Friday, June 1, 2018

Encryption: An introduction


To an average person deprived of knowledge of how data transmission works, the term Encryption may be a little loaded in meaning. But in actual fact, it does spell out the literal meaning of the English word. To encrypt essentially means to "hide" from unwanted persons. it is important  to have the basic understanding of this word as it relates to how the data we generate daily (the pictures, text and all) are sent from family, friend or business across the network of networks i.e  the internet.

Coupled with the explosion of cloud technologies and the continuous reduction in cost of the methods in which data can be stored, the need for encryption has never been more relevant. Owing to the widespread connectivity brought about by the cloud, data can be encrypted in transit (end-2-end) or at rest.

Encryption is the process of encoding a message or information in such a way that only authorized parties can access it and  those without authorization are unable to access. The message to be disguised (plaintext) is made intelligible to an interceptor using an encryption algorithm (cipher). The new message or data created is called the ciphertext.

An exchange of encrypted data (message + key used to scramble) between two ends will require  a key to make the data transmitted readable when it reaches its destination

It is important not to be put off by the words used to describe the process involved. To surmise in data encryption, the following are major types of encryption used:

  • Block ciphers: here data encryption is encrypted per block of data. DES & 3DES are examples of such:

  • Data Encryption Standard is a previously predominant algorithm for the encryption of electronic data. It takes a fixed length string of plaintext bits and transforms it through a series of complicated operations into another ciphertext bit strings of the same length has a 64 bit block size. The actual block size used is 56 bits. It uses a key to customize the transformation, so that the decryption can only be performed by those who know the particular used to encrypt.

  • Triple Data Encryption Standard is a block cipher that applies the DES cipher algorithm three times to each a data block. The 56bits cipher key size of the DES was generally sufficient when the algorithm was designed but the increasing computational power made brute force attack possible. 3DES increases the key size of the DES to protect against attacks, without the need to design a completely new block of cipher algorithm

  • Steam cipher: here series of randomized numbers or keystreams are used to make intelligible plain text per character of the text.

  • Public-Key , also known as asymmetric cryptography, refers to a cryptographic algorithm which requires two separate keys one of which is secret and the other public. Although different but they are both mathematically linked. The public key is used to encrypt plaintext or to verify digital signatures between two end nodes. A public encryption key requires a private decryption key. The private key is only know to the sending computer, while the public key is given by the sending computer to any computer that wants to communicate securely with it. To decode an encrypted message, a computer must use the public key of the originating computer and its own private key. Key pair is based on prime numbers of long length.

  • Private Key cryptography: This is the possessed by the receiving computer in combination with the sending computer’s public key to decrypt messages sent between them. It is a symmetric algorithm that uses same key for encryption and decryption.

  • AES Advanced Encryption Standard is a specification for the encryption of electronic data. It was developed by two Belgian cryptographers, Joan Deaemen and Vincent Rijmen .It belongs to a family of ciphers called the Rijndeal cipher, with different key and block sizes. Each with a block size of 128 bits, but different key lengths: 128, 192, 256 bits. AES is based on the principle known as substitution permutation network.

As mentioned before data can  be encrypted either in transit or at rest. Such methods can take in any of the following forms:

  1. End-to end encryption (in transit)
  2. Full disk encryption (at rest)
  3. File encryption (at rest)
  4. Encrypted web connections (in transit)
  5. Encrypted mail connections (in transit)

It is worth mentioning that for encryption and decryption of data, keys used in scrambling or unscrambling such data must not be accessible to any one not meant to have access to it. Hence key management is of utmost importance in the encryption process.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

VPNs-- The need to Encrypt your data online

Virtual private Network is a technology that connects a private network to a public network
to enable users on the private network as if their computing devices were directly connected
to the private network.

It uses an encryption technology to open up a secure connection so that data can be sent
back and forth without the risk of data corruption (changed)  or sniffed.

