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Inside Windows® Server 2003 by William Boswell

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Public/Private Key Services

Theoretically, users could exchange cipher keys with each user by copying the keys to a disk and transporting the disk using a secure courier. A PKI is a kind of electronic courier service that operates over a highly insecure network.

Public key technology got its start back in the late 1970's when a couple of guys, Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman, developed a way to exchange secret keys right out in the open, the cryptographic equivalent of passing your wallet to the beer guy at a basketball game without worrying that someone will reach in to take a fiver.

Soon after the introduction of the Diffie-Hellman key exchange method, the trio of Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Len Adleman (founders of RSA Labs) took the idea ...

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