An asymmetric cipher is an encryption scheme using a pair of keys, one to encrypt and a second to decrypt a message. A special class of asymmetric ciphers are public-key ciphers, in which the encrypting key need not be kept secret to ensure a private communication.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (3)

71
votes
3answers
46k views

Why is elliptic curve cryptography not widely used, compared to RSA?

I recently ran across elliptic curve crypto-systems: An Introduction to the Theory of Elliptic Curves (Brown University) Elliptic Curve Cryptography (Wikipedia) Performance analysis of identity ...
40
votes
5answers
12k views

How big an RSA key is considered secure today?

I think 1024 bit RSA keys were considered secure ~5 years ago, but I assume that's not true anymore. Can 2048 or 4096 keys still be relied upon, or have we gained too much computing power in the ...
36
votes
3answers
11k views

How can I use asymmetric encryption, such as RSA, to encrypt an arbitrary length of plaintext?

RSA is not designed to be used on long blocks of plaintext like a block cipher, but I need to use it to send a large message. How can I do this?
27
votes
3answers
4k views

How are primes generated for RSA?

As I understand it, the RSA algorithm is based on finding two large primes (p and q) and multiplying them. The security aspect is based on the fact that it's difficult to factor it back into p and q. ...
24
votes
7answers
18k views

How does asymmetric encryption work?

I've always been interested in encryption but I have never found a good explanation (beginners explanation) of how encryption with public key and decryption with private key works. How does it ...
23
votes
3answers
8k views

Why is public-key encryption so much less efficient than secret-key encryption?

I'm currently reading Cryptography Engineering. After giving a high level explanation of the difference between secret-key encryption and public-key encryption, the book says: So why do we bother ...
20
votes
4answers
15k views

Basic explanation of Elliptic Curve Cryptography?

I have been studying Elliptic Curve Cryptography as part of a course based on the book Cryptography and Network Security. The text for provides an excellent theoretical definition of the algorithm but ...
17
votes
7answers
4k views

How can SSL secure a two-way communication with only one key-pair?

As I understand it, SSL involved the use of a public-private key pair. How does this enable two-way communication? Suppose I have some server with which I wish to communicate securely. I connect to ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Does RSA work for any message M?

I decided to read the original RSA paper A Method for Obtaining Digital Signatures and Public-Key Cryptosystem because of a question I had about RSA (which is not the question I'm about to ask, but ...
15
votes
2answers
7k views

Impacts of not using RSA exponent of 65537

This RFC says the RSA Exponent should be 65537. Why is that number recommended and what are the theoretical and practical impacts & risks of making that number higher or lower? What are the ...
14
votes
8answers
3k views

RSA with small exponents?

Just to establish notation with respect to the RSA protocol, let $n = pq$ be the product of two large primes and let $e$ and $d$ be the public and private exponents, respectively ($e$ is the inverse ...
14
votes
6answers
5k views

Types of Cryptography for a 4-8 bit microcontroller

This is more of a research question. I was wondering what types of crypto algorithms would work best on a small 4-8 bit micro controller. I recently read a paper called Security Considerations for ...
13
votes
3answers
24k views

RSA encryption with private key and decryption with a public key

When using the RSA cryptosystem, does it still work if you instead encrypt with the private key and decrypt with the public key? What about in the case of using RSA for sender authentication?
13
votes
2answers
924 views

GPG/PGP Verification of Revocation

How does one verify a key revocation? After revoking a key and sending the revocation to MIT's keyserver, I noticed that the key is listed as such: ...
12
votes
2answers
7k views

Definition of Textbook RSA

What is the definition of Textbook RSA? What are some of the properties of textbook RSA? How does it differ from other RSAs?
12
votes
3answers
724 views

Does NTRU decrypt correctly now?

The NTRU public-key cryptosystem has a lot of interesting properties (being resistant to quantum computer attacks, being standardized by several important bodies), but it also has a pretty unique ...
12
votes
2answers
13k views

What's the fundamental difference between Diffie-Hellman and RSA?

What is the difference in the purpose of DH and RSA? Aren't they both public-key encryption?
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Can two different pairs of RSA key have the same modulus?

Can $n=pq$ be part of two different pairs of RSA keys? If such keys exist, say $(e_1,n)$ and $(e_2,n)$, how are they related? What will be the security concerns for the two users?
11
votes
2answers
4k views

Are there practical upper limits of RSA key lengths?

Suppose one wanted to use RSA encryption for the sole purpose of sending key bits for use in symmetric crypto systems, a dedicated key exchange system so to speak. And say you didn't think that the ...
11
votes
1answer
603 views

Compressing EC private keys

For reasonable security, EC private keys are typically 256-bits. Shorter EC private keys are not sufficiently secure. However, shorter symmetric keys (128-bits, for example) are comparably secure. I ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Are any of the major asymmetric ciphers distinguishable (EG, RSA, ECC)?

Related to "Is it possible to derive the encryption method from encrypted text?". Given ciphertexts generated by any of the major asymmetric ciphers (RSA, ElGamal, ECC, etc..) can these ciphertexts ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there an intuitive explanation as to why only the private key can decrypt a message encrypted with the public key?

