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Cryptographic algorithms
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There are three main types of cryptographic algorithms: (1) secret key, (2) public key, and (3) hash functions. Pick an algorithm for any one of these types (e.g., DES, AES, RSA, MD5) and describe how it works and where it is applied (For example SSL uses 3DES or DES) for message encryption. Use your own words. When you pick an algorithm, try not to repeat. Be sure to reference your sources. This is one source I like very much; it is easy to read, fairly up-to-date and has a good discussion on the various applications of Crypto:

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