Posts tagged "cryptography":

rsa encryption algorithm

22 Dec 2019

RSA is perhaps the most well-known asymmetric cryptographic algorithm. When it was first introduced back in 1977, it revolutionised cryptography. The public-key cryptosystem, developed by creators Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman, uses prime factorisation to create a trapdoor function that produces both a public and private key known as a key pair. And by creating separate keys for encryption and decryption, this groundbreaking innovation removed the need to secretly and securely share a single secret key to exchange encrypted messages; with wide distribution of the public key, effectively anyone could encrypt messages to send to the owner of the key pair. And provided the private key was kept secure, a high degree of confidence that the message remained obscured to any third parties was virtually guaranteed. This made widespread encryption practicably feasible for everyone. Remarkably, four years earlier the same algorithm had already been developed in 1973 by United Kingdom Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) cryptographer Clifford Cocks. Due to the sensitive nature of cryptography for state and military use, however, it was classified. And it was not until 20 years after Rivest, Shamir, and Adleman's namesake was publicly released that the UK government in 1997 declassified the findings, whereupon Cocks revealed its existence along with related contemporaneous research at a conference in England. The rest, as they say, is history.

Tags: cryptography
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