Today, it's important that not to give any bad guy your home address or information such
person may use to do you harm. It is thus important to stay unknown almost all the time
whenever you venture on the internet. Clicking a wrong link on a page can send your network
identification settings to bad actors which they can use to install malicious files on your device.

Using VPNs allow users to work from anywhere and also prevents unauthorized actors from
eavesdropping on other people’s data over the internet. VPN could either be a Remote access
VPN (allows user to connect to private network and then access services or resources remotely)
or Site-to-Site VPN (usually used by corporations, allowing one office location connect to another)

There are several VPN protocols in use today:
  • Internet Protocol Security (IPSec)
  • Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)
  • Point-to-Point Tunneling (PPTP)
  • Secure Socket Layer (SSL) / Transport Layer Security (TLS)

  • OpenVPN (Open Source)

There are several brand services offered by various companies . One of such good one is
the “VPN Unlimited” offered by Keepsolid Inc. Offering support to various OS with  absolute
privacy, uncompromising speed , total security. Other known brands are OpenVPN,  
NordVPN, CyberGhost to name a few.

Monday, July 2, 2012

4G LTE Tecchnology

Telecommunication is the transmission of information over significant distances to communicate.
In modern times, telecommunications involves the use of electrical devices such as the telephone,telegraph, and teleprinter, as well as the use of radio and microwave communications, as well as fiber optics and their associated electronics, plus the use of the orbiting satellites  and the internet.

A revolution in wireless telecommunication began in the 1900s (decade) with pioneering developments in wireless radio communication by Nikola Tesla and Guglielmo Marconi.

4G is the fourth generation of cell phone mobile communications standards. It is a successor of the third generation (3G) standards. A 4G system provides mobile ultra-broadband Internet access, for example to laptops with USB wireless modems, to smartphones, and to other mobile devices. Conceivable applications include amended mobile web access, IP telephony, gaming services, high definition mobile TV, video conferencing and 3D television.

Two 4G candidate systems are commercially deployed: The Mobile WiMAX standard (at first in South Korea in 2006), and the first-release Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard (in Scandinavia since 2009). 

LTE (an initialism of Long Term Evolution), marketed as 4G LTE, is a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals. It is based on the GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA network technologies, increasing the capacity and speed using new modulation techniques.
Long Term Evolution LTE is a revolutionary mobile technology which enhances the data transfer rates delivering faster mobile broadband experience and highest data speeds and reliability. LTE is an advancement in technology to the 3.5G and High Speed Packet Access, HSPA. It provides ubiquitous services for users on the GSM technology curve and also  others on CDMA and WiMAX platforms and is touted to offer the path breaking 4G experience for consumers. This is due to its ability to deliver very fast data speeds in excess of 100Mb/s uplink and 50Mb/s downlink.
The LTE specification provides downlink peak rates of 300 Mbit/s, uplink peak rates of 75 Mbit/s. LTE has the ability to manage fast-moving mobiles and supports multi-cast and broadcast streams. LTE supports scalable carrier bandwidths, from 1.4 MHz to 20 MHz and supports both frequency division duplexing (FDD) and time-division duplexing (TDD).

Future Outlook of 4G Technology

A major issue in 4G systems is to make the high bit rates available in a larger portion of the cell, especially to users in an exposed position in between several base stations. In current research, this issue is addressed by micro-diversity techniques, also known as group cooperative relay, and also by Beam-Division Multiple Access(BDMA).

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


FiOS is a bundled internet access, telephone, and television service which is operated over a fibre-optics communications network. An optic fibre is a flexible, transparent fiber made of glass (silica) or plastic slightly thicker than a human hair. It functions as Waveguide, or light pipe to transmit light between the two ends of the fibre.  FiOS

The data transmitted on the network include:
  1. I. Internet Access 
  2. II. Television service (Which is offered in Prime HD, Extreme HD, and Ultimate HD)
  3.  III. FiOS Digital voice (Voice over IP).
There two providers offering this service in the US presently. This technology is bound to take over the means of bulk data transfer all across the world, opening new frontiers for certified fibre optics engineers.