Chief Security Analyst, IU CACR
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, etc. are attempts to use blockchain technology to create a currency that is purely digital.
Ransomware is malware that will encrypt the contents of a computer or computers, demanding payment in exchange for they keys to decrypt. Lately, it's also been exfiltrating data in order to demand ransom payments under threat of releasing the data publicly.
The finance industry is incredibly dependent on cryptography, to protect transaction information in transit, to make transactions harder to fake, to keep traders honest about things as simple as what time it is.
There are plenty of white- and grey-hat hackers out there using crypto in interesting ways, from trying to preserve the integrity of journalists' reporting from heavily censored places to helping persecuted groups communicate in secret, or farmers repair their tractors.
A cryptographer's toolkit these days contains tools for moving communications as well as money.
Cryptocat, from eff.org's page on helping coders who work at the edges
Use the same key to encrypt and decrypt.
Safe key exchange is hard.
Well-suited for storage applications or in combination with asymmetric cryptography.
Keys come in pairs: a public key for encrypting/verifying and a private key for decrypting/signing.
You can publish a public key anywhere, but never share a private key.
Suited for general communications and integrity verification.
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