SECRET AND PUBLIC KEYS

CHAPTER        8

ABOUT THIS CHAPTER

In this chapter we discuss fundamental issues and techniques for handling cryptographic keys. We also introduce the important concept of public-key cryptography. We examine the following topics:

•  Managing and using secret keys

•  Wrapping techniques for secret keys

•  Detecting errors and protecting file integrity

•  Public-key cryptography for signing data and wrapping keys

•  Public-key certificates

8.1 The Key Management Challenge

When we encrypt a file, we substitute the problem of protecting the file with the problem of protecting its key. Clearly, cryptography gives us no protection if somehow threats can guess or retrieve the keys. Even worse, we might waste our security ...

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