Concept

Cryptographic protocol

Summary
A cryptographic protocol is an abstract or concrete protocol that performs a security-related function and applies cryptographic methods, often as sequences of cryptographic primitives. A protocol describes how the algorithms should be used and includes details about data structures and representations, at which point it can be used to implement multiple, interoperable versions of a program. Cryptographic protocols are widely used for secure application-level data transport. A cryptographic protocol usually incorporates at least some of these aspects:
  • Key agreement or establishment
  • Entity authentication
  • Symmetric encryption and message authentication material construction
  • Secured application-level data transport
  • Non-repudiation methods
  • Secret sharing methods
  • Secure multi-party computation
For example, Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a cryptographic protocol that is used to secure web (HTTPS) connections. It has an entity authentication mechanism, based on the X.50
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