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“Security Pitfalls in Cryptography” by Bruce Schneier

Bruce Schneier’s article, “Security Pitfalls in Cryptography,” was used in the research study as a secondary reference. Schneier’s article is a genuine look and understanding of cryptography. Initially, Schneier criticized preconceived notions about cryptography and how they provide algorithms for good security. However, cryptography, according to Schneier, does not always offer security. In the article, Schneier discussed the various pit falls in cryptography, thereby, recommending that security should not merely rely on cryptography and that it should be viewed from various perspectives. That is, security should be holistic and that all aspects of it are addressed. Schneier provides proof by citing how even the most sophisticated cryptographic algorithm could be broken by third party systems, and according to him, there will always be security threats no matter how secure a system is.

In the article, Schneier cited various pitfalls in cryptography: (1) attacks against cryptographic designs, (2) attacks against implementations, (3) attacks against passwords, (4) attacks against hardware, (5) attacks against trust models, (6) attacks on users, (7) attacks against failure recovery, (8) attacks against the cryptography, and (9) attacks against prevention vs. attack detection. Schneier emphasized that security threats could come from any source and people and systems must be able to counteract attacks not only through cryptography but also through other more practical and systematic strategies. For instance, even if a system were armed with the best cryptographic system, if the user is careless about how he secures his password or other personal information, then the cryptographic system would be useless. Schneier also discussed how to build secure cryptographic systems, which involves a holistic strategy of building security against any kind of attack. Schneier also emphasized that foresight is highly important in building a strong cryptographic system, such that a cryptographic design should be able to prevent attacks even those that are about to occur or security threats that do not exist but may possible occur. Thus, a good cryptographic system is a combination of skill in cryptography combined with foresight and preparedness.  

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Rhetorical Analysis: Role of Schneier’s Article on the Research

The objective of research is to determine the various issues and challenges in cryptography. Cryptography is highly important in creating secure systems but the problem is that there are various kinds and means of threats that could make even the best cryptographic algorithms vulnerable to attacks. The article written by Schneier was a valuable source of information because in conducting the research because the author viewed the issue from a holistic perspective. Schneier’s objective was to point out that security is more than the application of knowledge and skills in cryptography and that the discipline also relies on other factors. The efficiency of cryptographic systems rely on the algorithms, and thus, the knowledge and skill of the cryptographer, but at the same time, the outcomes will also depend on the security precautions taken by the user, the security of the physical system and third party access to it, and the mechanisms in the system that could detect and prevent attacks, among others. Schneier discussed the different forms of attacks, their sources, and how they will affect cryptographic systems. Therefore, the article offers a departure from which the research could take off. Based on the article, the researcher was able to write a list of various topics about security and cryptography that should be explored during research.

Due to the experience of the author in the field, Schneier’s ideas and advice are invaluable in the research process. Conducting research not only means reviewing and analyzing existing data but also coming up with recommendations on how the various issues and problems in cryptography could be resolved through further research. The experiences of Schneier served as a significant source of information from which recommendations for future research could be based on. Moreover, Schneier offers tips on how cryptographers could be able to build a strong cryptographic system without relying on knowledge and skills alone. The article also introduces various opportunities or themes that could be used as subjects for similar research studies, such the investigation of the roles and responsibilities of users when it comes to security or how cryptographers could create algorithms that could predict and prevent attacks in real time. Overall, Schneier’s article was useful in the research because it provided information that allowed continuity for the research process. 

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