However, none of these application enforced protections are of any use once the attacker has a copy of the database and can throw as much computational power at it as they want, without the restrictions the application enforces.

This is often referred to "offline" attacking, because the attacker can attack the database in their own time.

In its simplest form, a file or data transmission is garbled so that only authorised people with a secret "key" can unlock the original text.

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W8u net login video

However, information is worth money, people value their privacy, and safety is important, so encryption has become fundamental to the design of computer systems.

Even breaking the security on a traffic light system could be used to personal advantage.

Note that this interactive’s implementation of RSA is just for demonstrating the concepts here and is not quite the same as the implementations used in live encryption systems.

A really interesting puzzle in encryption is storing passwords in a way that even if the database with the passwords gets leaked, the passwords are not in a usable form.

Secure password storage comes down to using clever encryption algorithms and techniques, and ensuring users choose effective passwords.

Learning about password storage might also help you to understand the importance of choosing good passwords and not using the same password across multiple important sites.

It is possible that somebody will find an effective way of breaking into the widespread systems we use these days, which would cause a lot of problems.

Like all technologies, encryption can be used for good and bad purposes.

Without encryption, your information would be wide open to the world – anyone could pull up outside a house and read all the data going over your wifi, and stolen laptops, hard disks and SIM cards would yield all sorts of information about you – so encryption is critical to make computer systems usable.