Reading through some documentation on a piece of software, it claims that a 4-6 digit number is created using a 256-bit encryption process for the purposes of access control. The whole process works as follows:
- A 4-6 digit "start code" (key?) is chosen by the user and programmed into the client software and into the management software as a new "client software record".
- Using the management software, a new access code that will open the client software can be generated by selecting the previously created client software record.
It is clear that the 4-6 digit start code is used to introduce some form of uniqueness to each instance of the client software, and that start code is used to generate the resulting access code which when entered into the start screen of the client software, will allow the software to open.
My question is how could that process be using 256-bit encryption?
One thing which is clear is that there are only 10^6 possible combinations to open the client software thus in theory it wouldn't make much difference whether encryption or hashing is used to generate an access code.
Why such as number only access control is used is beyond the scope of this question. I am aware that this is pretty poor access control for software. Am just intrigued by the claim of 256-bit encryption.