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Encryption

Encryption is the process of applying a random key and an algorithm to plaintext data (called cleartext) to produce encrypted data (called ciphertext) that is unreadable or meaningless to third parties who do not have the key for decryption. Several places throughout an application can benefit from encryption. One of these is the transmission of sensitive data between a browser and the server. Another can be in the storing and transfer of data within the application.

Encryption between servers and browsers is best handled by the Web server through the use of Secure Socket Layers (SSL). ColdFusion MX 7 does offer the Encrypt(), Decrypt(), and Hash() functions, which are useful for encrypting sensitive information before it is written to a database, cookie, or URL variable. These functions, however, are not intended as a replacement for SSL.


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