Studying The Key Issues Of Cryptography Computer Science Essay

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To face the today's challenging world, each and every individual should have good knowledge on computer science. The vital reason why everyone opts for computer science is it completely deals with the implementation of hardware, software and network methodologies. So, being a computer science student making innovation of thoughts motivated me to do research and dissertation in Information Security (IS) which comes under networks field. In networks field one of the challenging areas is information security.

Information security explores the details about securing the data or information from eavesdrop. In services like military and army this plays a key role because sometimes it may relate in safeguarding the country's pride. Cryptography is one system which discusses about the vulnerability of the system. The other technology which creates enthusiasm to research is smart card technology. The major problem in this area is also security. Smart card is used in many places like government services, hospitals etc. This paper analyses the key issues in this field with future enhancements.


Communication Network analysis: The analysis is totally about the network and its functionalities, accessing or sharing of files through remote access etc.


Clustering Technology: It gives the information about how operating system works and designing of kernel, visual designing and cluster technology.


Applied Cryptanalysis: Passing the plain text in the form of secret code with encrypting and decrypting techniques. So, it explores the knowledge about RSA algorithms, threats and new attacks to the system. Function of cryptanalysis, block cipher, stream cipher etc.



According to Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, "it is the science of both secret writing (encryption), reading secret writing (decryption)and penetrating the secret writing of others (Cryptanalysis) and also it is an ancient art .the reason for choosing these areas is having prior experience and knowledge on networking and security fields"(Peter Thomson, 1997).


In today's globalised world the point where everyone concerned is securing the confidentiality of data. To secure the same we have an approach called Cryptography, which was invented around 1650's. From then, to till now there have been many evolutions in this technology. The vital difference between old and new cryptography is, that both techniques secure the confidentiality of data with cost-effective means, where there is a scope of storing large amount of data. The real time examples are critical personal, financial, ecommerce, military and medical services. The vital advances in modern cryptography emerged in the beginning of 1970's. On January, 1977, Data Encryption Standard (DES) was adopted by National Bureau of Standards (NBS) which was a cornerstone in launching cryptography. DES was implemented by ANSI (American National Standard Institute) on December, 1980 with a new concept called Public Key Cryptography (PKC) which was another milestone in research development. Key is a secret code which is used for encryption and decryption. The uses of key are like computer password, ecommerce, ATMs etc (Daniel Lloyd Calloway, 2008).


On each and every concept or technology we can find some critiques, which not only says about the flaws but also about advantages. Quantum cryptography gives the alert when third-party tries to access the system (Vignesh, 2009). This is the key reason why quantum cryptography draws the attention of researchers. The drawback of symmetric key cryptography was overcome by the asymmetric key by using secure technique of authorization like digital signatures, certificates and stamps. The transmission time for encrypted documents using PKC are very slow compared to symmetric cryptography. So, to achieve the same level of protection, key sizes should be larger than symmetric cryptography. For pretence attacks, public key cryptography is susceptible (Stein, 1988).


Secret Key Cryptography (SKC): This is also known as symmetric key cryptography. Here, both the sender and the receiver know the same key (secret code).The Messages are encrypted and decrypted by the sender and receiver using the same key. These are generally categorized as stream or block cipher. Stream Cipher operate one bit at a time and block cipher operaters one block at a time (Prabhu Naidu, 2005).

Public Key Cryptography (PKC): The other name for this is asymmetric key. Uses one key for encryption and other key for decryption. Pair of keys is required irrespective of applied order. (Martin Hellman and Whitefield, 1976).

Hash Function: To encrypt information irreversibly, it uses mathematical transformation. This is mainly used to provide digital fingerprint of file's content (Dinesh agarwal, 2005).


Hash Algorithm includes Message Digest algorithm (MD) and Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA).

Pretty Good privacy (PGP) is one of today's mostly used PKC algorithms. With a single click of the mouse PGP can easily signin or encrypt email messages.


The two areas which show promise in the field of cryptography are:

Quantum cryptography can attempt to achieve same security of information as other forms of the cryptography with the use of photons, or packets of light. The process can make use of the polarization nature of light and is proving to be a very promising defense against eavesdrop. Other challenging developments is DNA cryptography which makes use of specially selected DNA thread, whose combination gives specific solution to a problem.



Smart card has become a part of life, where in which it is used to store multiple types of information and data. Smart cards were invented before four decades to maintain and process the confidentiality of data. Around thirty years it served as monolithic application. In mid 90's technologies are changed and replaced mono application as multi application with new features and functionalities (Mayes and Markantonakis, 2007). It is highly secured, consists PIN (Personal Identification Number) number which should be remembered by the user all time. It is portable and easy to use so, it is used in places like private and public sectors, hospitals etc (Avenue Albert Thomas, 2006).


According to Keith the following are type of cards (Mayes and Markantonakis, 2007)

Memory Card: The data in this is pre-loaded value which can be initialised once with come security features ex: prepaid phone card.

Memory card with logic: This card contains memory so the card holder can update or modify the data. A prepaid card of this type can be recharged with more life of the card.

Microprocessor cards: These cards contain specific Operating system (OS) so accepts user defined data. The programmable memory is non-volatile such as flash or EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory) ex: SIM cards, bank cards etc.

Contactless smart cards: This has the same functionality as explained above, but for communication it uses an antenna plastic glued inside the card. The two types of contactless smart cards are vicinity cards and proximtycards.

Dual interface cards: Supports multiapplication task. Have mutual communication between the chips.


Smart cards have good flexibility so it can store multiple types of information like personal identity, family contacts, business information etc which made common man's life simpler. These will not available in all places and have compatibility issues due to differences in brand. Smart cards are encrypted individually which can be accessed only by PIN number. But there are some security concerns like whether that information can be accessed illegally by third party. Data on the smart card will not erase accidentally or removed by any electric or magnetic sources(Avenue Albert Thomas, 2006).


May extend the applications in to non- traffic applications such as retail purchasing programs using smart card technology. Extending the smart card system to remote areas and can also use at parking places by GPS enabled mobile reader. Currently NHS using physical and logical access through smart card systems and that can be extended to dispensing medicine by using RFFID wristband. Manual approach of facilitate mustering can be replaced by controls systems using smart card system technology which saves much time.


To accomplish any of the above research successfully the resources one may require is a personal computer system or laptop in healthy condition provided with internet facility. Access to journals or books and software's like C, JAVA etc may require. Web browsers are required which support firewall. One may also require a good environment for real time experience.