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Practice Question: Crypto Terms

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If you are a mathematics student and want to study the secret of writing cryptographic codes, algorithms, encryption and decryption techniques, then you are learning about cryptography.

If you are a cryptography student and want to write a PHD style paper on cryptography and cryptanalysis, then you are learning about cryptology.

If you work at the code breaking division at the National Security Agency (NSA), then you are part of which team?

A. Cryptosystems Team

B. Cryptanalysis Team C. Cryptologist Team

D. Cracker Team

********* ANSWER


A. Cryptosystems Team

Cryptosystems is a collection of hardware or software devices that is used to either encrypt or decrypt information. It’s a TPM, a PKI, or a device dedicated to just SSL decryption…it’s just stuff. It’s a system of cryptographic hardware and software. That’s it. It’s not a study of anything and it’s not a way to break systems, it’s just a collection of stuff.

B. Cryptanalysis Team

Cryptanalysis Team is the correct answer as cryptanalysis is the art of “breaking cryptosystems and algorithms used in encryption and decryption processes” – Shon Harris 6th Edition AIO CISSP Study Guide, page 1277.Scytale Cipher ExamplePertaining to cryptography, you would be studying the history of the cipher, the fact that it was used by the ancient Greeks and Spartans to transfer messages.Pertaining to cryptanalysis, you would be studying the actual cipher, which is the act of wrapping messages around a stick of a certain length. You would basically be learning how to crack the code.Pertaining to cryptology, you would study the mathematics behind the code as learned from cryptanalysis.

C. Cryptologist Team

The question asked you are part of which team? That would be cryptanalysis team. If the question asked what would be your title in the team, then that would be cryptologist. This answer is correct in the sense that a cryptologist tries to break codes, and is part of the Cryptanalysis Team.

D. Cracker Team

This is a distractor. A cracker is someone who hacks maliciously. All hacking is not malicious. Either way, this answer does not fit in with the rest of the choices.

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