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Glossary definition: Ciphertext

Encrypting Messages: Understanding Ciphertext

Ciphertext is the scrambled form of plaintext, or readable text, after it has been encrypted using a cipher, or an algorithm for encryption and decryption. It is the output of an encryption algorithm and is typically a string of seemingly random characters. Ciphertext is not readable or understandable until it has been decrypted, or converted back into its original plaintext form. Ciphertext is usually transmitted over a secure channel, such as the internet, to ensure that the data remains confidential and secure.