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Hacking: The Art of Exploitation, 2nd Edition by Jon Erickson

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Hybrid Ciphers

A hybrid cryptosystem gets the best of both worlds. An asymmetric cipher is used to exchange a randomly generated key that is used to encrypt the remaining communications with a symmetric cipher. This provides the speed and efficiency of a symmetric cipher, while solving the dilemma of secure key exchange. Hybrid ciphers are used by most modern cryptographic applications, such as SSL, SSH, and PGP.

Since most applications use ciphers that are resistant to cryptanalysis, attacking the cipher usually won't work. However, if an attacker can intercept communications between both parties and masquerade as one or the other, the key exchange algorithm can be attacked.

Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

A man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack is a clever ...

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