Text (or any kind of data) that has been encrypted in any way. 'Cipher' refers to either the method of encryption or the actual resultant text. This can be a mathematical system, a sequence of rules, a set of symbols or any other way to obscure the plain text.

Cipher Text must be decrypted before it can be read. This process usually requires some key or password, or possibly knowledge of the whole original encryption method. The main two encryption methods in use in computing and internet environments are public-key encryption and private-key or symmetric encryption.