Exploring RSA Encryption

    Date06 Mar 2003
    CategoryCryptography
    3524
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    In contrast to the cooperative preparations required for setting up private key encryption, such as secret-sharing and close coordination between sender and receiver, you can act entirely on your own to create and publish two numbers that enable anyone, using the . . . In contrast to the cooperative preparations required for setting up private key encryption, such as secret-sharing and close coordination between sender and receiver, you can act entirely on your own to create and publish two numbers that enable anyone, using the RSA encryption formula, to send a private message to you through a public channel. The message becomes "First Class" e-mail, so to speak, as if sealed in an envelope. Using the two numbers you have published, anyone can scramble a message and send it to you. You are the only one who can unscramble it--not even the sender of the message can decrypt the ciphertext.

    To set up RSA encryption, the main thing you need is a table of prime numbers. Begin by selecting two prime numbers at random. When the rsakeys.bc program asks for p and q, give it the two primes you selected. Of course, any numbers can be used for practice. Primes, especially large primes, make it more difficult for an eavesdropper to decrypt your message.

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