cipher(redirected from ciphers)
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[Gr.,=hidden writing], science of secret writing. There are many devices by which a message can be concealed from the casual reader, e.g., invisible writing, but the term cryptography strictly applies to translating messages into cipher or code.
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A transposition or substitution code for transmitting secret messages.
1. an obsolete name for zero
2. any of the Arabic numerals (0, 1, 2, 3, etc., to 9) or the Arabic system of numbering as a whole
3. Music a defect in an organ resulting in the continuous sounding of a pipe, the key of which has not been depressed
cipher(1) The core algorithm used to encrypt data. A cipher transforms regular data (plaintext) into a coded set of data (ciphertext) that is not reversible without a key. For example, AES and DES are examples of secret key block ciphers. The complete encryption algorithm is the cipher plus the technique used to apply the cipher to the message, which can be a very intricate series of steps. See cryptography, encryption algorithm, block cipher, cipher suite and plaintext.
(2) An encrypted character. See ciphertext and cryptography.