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Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms and Source Code in C, 20th Anniversary Edition by Bruce Schneier

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CHAPTER 20

Public-Key Digital Signature Algorithms

20.1 DIGITAL SIGNATURE ALGORITHM (DSA)

In August 1991, The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) proposed the Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA) for use in their Digital Signature Standard (DSS). According to the Federal Register [538]:

A Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) for Digital Signature Standard (DSS) is being proposed. This proposed standard specifies a public-key digital signature algorithm (DSA) appropriate for Federal digital signature applications. The proposed DSS uses a public key to verify to a recipient the integrity of data and identity of the sender of the data. The DSS can also be used by a third party to ascertain the authenticity of a signature and the data associated with it.

This proposed standard adopts a public-key signature scheme that uses a pair of transformations to generate and verify a digital value called a signature.

And:

This proposed FIPS is the result of evaluating a number of alternative digital signature techniques. In making the selection NIST has followed the mandate contained in section 2 of the Computer Security Act of 1987 that NIST develop standards to “. . .assure the cost-effective security and privacy of Federal information and, among technologies offering comparable protection, on selecting the option with the most desirable operating and use characteristics.”

Among the factors that were considered during this process were the level of security provided, ...

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