I am trying to implement a cramer-shoup cryptosystem but I don't understand how to work with the plaintext I want to encrypt.
From what I understand, the plaintext needs to be converted to an element of the cyclic group G, which was generated with the key. I've checked multiple resources, from the wiki to several papers, and none of them seem to take the time to explain how to convert a plaintext message to an element of G.
The wiki simply says
"Bob converts m into an element of G"
And the paper I'm looking at by Cramer and Shoup simply says
"We also assume that cleartext messages are (or can be encoded as) elements of G (although this condition can be relaxed--see 5.2)"
Even after checking the other part of the paper it referenced there weren't any instructions on how to perform this conversion.
If I have a plaintext message m, how would I convert it to an element of a cyclic group as the process describes? How do you convert a message to an element of a cyclic group?