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Date Added: 2023/08/18
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  • 2023/08/18
  • AES-GCM (Advanced Encryption Standard – Galois/Counter Mode) is a widely used encryption algorithm and mode of operation for securing data. It combines AES encryption with the GCM mode of operation, providing both confidentiality (encryption) and integrity/authenticity (authentication) of data.

    Here’s a breakdown of what AES-GCM entails:

    1. **AES Encryption:** AES is a symmetric encryption algorithm that’s commonly used for encrypting data. It supports key sizes of 128, 192, or 256 bits.

    2. **Galois/Counter Mode (GCM):** GCM is a mode of operation for block ciphers like AES. It provides authentication and confidentiality simultaneously. GCM uses a counter and the Galois field multiplication for both encryption and authentication.

    3. **Confidentiality:** AES-GCM encrypts the data using AES in the GCM mode. This ensures that unauthorized parties cannot understand the encrypted data without the appropriate decryption key.

    4. **Integrity/Authenticity:** GCM provides authentication by generating an authentication tag that is attached to the encrypted data. This tag is computed based on the data being encrypted and the associated additional data (often referred to as “authenticated data”). The recipient can use the authentication tag to verify that the data hasn’t been tampered with during transit.

    5. **Nonce/IV:** GCM requires a unique value known as a nonce (or initialization vector, IV) for each encryption operation. The nonce is combined with the counter to generate unique encryption blocks and prevent certain types of attacks.

    AES-GCM is commonly used in various applications, including securing data in transit over networks (like HTTPS/TLS connections), encrypting files, and protecting sensitive information in storage. It’s known for its efficiency, providing both encryption and authentication in a single pass, which can improve performance compared to separate encryption and authentication processes.

    When implementing AES-GCM, it’s important to follow best practices for key management, nonce generation, and overall security. Poorly chosen or reused nonces, weak keys, or other misconfigurations can compromise the security provided by AES-GCM.

    As with any encryption method, AES-GCM is not immune to attacks, so it’s essential to stay updated with the latest cryptographic recommendations and guidelines to ensure the highest level of security.

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