Encryption, hashing, and obfuscation

Thursday, 10 April 2003, 11:27 AM EST

I can imagine a world where the computers needed no security. Where there were no passwords, no security checks, and no firewalls. Where the computers communicated freely and shared information rather than hiding it. I can also imagine the scoundrels of earth hacking that world’s net and stealing all their credit cards.

Unfortunately, that is our reality. In today’s world of interconnected networks: Secure it, or lose it. We don’t have the luxury of running insecure networks or exposing insecure data. Unfortunately, it’s often our task to sell that data and try to prevent those from seeing it to profit from our work.

That’s where encryption, hashing, and obfuscation come in. This article hopes to clear up some misconception in the industry as to how these technologies work and how they relate to each. In practise, they do not conflict at all. Simply put, each works best in a specific problem domain.

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