Cryptology is the study of cryptography, the construction of codes and ciphers, and cryptanalysis, the study of analyzing and breaking codes and ciphers.

But it is also much more. Cryptographers study any sort of interaction or protocol that needs to be carried out correctly in the face of adversaries (real or imagined). This can mean sending secret messages over an insecure network, creating fault tolerant computer systems, or verifying the identity of someone you have never met.

As an example of the broad scope of cryptology, consider the following problem: You and I both know some secret and want to verify that we know the same secret without revealing any information about the secret itself. We want to, for example, prove to each other that we're both in possession of Colonel Sanders secret recipe without giving it away. I could pick a number n at random, ask you the nth ingredient, and then verify that your response is in fact correct. Then you could do the same for me. However this is a terrible way to go about it because if I don't really have the secret recipe then I can steal it from you by just pretending that I do and asking you questions.

So how can this be done in a way such that it is provable (in a mathematical sense) that no information about the secret "leaks"? Cryptographers have come up with the answer: zero knowledge proofs.

Cryptology draws on many related fields including probability, computational complexity, theoretical computer science, coding theory, number theory, the theory of computation, and information theory.

Typical problems tackled by cryptographers are the creation of secure encryption schemes (both public key cryptography and private key cryptography), authentication, zero knowledge, PCP (Probabilistically Checkable Proofs), fair auctions, digital cash, anonymous cash, oblivious transfer, and data integrity.

As a final note on surprising results obtained in this field, consider that cryptographers have come up with a way that people can play poker without any cards and with full confidence that no one can cheat. It's called mental poker.

This node is a meta node, so don't get too excited about its content. If you're looking for the already made and index crypto nodes, a good place to start is Xamot's Cryptology Meta-node.

It's intended to be a overview of people requests for nodes explaining anything to do with crypto. Including (but not limited to) cryptographic primitives, algorithms and protocols. It's also intended to be a overview of pages people have promised to write.
There are many motivations behind this meta node. The most important are avoiding reinventing the wheel every few hours, but also having a overview of what people want, so that those of us who care enough to make the nodes will know what people want.

If you want a node written, want to tell someone you intend to write a node (good thing to do, so you'll avoid the wheel issue) feel free to /msg delta in the chatterbox, and tell me what you wish to write/get written, and if you'd like your name attached to it or not. I can also be contacted by email at terje@yes.no.

Currently there are plans for the following nodes:

Xamot:

Unassigned requests:

If you want to write a crypto node, those might be good places to start. Please consider /msg'ing delta and letting us know you intent to write the node.

Everything2 Crypto Project
Cryptology Meta-node

Cryp*tol"o*gy (kr?p-t?l"?-j?), n. [Gr. krypto`s hidden + -logy.]

Secret or enigmatical language.

Johnson.