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Plaintext is intelligible data that has meaning and can be understood without the application of decryption1).

Plaintext is usually ordinary readable text before it is Encrypted into ciphertext, or readable text after it is Decrypted.

Data input to or output from Encryption Algorithms is not always Plaintext. For example, when data is super-encrypted, or encrypted more than once using different Encryption Algorithms, only the input to the first encryption method is considered Plaintext.

Note: there is difference between Plaintext and Cleartext.

Also see: Ciphertext


Elaine Barker, NIST, Recommendation for Key Management: Part 1 - General, NIST Special Publication 800-57 Part 1, Revision 5, May 2020, Accessed 18 January 2022,
dido/public/ra/xapend/xapend.a_glossary/p/plaintext.txt · Last modified: 2022/01/18 09:19 by nick
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