What Is the Meaning of End-to-End Encryption?

Written by: IDIKA DESTINY EMEKA

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Published 2 Years Ago On Sunday, January 9, 2022
Updated 2 Years Ago On Wednesday, April 20, 2022
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What Is "End-to-End Encryption"?

End-to-end encryption is a way of protecting communications from prying eyes/outside world. If you send a message on the internet to someone else without proper encryption, people watching/snooping on your connection will be able to see what you're sending. This is known as a man-in-the-middle attack. As such, messaging services sometimes employ end-to-end encryption (E2EE) to protect their users. Some of the top instant messaging services like Whatsapp , Telegram and Facebook etc. use E2EE to prevent people from snooping in on their users.
End-to-end encryption is a way of protecting communications from prying eyes/outside world. If you send a message on the internet to someone else without proper encryption, people watching/snooping on your connection will be able to see what you're sending. This is known as a man-in-the-middle attack.
As such, messaging services sometimes employ end-to-end encryption (E2EE) to protect their users.
Some of the top instant messaging services like Whatsapp , Telegram and Facebook etc. use E2EE to prevent people from snooping in on their users.
Whatsapp Telegram Facebook To achieve this, the service implements a method that allows users to encrypt their messages automatically. Before someone sends a message out, they encrypt it using what's called a "key." This key makes the message unreadable, so snoopers can't see what it says. When the message arrives on the recipient's device, the app uses a key to untangle the message back into what it originally said. Now the recipient can read what the message said, and hackers are kept out of the equation.

Difference Betweek E2EE and Other Types of Encryption

You may be confused as to how this method of encryption is any different than other methods. In truth, the actual mechanics behind E2EE are similar to other kinds of encryption. The main difference remains the party that holds the encryption keys
When you use a service with encryption that isn't E2EE, you may send messages to your friend using a key that the service gave you. This is great for stopping hackers from peeking into your communications, but it does mean that the people who operate the service you're using can technically read what you send.

It's like if you used a messaging app to talk to your friend, and the developers who designed the app told you both to use the key "APPLE" to encrypt your data. Sure, random hackers can't read what you say, but the developers know that you're using APPLE as the key. This means they can decrypt your messages as you send them and read everything you're saying.

When a company uses this kind of encryption, it turns into an issue of trust. Do you trust that the company that runs the messaging app will turn a blind eye and let you talk in private? Or will they use the APPLE key to crack open your security and read all your conversation?
This is why E2EE is so popular and very different from other types of Encryption, because it allows each user to generate their own encryption keys on their device. This way, nobody—not even the messaging app developers—can unencrypt the messages without physically taking your device.

some of the more well-known methods of achieving E2EE are 
  1. public key encryption
  2. Diffie-Hellman key exchange


How to Achieve End-2-End Encryption With Public Key Encryption




When a program uses public-key encryption, every user on the service gets two keys. The first is their public key, and this can be freely seen and given out to anyone. However, it's worth noting that the public key can only encrypt data; it cannot be used to decrypt it.

Each user also gets a private key, which is never shared and permanently sits on its device. The private key is designed in a way that it can be able to decrypt any data encrypted using the public key. However, you should also note that the private key can only decrypt data; it's never used to encrypt it.

When two people want to talk to one another, they trade public keys. They then use the other person's public key to encrypt their messages to them. Once a public key encrypts it, it can only be properly decrypted by the recipient's private key, which never leaves their device.

How to Achieve End-2-End Encryption Using Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange



If two people want to achieve E2EE on an insecure network, there is a way for them to share encryption keys in plain sight and not get hacked.

To do this, both sides first agree on a shared key. This key is openly shared, and the Diffie-Hellman key exchange system assumes that hackers will find out what this key is.

However, both sides then generate a private key on their own devices. They then add this private key to the shared one, then send their combined key to the recipient. When they receive the recipient's combined key, they add it to their private one to get a shared secret key to use for encryption. This is similar to Salting in Cryptography 



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