Let's talk about encryption foundational topic in system design. Encryption involves converting human-readable plaintext into incomprehensible text, which is known as ciphertext and decrypting it back to plaintext again.
There are two classes of encryption, but until 1976 symmetric key encryption was the only show in town. It involves a shared key used to encrypt and decrypt messages.
The main problem with symmetric key encryption is sharing the shared key securely. Since a third party with the key could also decrypt the message if they got hold of the shared key.
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