usually secret information used as input to various kinds of cryptographic algorithms, like encryption, signature, MAC, to select the concrete transformation done by the algorithm.

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Positioning of keys in encrypted text

I'm just looking at very simple encryption. I've noticed that the key is typically either at the front or at the back of the encrypted text. This is quite easy to break if you know the key. It can ...
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Guessing encryption algorithm based on key and ciphertext

Is it possible to tell which encryption algorithm was used, assuming I have a key and a encrypted text? To not complicate the situation let assume we are speaking about symmetric algorithms only. ...