What is plaintext?

Plaintext

In cryptography, plaintext is information a sender wishes to transmit to a receiver. Cleartext is often used as a synonym. Before the computer era, plaintext most commonly meant message text in the language of the communicating parties. Plaintext has reference to the operation of cryptographic algorithms, usually encryption algorithms, and is the input upon which they operate. Cleartext, by contrast, refers to data that is transmitted or stored unencrypted (that is, 'in the clear').

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Some articles on plaintext:

Secure Handling of Plaintext
... In a cryptosystem, weaknesses can be introduced through insecure handling of plaintext, allowing an attacker to bypass the cryptography altogether ... Plaintext is vulnerable in use and in storage, whether in electronic or paper format ... One countermeasure is to burn or thoroughly crosscut shred discarded printed plaintexts or storage media NSA is infamous for its disposal security precautions ...
KFB Mode - Error Properties
... As the keystream is independent of plaintext and ciphertext, KFB mode turns a block cipher into a synchronous stream cipher ... synchronous stream ciphers, flipping a bit in the ciphertext produces a flipped bit in the plaintext at the same location, but does not affect further parts of the plaintext ...
Cryptanalysis Of The Enigma - The Enigma Machines
... both the ciphertext and the putative piece of plaintext ... Comparing the possible plaintext Keine besonderen Ereignisse (literally, "no special occurrences"—perhaps better translated as "nothing to report"), with a section of ciphertext, might produce the following ...
Completeness (cryptography)
... encryption cipher, so that if one bit of the input (plaintext) is changed, every bit of the output (ciphertext) has an average of 50% probability of changing ... The easiest way to show why this is good is the following consider that if we changed our 8-byte plaintext's last byte, it would only have any effect on the 8th byte of the ciphertext ... This would mean that if the attacker guessed 256 different plaintext-ciphertext pairs, he would always know the last byte of every 8byte sequence we send (eff ...
Attack Model
... In cryptography, a sending party uses a cipher to encrypt (transform) a secret plaintext into a ciphertext, which is sent over an insecure communication channel to the ... of the cipher to decrypt the ciphertext to obtain the plaintext ... a third party cryptanalyst analyzes the ciphertext to try to "break" the cipher, to read the plaintext and obtain the key so that future enciphered messages can be read ...