7.4. Using Public Key Infrastructure

The Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is a first attempt to provide all the aspects of security to messages and transactions that have been previously discussed. The need for universal systems to support e-commerce, secure transactions, and information privacy is one aspect of the issues being addressed with PKI.

PKI is a two-key—asymmetric—system with four key components: Certificate Authority (CA), Registration Authority (RA), RSA, and digital certificates. Messages are encrypted with a public key and decrypted with a private key. As an example, take the following scenario:

  1. You want to send an encrypted message to Jordan, so you request his public key.

  2. Jordan responds by sending you that key.

  3. You use the public ...

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