Chapter 39

Public Key Infrastructure

Terence Spies,    Voltage Security

The ability to create, manipulate, and share digital documents has created a host of new applications (email, word processing, e-commerce websites), but also created a new set of problems, namely how to protect the privacy and integrity of digital documents when stored and transmitted. The invention of public key cryptography in the 1970s [1] pointed the way to a solution to those problems, most importantly the ability to encrypt data without a shared key, and the ability to “sign” data, insuring its origin and integrity. While these operations are quite conceptually simple, they both rely on the ability to bind a public key (which is typically a large mathematical object) ...

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