The encrypted telephone is one of the inventions that allowed men to get away from the danger of interceptions of their own communications.
With the spreading of communications systems, and already from the two World Wars, indeed, to communicate without being heard and intercepted from others has been one of the major concern of the man, till nowadays, when we can finally benefit from the encrypted telephone.
Jumping back to the past, this necessity has been proven obvious, like we already said, during the two World Wars, when the exchange of sensitive information and of fundamental importance was commonplace and could determine the misappropriation of secrets and military strategies, and the resulting victory or loss of a battle.
Ended the two Wars, the situation started to get even worse during the Cold War and reached its peak with the complicated net of secret intelligence: in conclusion, the demand to keep protected the informations was definetely felt from both sides, russian and american.
That’s when the encrypted telephone was born, which conducted, from now on, a significative role in the communication field.
Usually, this instrument was used between the embassies, in a way that their respective conversations stayed secret and without an audience.
WHAT ENCRYPTED TELEPHONE MEANS
This tool has been created by mathematicians and engeneers, which have studied encryption algorithms so complex to make really hard to decode conversations and messages.
Algorithms evolved during time, to a point where it’s impossible to decode.
Nowadays, the encryption of the data is further more at your fingertips than how it was during the Cold War.
Indeed, there are many ways to keep personal data safe on smartphone and other devices.
It is even possible to use specific app, like CriptyTalk, from Crypty Secure Sagl, which allows to send and receive calls and messages safely and anonimously directly from the smartphone and without the risk of external interceptions, using its own personal encryption system.
HOW ENCRYPTED TELEPHONE WORK
The encrypted telephone work in pairs or more and can have two types of conversations:
- Blurred conversations, towards traditional numbers: the relative call won’t be encrypted, just blurry, so it can be intercepted if the speaker has his or her cellphone under control, but it is not possible to get back up to the person who called, thanks to to the number or IMEI, because there is a server that works as a filter between the caller and the called; in particular, on the cellphone of the latter, it will appear a non-existent international number and this number will change in any different call; a variant of blurred conversations is the one that give you the possibility to decide the number that is going to be seen on the phone of the called person;
- Encrypted conversations, these cannot be either intercepted or heard
The advantage of having an encrypted cellphone is in the fact that this one allows you to shelter
your own conversations from others interferences.
To be specific, this instrument helps to protect data on the phone in order to make them not legible, not even through other systems, like recovery programs about memory or hacking.
THE MEANING OF “TO ENCRYPT”
We have already clarified what an encrypted phone is used for and what are the advantages, but it comes spontanious to wonder about what exactly means to encrypt or decode.
Well, the encoding, or encryption, is a technique used to make information secret, in order to limit the access to them just for the people who have the authorization for it.
To do it, it is necessary the use of a code, which means a system that’s capable of modifying a message, so a clear text to make it encrypted, or a cryptogram, which is a non clear text and not legible.
The encryption is done through the application of the algorithms to the message: so, this consists in the use of a code to transform a clear message to a cryptogram, which is just a set of illegible symbols without a reading key.
The encoding process is reversible, therefore, if you are in possession of the reading key, it is possible to rebuild the encrypted message, through a decoding process.
In order to be able to consider the secrecy of a message really secure, it is necessary to refer to two parameters:
- The secrecy of the key;
- The resistency of the algorithm, which depends on the complexity of the calculation that is
at the base of it: the more is complex, the bigger is its ability to resist to the encryption.
However, the safety of an encryption system is determined by the sharing of the information and the specific algorithm techniques used: that is why the open source idea is so important.Indeed, the most used algorithms are public domain and the most reliable; quite the opposite, the secret algorithms are the least secure, just because transparency is a mark of greater safety, in the encryption context.
It exists different types of algorithms:
- Symmetrical algorithm, or private key: they use the same key for the encryption and the decoding, they have very long keys, so strong; their weakness is the fact that they use the same key to encrypt and decode, so there’s the risk to be intercepted during the exchanges between the subjects; the most common are DES, triplo-DES, Blowfish, IDEA e AES;
- Asymmetrical algorithms, or public key: they use two different keys for encryption and decoding, which are generated by an algorithm that desn’t allow to get back up to a key, starting from the other; one of the two keys, called public key, is chosen to be distributed and it’s used for the process of encrypting, while the private key must be kept secret and is used for the process of decoding. The most common are RSA, Diffie-Hellman, DSS, Rabin, Elliptical Curves Encryption and El Gamal.
- Hybrid algorithms: they use a symmetrical and an asymmetrical system, in order to merge the advantages of both, which are the safety of the public key, and the speed of the private one; in particular, a hybrid system uses a public key algorithm to share a key for the symmetrical system; the message is encrypted with this key and sent to the addressee; the symmetrical key changes in every sent message, and it’s also called session key; this one is encrypted with a public key algorithm and the message that is going to be sent is encrypted with the symmetrical algorithm; the consignee of the message uses the private key to decode the session key and this one gets to be used its turn to decode the message.