Browse Definitions :
Definition

Alice and Bob

Alice, Bob and Eve are commonly-used names for participants in a scenario. The names can be found in a variety of contexts including cryptography, game theory and physics.

In 1978, professors Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir and Len Adleman (RSA) chose the names Alice and Bob to make it easier for people to understand how public key encryption works. Alice and Bob were chosen as placeholders for Person A and Person B to make the details easier to follow in a paper entitled "A Method for Obtaining Digital Signatures and Public-Key Cryptosystems." The names were intended to help people visualize how two entities could exchange information privately over an electronic mail system.

Alice and Bob are the best -known security scenario characters but there are many more used for various roles. For example, Eve is often used to represent an eavesdropper. For more complex requirements, the names Carol,  Carlos or Charlie may represent Person C and Dan or Dave a fourth participant, and so on through the alphabet sequentially as required. Other common characters from the large potential cast, include: Craig, a password cracker; Mallet or Malory (often abbreviated as Mal), a malicious attacker; Trudy, an intruder and Victor, a verifier.

Some of our definitions use Alice and Bob to help explain things. See: Diffie-Hellman key exchange, quantum cryptography, RSA algorithm

Alice and Bob and their co-characters are commonly featured in tech humor. The following example is from xkcd:

protocol

This was last updated in November 2015

Continue Reading About Alice and Bob

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

  • compliance as a service (CaaS)

    Compliance as a Service (CaaS) is a cloud service service level agreement (SLA) that specified how a managed service provider (...

  • data protection impact assessment (DPIA)

    A data protection impact assessment (DPIA) is a process designed to help organizations determine how data processing systems, ...

SearchSecurity

  • cybersecurity insurance (cybersecurity liability insurance)

    Cybersecurity insurance, also called cyber liability insurance or cyber insurance, is a contract that an entity can purchase to ...

  • phishing

    Phishing is a form of fraud in which an attacker masquerades as a reputable entity or person in email or other communication ...

  • cybercrime

    Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • disaster recovery team

    A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an ...

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 

SearchStorage

  • NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF)

    NVMe over Fabrics, also known as NVMe-oF and non-volatile memory express over fabrics, is a protocol specification designed to ...

  • logical unit number (LUN)

    A logical unit number (LUN) is a unique identifier for designating an individual or collection of physical or virtual storage ...

  • CIFS (Common Internet File System)

    CIFS (Common Internet File System) is a protocol that gained popularity around the year 2000, as vendors worked to establish an ...

Close