Public-key encryption

<cryptography> (PKE, Or "public-key cryptography") An encryption scheme, introduced by Diffie and Hellman in 1976, where each person gets a pair of keys, called the public key and the private key.

Each person's public key is published while the private key is kept secret.

Messages are encrypted using the intended recipient's public key and can only be decrypted using his private key.

This is often used in conjunction with a digital signature.

The need for sender and receiver to share secret information (keys) via some secure channel is eliminated: all communications involve only public keys, and no private key is ever transmitted or shared.

Public-key encryption can be used for authentication, confidentiality, integrity and non-repudiation.

RSA encryption is an example of a public-key cryptosystem. FAQ (

See also knapsack problem.

< Previous Terms Terms Containing public-key encryption Next Terms >
pubic directory
public domain
public domain software
public-key cryptography
Public-Key Cryptography Standards
digital signature
Public Key Infrastructure
Public Switched Telephone Network