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9.1. How Ciphers Work

So, what is a cipher anyway? A cipher is an algorithm or set of algorithms that systematically convert a sender's intended message text to what appears to be meaningless text, which can be converted back to the sender's original message only by authorized recipients. The following terms and definitions will help you understand ciphering and deciphering in general and the code behind them.

The term plaintext refers the sender's original message. The meaning in plaintext is what the sender wants to convey to the recipient(s).


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