As I mentioned before, I am looking to enter the computer security field. One topic in this field is cryptography. Information transferred over the Internet is subject to all kinds of evil activities. There can be third party eavesdropping and/or tampering with the data. Furthermore a third party can misrepresent who they are. A solution to this is the encrypting and decrypting of data. This is normally done with the use of a key.

There are two main flavors of key encryption. Symmetric key encryption is one where encryption and decryption uses the same key. If is efficient and therefore fast. The other type of encryption is public key encryption. This is also known as asymmetric encryption. It uses public keys which are published, and private keys as well. This method is more complex. It has the benefit of allowing you to digitally sign messages from you using your key.

Public key encryption makes use of certificates which identify individuals. The certificate associates your identify with a public key. The certificate is issued by a certificate authority (CA). Using the certificate you can confirm an identity. The other way the confirmation can be done is through passwords.

An implementation of public key encryption is the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol. It governs authentication. SSL defines a type of certification called an SSL Certificate. This technique, like all public key encryption, uses symmetric key encryption.

There is a lot more to the world of cryptography. It seems like an interesting domain. I plan to get more into this, specifically on the computer programming side. I did not have time to mention the Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension (S/MIME) used to sign email. And there is also x.509.v3 which is a specification for certificates by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). I am hoping there will be tine to explore these topics in the future.