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:

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

  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

    The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a widely accepted set of policies and procedures intended to ...

  • risk management

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

  • compliance framework

    A compliance framework is a structured set of guidelines that details an organization's processes for maintaining accordance with...

SearchSecurity

  • Trojan horse (computing)

    In computing, a Trojan horse is a program downloaded and installed on a computer that appears harmless, but is, in fact, ...

  • identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable ...

  • DNS over HTTPS (DoH)

    DNS over HTTPS (DoH) is a relatively new protocol that encrypts domain name system traffic by passing DNS queries through a ...

SearchHealthIT

  • telemedicine (telehealth)

    Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services, such as health assessments or consultations, over the ...

  • Project Nightingale

    Project Nightingale is a controversial partnership between Google and Ascension, the second largest health system in the United ...

  • medical practice management (MPM) software

    Medical practice management (MPM) software is a collection of computerized services used by healthcare professionals and ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification and is used in internally mounted ...

  • kilobyte (KB or Kbyte)

    A kilobyte (KB or Kbyte) is a unit of measurement for computer memory or data storage used by mathematics and computer science ...

  • virtual memory

    Virtual memory is a memory management capability of an operating system (OS) that uses hardware and software to allow a computer ...

Close