Cryptographic protocol

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A cryptographic protocol is a way to securely exchange data over a computer network. The data that is exchanged is encrypted. In general, these protocols consist of a way to exchange encryption keys, The data is then encrypted using symmetric or asymmetric cryptography. Symmetric cryptography is used more often.

Common protocols include:

A cryptographic protocol usually has at least some of these features:

The term cryptographic protocol is used in different ways. For example, cryptographic application protocols often use one or more underlying Key-agreement protocols which are also sometimes themselves referred to as "cryptographic protocols", like the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) which uses what is known as the Diffie-Hellman key exchange, Diffie-Hellman may be seen as a complete cryptographic protocol in itself for other applications.

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