RSA

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Socalled "symetric" encryption algorithm. RSA uses private key for encryption and public key for decryption.


User keeps private key in secret. Public key is distributed.


Any person, having public key, can decrypt message, encrypted by owner of corresponding private key. This way it is ensured that message has been sent from owner of private key, because only he can create encrypted message.


High level protocols describe procedure for distributing public key. Person should be sure that he has right public key, otherwise messages can be faked by supplying fake public key. Usually this is done using third person, trusted by both users.


Keys may have different size. There is no practical way to find private key for known public key, if key is longer than 156 bits.



















