Introduction to cryptography, Part 3, Asymmetric cryptography
From the developerWorks archives
Date archived: May 14, 2019 | First published: March 01, 2001
The security afforded by asymmetric cryptosystems depends on mathematical problems that are difficult to solve, such as factoring large integers into primes. Public key systems use two keys such that one key, the public key, can be used to encrypt some text that can then only be decrypted using the securely-held private key. Alternatively, the private key can be used to encrypt some information that anyone with access to the widely-available corresponding public key can decrypt, so satisfying themselves that the message was generated by the holder of the private key.
This content is no longer being updated or maintained. The full article is provided "as is" in a PDF file. Given the rapid evolution of technology, some content, steps, or illustrations may have changed.