Chapter 5. Key Management

Key management is the biggest challenge for developers who wish to use public key cryptography in their applications. Even Sun wasn’t quite sure how to tackle this problem. Between JDK 1.1 and JDK 1.2, they shifted their strategy so there are now two key management paradigms you can use.

In this chapter, I’ll cover the key management concepts represented by classes and interfaces in the JDK. These concepts include the following:

  • Keys

  • Key generators and translators

  • Key agreement protocols

  • Identity-based key management, including identities, signers, and scopes

  • Keystore-based key management, including the KeyStore class and the keytool utility

One of our examples is a general-purpose identity-based key management class, KeyManager, that I’ll use in the examples in Chapter 10, and Chapter 11.

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