InvisibleSecrets Glossary of Terms


Short for Advanced Encryption Standard, a symmetric 128-bit block data encryption technique developed by Belgian cryptographers Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijmen. The U.S government adopted the algorithm as its encryption technique in October 2000, replacing the DES encryption it used. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the U.S. Department of Commerce selected the algorithm, called Rijndael (pronounced Rhine Dahl or Rain Doll), out of a group of five algorithms under consideration.


A formula or set of steps for solving a particular problem. In east-tec InvisibleSecrets, we refer by algorithm an encryption algorithm which is the set of steps required to encrypt data.


Short for Web browser, a software application used to locate and display Web pages. The two most popular browsers are Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Both of these are graphical browsers, which means that they can display graphics as well as text. In addition, most modern browsers can present multimedia information, including sound and video, though they require plug-ins for some formats. Browers keep visited websites in a special folder called “Cache”. This must be deleted to keep the sites you visit secret.


A file in which you can hide data using specific methods. Carriers are usually multimedia files (images, sounds, or even web pages)


A message given to a Web browser by a Web server. The browser stores the message in a text file. The message is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server.

The main purpose of cookies is to identify users and possibly prepare customized Web pages for them. When you enter a Web site using cookies, you may be asked to fill out a form providing such information as your name and interests. This information is packaged into a cookie and sent to your Web browser which stores it for later use. The next time you go to the same Web site, your browser will send the cookie to the Web server. The server can use this information to present you with custom Web pages. So, for example, instead of seeing just a generic welcome page you might see a welcome page with your name on it.


The process of decoding data that has been encrypted into a secret format. Decryption requires a secret key or password.


The translation of data into a secret code. Encryption is the most effective way to achieve data security. To read an encrypted file, you must have access to a secret key or password that enables you to decrypt it. Unencrypted data is called plain text ; encrypted data is referred to as cipher text.

There are two main types of encryption: asymmetric encryption (also called public-key encryption) and symmetric encryption.

Fake Files

Randomly generated files, extremely useful to create diversions – they will be the worst nightmare for any opponent you might have.


Abbreviation of File Transfer Protocol, the protocol used on the Internet for sending files.


Abbreviation of Internet Protocol, pronounced as two separate letters. IP specifies the format of packets, also called datagrams, and the addressing scheme. IP by itself is something like the postal system. It allows you to address a package and drop it in the system, but there’s no direct link between you and the recipient. An IP is address as 4 numbers separated by dots.


A secret series of characters that enables a user to access a file, computer, or program. On multi-user systems, each user must enter his or her password before the computer will respond to commands. The password helps ensure that unauthorized users do not access the computer. In addition, encrypted data files and programs may require a password.

Ideally, the password should be something that nobody could guess. In practice, most people choose a password that is easy to remember, such as their name or their initials. This is one reason it is relatively easy to break into most computer systems.


Refers to techniques for ensuring that data stored in a computer cannot be read or compromised. Most security measures involve data encryption and passwords. Data encryption is the translation of data into a form that is unintelligible without a deciphering mechanism. A password is a secret word or phrase that gives a user access to a particular program or system.


The art and science of hiding information by embedding messages within other, seemingly harmless messages. Steganography works by replacing bits of useless or unused data in regular computer files (such as graphics, sound, text, HTML, or even floppy disks ) with bits of different, invisible information. This hidden information can be plain text, cipher text, or even images.

Unlike encryption, steganography cannot be detected. Therefore, it is used when encryption is not permitted. Or, more commonly, steganography is used to supplement encryption. An encrypted file may still hide information using steganography, so even if the encrypted file is deciphered, the hidden message is not seen.

Steganography (literally meaning covered writing) dates back to ancient Greece, where common practices consisted of etching messages in wooden tablets and covering them with wax, and tattooing a shaved messenger’s head, letting his hair grow back, then shaving it again when he arrived at his contact point.


Abbreviation of Uniform Resource Locator, the global address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web.

The first part of the address indicates what protocol to use, and the second part specifies the IP address or the domain name where the resource is located.