'ccrypt' is a utility for encrypting and decrypting files and streams. It was designed to replace the standard Unix 'crypt' utility, which is notorious for using a very weak encryption algorithm. 'ccrypt' is based on the Rijndael cipher, which is the U.S. government's chosen candidate for the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). This cipher is believed to provide very strong security. Unlike unix crypt, the algorithm provided by ccrypt is not symmetric (one must specify whether to encrypt or decrypt). Encryption and decryption depend on a user-supplied keyword (key phrase). Keywords can be any number of characters; all characters are significant (although ccrypt internally hashes the key to 256 bits). Longer keywords provide better security, since they are less likely to be discovered by exhaustive search.
28 November 2001
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