Cryptography and Public Key Infrastructure

Cryptography is the science of scrambling information in such a way that only the intended recipient(s) can descramble the encrypted form and recover the original information. Anyone else that sees the information will see only what appears to be gibberish. Cryptography has been around for about 2,000 years. For many centuries it was mostly of interest to governments and the military. With the growth of e-commerce on the Internet cryptography has entered the mainstream, and a great deal of progress has been made in using it to protect online transactions and communications.

Public Key Infrastructure is one part of the recent work. It involves the creation and management of public key digital certificates, which are somewhat like passports in the digital world. A certificate can establish the identity of (authenticate) a server or a person, and be used to securely share keying material for private exchange of information.

This set of articles will help you understand this technology.

Sixscape will be using many aspects of cryptography, including PKI in most of their products, to provide a high level of privacy and authentication. The end-to-end encryption and authentication it can provide is particuarly well suited to the end-to-end connectivity possible with IPv6. The two technologies together make some very powerful new applications possible.

Mr. Hughes created the official training in cryptography and PKI for VeriSign and delivered it internationally from 1998 to 2000 (at the time VeriSign was the leading company in the world in this area). He brings his in-depth knowledge of this critical technology to both the products and the website.