Chapter 2. Public-Key Cryptography

In this chapter, we introduce the main concepts of public-key cryptography. The treatment is intentionally high level and brief, touching only on aspects directly relevant to an understanding of the remainder of this book. For a broader and more thorough discussion, read the Handbook of Applied Cryptography [MvOV97], Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C [Schn96], Cryptography and Network Security: Principles and Practice [Stal99], or Cryptography: Theory and Practice [Stin95].

Symmetric versus Asymmetric Ciphers

For as long as humans have communicated, there has been a desire to keep some communications confidential (that is, “hidden”) from unintended recipients. Over thousands of years, ...

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