Pre-Requisite: Encryption, Encoding, Hashing.
Encryption, Encoding, and Hahsing are similar kinds of things and have little difference between them. They all are used to change the format of the data or data transformation for different purposes. We will discuss them separately. Let us first discuss the definition of all these three processes and then we will move to see how they differ.
Encryption is an encoding technique in which a message is encoded by using an encryption algorithm in such a way that only authorized personnel can access the message or information. It is a special type of encoding that is used for transferring private data, for example sending a combination of username and password over the internet for email login. In encryption, data to be encrypted(called plain text) is transformed using an encryption algorithm like AES or RSA Encryption Algorithm using a secret key called a cipher. The encrypted data is called ciphertext, and finally, the secret key can be used by the intended recipient to convert it back to plain text.
There are two types of encryption algorithms – symmetric and asymmetric encryption. In the case of symmetric encryption, data is encoded and decoded with the help of the same key whereas in the case of Asymmetric encryption, data is encoded and decoded with the help of different keys, that is public key and private key.
Example: AES Encryption Algorithm but in the case of the asymmetric encryption algorithm, data is encrypted with the help of two keys, namely the public and private keys, like the RSA algorithm.
Encryption and Decryption
In the Encoding method, data is transformed from one form to another. The main aim of encoding is to transform data into a form that is readable by most of the systems or that can be used by any external process. It can’t be used for securing data, various publicly available algorithms are used for encoding. Encoding can be used for reducing the size of audio and video files. Each audio and video file format has a corresponding coder-decoder (codec) program that is used to code it into the appropriate format and then decodes it for playback.
Example: ASCII, BASE64, UNICODE
In Hashing, data is converted to the hash using some hashing function, which can be any number generated from a string or text. Various hashing algorithms are MD5 and SHA256. Data once hashed is non-reversible. The hash function can be any function that is used to map data of arbitrary size to data of fixed size. The data structure hash table is used for storing data.
Example: When you send pictures and text messages over WhatsApp over StackOverflow (posting in questions), images are sent to different servers, and text is sent to a different server for efficiency purposes. So for verifying images that the images are not tampered with between data transfers over the internet, a hashing algorithm like MD5 can be used. MD5 generates a message digest of 128 bits, while SHA1 generates a message digest of the 160-bit hash value. Hence, SHA1 is a relatively complex algorithm with better security than MD5. Another purpose for hashing is for verifying passwords for login on various websites, as shown in the image.
Difference Between Encryption, Encoding, and Hashing
|Encryption is a type of encoding technique where the message is encoded using an encryption algorithm so that only authorized persons can access that information.
||Encoding is a technique where the data is transformed from one form to another.
||Hashing is a technique where the data is converted to hash using different algorithms present there.
|Encryption is a technique used for protecting the confidentiality of the data.
||Encryption is used for preserving the usability of the data.
||Hashing is simply used for checking the integrity of the data.
|Appropriate Keys are used in the Encryption.
||No Keys are used in Encoding.
||No Keys are used in Hashing.
|Encryption can be reversed back to its original form by using appropriate keys.
||Encoding can be reversed back to its original form.
||The hashed one cannot be reversed back to its original form.
|Example: AES Algorithm, RSA Algorithm, Diffie Hellman
||Example: BASE64, UNICODE, ASCII, URL Encoding.
||Example: MD5, SHA256, SHA – 3.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Base64 used for Encoding or Encryption?
Base64 is basically used for encoding binary data as printable text.
2. What is the difference between Encoding and Encryption?
Encoding simply aims to make the data presentable to the user whereas Encryption works by changing the data to a cipher text so that it can be understood by authorized persons only.
3. What is the difference between Encryption and Hashing?
Encryption is simply changing plain text to cipher text (unreadable text), but hashing is simply the conversion of plain text to keys using the hash functions.
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