Ciphertext is the result of encrypting plain text. In other words, plain text is encrypted with an algorithm, resulting in ciphertext, which is unintelligible. If the ciphertext is sent through a compatible decryption algorithm, it will once again be plain text.
The following graphic shows how plain text is converted to ciphertext so that it can be sent over an insecure channel (such as the Internet) and then back to plain text so that the recipient can read it.
See FIPS 197 defines it as “Data output from the Cipher or input to the Inverse Cipher.”
NIST SP 800-56B Rev. 1 refers to it as “Data in its enciphered form.”
Several other NIST documents identify it as data in its encrypted form.
See the following for more information:
NIST SP 800-12 Rev. 1 under Ciphertext
NIST SP 800-133 under Ciphertext
NIST SP 800-152 under Ciphertext
NIST SP 800-57 Part 1 Rev. 4 under Ciphertext
NIST SP 800-57 Part 2 under Ciphertext
NIST SP 800-20 under Ciphertext
NIST SP 800-67 Rev. 2 under Ciphertext
The confidential form of the plaintext that is the output of the authenticated-encryption function.
See NIST SP 800-38F for more information.
The output of the CCM encryption-generation process.
See NIST SP 800-38C under Ciphertext for more information.
The encrypted form of the plaintext.
See NIST SP 800-38D under Ciphertext for more information.