The key is simply a binary number, represented in hexadecimal. Keys usually use only the characters: 0-9 and A-F.
The characters that make up the key are usually grouped in pairs, or fours. To the human eye, a key might look something like this:
All modern encryption algorithms use a key to decrypt a ciphertext message.
As you can imagine, most attacks on cryptographic systems, called cryptanalysis, focus on finding that encryption key.
In the next lesson, you will identify various methods of attacking encrypted data.
Click the link below to review the implementation of encryption by matching terms with their definitions.
Encryption Types Methods