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Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers by Michael Schrenk

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Chapter 20. WEBBOTS AND CRYPTOGRAPHY

Cryptography uses mathematics to secure data by applying well-known algorithms (or ciphers) to render the data unreadable to people who don't have the key, the string of bits required to unlock the code. The beauty of cryptography is that it relies on standards to secure data transmission between web clients and servers. Without these standards, it would be impossible to have consistent security across the multitude of places that require secure data transmission.

Don't confuse cryptography with obfuscation. Obfuscation attempts to obscure or hide data without standardized protocols—as a result, it is about as reliable as hiding your house key under the doormat. And since it doesn't rely on standard methods ...

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