The Study of Symmetric and Asymmetric Key Encryptions

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Bevers, Johnathan
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
Encryption has become a mission critical component in the concept of cyber security. As we know, cryptography prior to the modern age was effectively synonymous with encryption, which has a large amount of complex information that needs to be understood for encryption algorithms to make sense for an average person. In this thesis, we present the background information needed to understand modern day encryption, including mathematical background, encryption keys, security level, and other relevant topics. We also introduce and discuss cryptography and encryption in fine detail to provide an assessable reading experience for those who are both professionals in the field and general readers. Moreover, we implement several classic encryption algorithms in Python, such as DES, AES, RSA, Diffie-Hellman and Elgamal encryption, by analyzing the differences and similarities among them. We evaluate and compare the performance of those algorithms based on a list of carefully selected performance metrics, such as security and speed, to determine which algorithms should be used and which ones should be avoided in different scenarios. The study reveals that different encryption algorithms may have different performances in various scenarios, which can be used as a guidance when a security system is being developed and implemented.