Is encryption useless without authentication?

by Gene Michael Stover

created Thursday, 2021 December 9


Someone told me that “Encryption is useless without authentication”.

I disagree.

Think about this simple description of a protocol...

There are details (such as key size, initial settings, choice of hash functions) that must be decided for that final step to work, but the basics are that there are uses for encryption without authentication. They did not require authentication to get to that point in the protocol.

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