Authenticated encryption with associated data, such as AES-GCM, will take as input: IV, optional associated data, plaintext and key.

A ciphertext and an authentication tag will be produced.

Is there a frequently used term for this (IV, optional associated data, ciphertext, auth tag) data structure?

I'm looking for a term that ideally would equally apply to the data structure that would contain data encrypted by other means, such as in the case of ECIES where the structure may contain fields such as the sender's permanent or ephemeral public key).

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't think so. First of all, the IV doesn't need to be included. Moreover, quite often the tag is also thought of as being part of the ciphertext - even though I don't agree with that. You are also trying to include even a lot more than that. But at that point in time you are talking about a protocol, not about the primitives within that protocol; it's up to every protocol separately to name these things. $\endgroup$
    – Maarten Bodewes
    Commented Aug 10, 2021 at 0:05
  • $\begingroup$ @MaartenBodewes Thanks, I see your point, since if the IV is derived from some other sequence or once-only uniqueness in the message, then it no longer makes sense to consider the AEAD output to be part of an entirely separate and self-contained chunk of the message. $\endgroup$
    – knaccc
    Commented Aug 10, 2021 at 0:11

1 Answer 1


A generic term for input/output to cryptographic algirthms:


  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I like that term a lot. It might be considered synonymous with the term ciphertext, but it's a separate term that can usefully be used to refer to the entire message that includes the ciphertext. Are you aware of any modern uses of this term? So far I can't find anything referring to use of cryptogram in any modern crypto protocols. $\endgroup$
    – knaccc
    Commented Aug 10, 2021 at 1:43
  • $\begingroup$ @knaccc I made up that word in a paper which proposed 2 failed public-key cryptosystems. $\endgroup$
    – DannyNiu
    Commented Aug 10, 2021 at 2:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.