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What is RC4 Encryption?
RC4 is recognized as the most commonly utilized stream cipher in the world of cryptography. It is also acknowledged with two other names such as the ARC4 and ARCFOUR, which means Alleged RC4.
The person responsible behind the creation of the RC4 is no other than Ronald Rivest of RSA Data Security Inc. Based on how it was created, RC4 had the exact function as a shared key stream cipher algorithm that entails a highly-secured transfer of a specific shared key.
RC4 has a use in both encryption and decryption while the data stream undergoes XOR together with a series of generated keys. It takes in keys of random lengths and this is known as a producer of pseudo arbitrary numbers. The output is then XORed together with the stream of data in order to generate a newly-encrypted data. Hence, a particular RC4 key should never be utilized again when encrypting two other data streams.
The striking characteristics which made RC4 popular among the many web enthusiasts are its rate in the software as well as its simplicity. However, RC4 also has its own weak points just like any other entities in this kind of technology.
According to the experts, RC4 encryption is at risk particularly when the starting point of an output keystream is either not redundant, nonrandom, or when the related keys are in use. Vulnerability also shows when an individual keystream has been utilized more than once. In addition, there are certain processes that can lead to an unprotected cryptosystems when making use of the RC4 and one of which is WEP.
Secure Sockets Layer is just one of the many accepted protocols that utilize the RC4 encryption for the purpose of ensuring a well-safeguarded Internet traffic. Another protocol that makes use of RC4 is WEP and its main reason for using this encryption is to guarantee safe wireless networks.