publickey encryption
<cryptography> (PKE, Or "publickey cryptography") An encryption scheme,
introduced by Diffie and Hellman in 1976, where each person gets a pair of keys,
called the public key and the private key. Each person's public key is published
while the private key is kept secret. Messages are encrypted using the intended
recipient's public key and can only be decrypted using his private key. This is
often used in conjunction with a digital signature.
The need for sender and receiver to share secret information (keys) via some
secure channel is eliminated: all communications involve only public keys, and
no private key is ever transmitted or shared.
Publickey encryption can be used for authentication, confidentiality, integrity
and nonrepudiation.
RSA encryption is an example of a publickey cryptosystem.
alt.security FAQ.
See also knapsack problem.
(19950327)
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