph that passes through each vertex exactly once. The associated problem is given a graph G is there a Hamiltonian path. This is a hard problem.

handshake - A protocol two computers use to initiate a communication session.

hard problem - A computationally-intensive problem; a problem that is computationally difficult to solve.

hash-based MAC - MAC that uses a hash function to reduce the size of the data it processes.

hash function - A function that takes a variable sized input and has a fixed size output.

HMAC - see MAC.

IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a body that creates some cryptography standards.

iKP - Internet Keyed Payments Protocol.

ISO - International Standards Organization, creates international standards, including cryptography standards.

identification - A process thought which one ascertains the identity of another person or entity.

impersonation - Occurs when and entity pretends to be someone or something it is not.

import encryption - Encryption, in any form, coming into a country.

index calculus - A method used to solve the discrete log problem.

integer programming problem - The problem is to solve a linear programming problem where the variables are restricted to integers.

interactive proof - A protocol between two parties in which one party, called the prover, tries to prove a certain fact to the other party, called the verifier. This is usually done in a question response format, where the verifier asks the prover questions that only the prover can answer with a certain success rate.

Internet - The connection of computer networks from all over the world forming a worldwide network.

intractable - In complexity theory, referring to a problem with no efficient means of deriving a solution.

ITAR - International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

ITEF - Internet Engineering Task Force.

ITU-T - International Telecommunications Union - Telecommunications standardization sector.

Kerberos - An authentication service developed by the Project Athena team at MIT.

key - A string of bits used widely in cryptography, allowing people to encrypt and decrypt data; a key can be used to perform other mathematical operations as well. Given a cipher, a key determines the mapping of the plaintext to the ciphertext. See also distributed key, private key, public key, secret key, session key, shared key, sub key, symmetric key, weak key.

key agreement - A process used by two or more parties to agree upon a secret symmetric key.

key escrow - The process of having a third party hold onto encryption keys.

key exchange - A process used by two or more parties to exchange keys in cryptosystems.

key expansion - A process that creates a larger key from the original key.

key generation - The act of creating a key.

key management - The various processes that deal with the creation, distribution, authentication, and storage of keys.

key pair - The full key information in a public-key cryptosystem, consisting of the public key and private key.

key recovery - A special feature of a key management scheme that allows messages to be decrypted even if the original key is lost.

key schedule - An algorithm that generates the subkeys in a block cipher.

keyspace - The collection of all possible keys for a given cryptosystem. See also flat keyspace, linear key space, nonlinear key space, and reduced key space.

known plaintext attack - A form of cryptanalysis where the cryptanalyst knows both the plaintext and the associated ciphertext.