Years ago, data protection was mainly business of police or the military. As late as in the 1950's, most of the scientific research on data protection was performed in these institutions.
This situation started to change in 1970s, when computers began entering the everyday world. Precious and sensitive data have been stored on hard disks and sent over computer networks to distant destinations. The problem of authorized access soon emerged. Business espionage, network traffic eavesdropping, copying of data without owner's consent – that are just the basic threats which endangered privacy and properties of millions of people and thousands of corporations. A strong demand arose for high quality data protection.
This demand has been met by rapid development of scientific cryptography – a branch of science bordering both mathematics and informatics. Number of scientists working in cryptography has soon risen several times. Their basic objective was to design reliable algorithms and protocols, which could be used for securing the computer data.
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