Cryptology is the study of cryptography (schemes for encrypting data) and cryptanalysis (schemes for breaking codes). The field is very complex and testing cryptological software requires a lot of advanced knowledge. One of the things I’ve was looking at recently is the topic of nonlinear Boolean functions. A Boolean function accepts any number of variables, each of which can have value of only 0 or 1, and returns a single 0 or 1 value. For example f = x1 + x2x3 means "x1 or (x2 and x3). Boolean functions can be represented in a surprising number of ways, including a truth table, an equation in Algebraic normal form, and many others. Boolean functions are a cryptographic primitive — a fundamental construct — used for several purposes. It turns out that Boolean functions used in cryptology should have certain properties to make the systems in which they are used less vulnerable to cryptanalysis. One such property is nonlinearity, which is the Hamming distance between a function of n variables, and all possible linear functions of n variables. Whew! Like I mentioned, cryptology is very complex.

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