I have just learned about using PGP/GPG for email encryption and one thing has always bugged me: How is it possible that a message encrypted with somebody's public key can be decrypted only with that ...
10
votes
3answers
329 views

Is it possible to create an asymmetric cryptosystem where the private keys are not easily verifiable as such?

Plaintext that consists of an RSA key is easily recognizable as such, because it satisfies certain mathematical properties, in particular (See the answer for Why can an encrypted private key be brute ...
10
votes
2answers
12k views

When to use RSA and when ElGamal asymmetric encryption

If i am not wrong in cryptography there are 2 basic cryptographic schemes for public key cryptography. RSA encryption whose security is based on the infeasibility of solving the factoring of big ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

ElGamal: Multiplicative cyclic group and key generation

Here on the ElGamal wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ElGamal_encryption Alice generates an efficient description of a multiplicative cyclic group G, of order q, with generator g. How ...
10
votes
2answers
416 views

How should one implement a delegated shared trust protocol?

Consider the following (probably naive) scenario. Alice, who is very limited in her knowledge of security in general (clueless about securing a private key for example), wishes to delegate certain ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is asymmetric cryptography bad for huge data?

I've been told that asymmetric cryptography requires that the message to be encrypted be smaller than its key length. Why is this? I know about hybrid encryption, which uses symmetric encryption to ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Is it possible to validate a Public Key in RSA?

If I have a 1024-bit number, and someone is telling me that it is in fact a valid RSA public key, is there any way I can quickly validate that it is indeed so (without cracking RSA)? (I suppose I am ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does the PKCS1 RSA private key structure contain more than just exponent and modulus?

The ASN.1 spec for the PKCS1 RSA private key format is as follows: ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is the P-521 elliptic curve not in Suite B if AES-256 is?

In the NSA's document, "The Case for Elliptic Curve Cryptography", we have ...
9
votes
1answer
572 views

How to build an electro-mechanical public key cipher machine?

It is generally assumed that asymmetric encryption schemes were invented in 1973 at GCHQ in Britain and, independently, in 1976 at the MIT. Imagine, if the abstract idea of having a public key and a ...
8
votes
4answers
6k views

How can one securely generate an asymmetric key pair from a short passphrase?

Background info: I am planning on making a filehost with which one can encrypt and upload files. To protect the data against any form of hacking, I'd like not to know the encryption key ($K$) used for ...
8
votes
2answers
726 views

Can RSA encryption produce collisions?

In RSA, a message is encrypted by $m^e \pmod N$. $N$ is the modulus, $m$ is the message and $e$ is the public exponent. (I know that $m$ should not be greater than $N$.) My question is, can $m^e$ be ...
8
votes
3answers
588 views

Is key size the only barrier to the adoption of the McEliece cryptosystem, or is it considered broken/potentially vulnerable?

A recent paper showed that the McEliece cryptosystem is not, unlike RSA and other cryptosystems, weakened as drastically by quantum computing because strong Fourier sampling cannot solve the hidden ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does the recommended key size between symmetric and asymmetric encryption differ greatly?

In various articles it is mentioned that for secure communications, the recommended key sizes are 128-bit key size for symmetric encryption (which makes it $2^{128}$ possible keys?) and 2048-bit key ...
8
votes
3answers
367 views

Can one have an authentic, but repudiable, message without a previously shared secret?

Bob wants to send a message to Alice, such that Alice can be sure that the message came from Bob, but can't prove it to anyone else. If I understand right, this means that the same message could have ...
8
votes
3answers
720 views

Are there asymmetric cryptographic algorithms that are not based on integer factorization and discrete logarithm?

In the computer security class (in which cryptography is a big chapter) that I took, I remembered the professor said about current asymmetric cryptography algorithms are based on integer factorization ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

ECDSA vs ECIES vs ECDH

Recently I started studying ECC and I just loved it. I want to transfer some big data (like 3KB), What is the best method, ECDSA, ECIES, or ECDH (and why)? I am confused, how should I choose between ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the benefits of lattice based cryptography?

Previously we visited the benefits of elliptic curves for cryptography. Lattice based cryptography is starting to become quite popular in academia. The primary benefit of lattice based crypto is the ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Multi-party encryption algorithm

To give some foreground information: I acknowledge that I am a cryptography newb and not by any means an expert (and probably never will be). In a recent CS class we had several assignments writing ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

Why is Diffie-Hellman considered in the context of public key cryptography?

In all textbooks I used the Diffie-Hellman key exchange is under "public key cryptography". As far as I can see it is a method to exchange a key to be used with a symmetric cryptographic algorithm, ...
8
votes
3answers
347 views

Is there an algorithm to find the number of intersections of two sets?

Suppose both I and my friend have a set of integer numbers. We want to know the number of common elements in our two sets but without knowing elements of the sets of each other. So I don't want my ...
8
votes
1answer
334 views

Alice trusts Bob only when Bob trusts Alice

some story first: Alice and Bob both have public/private key pairs. Now Bob wants Alice to sign his public key id. Alice agrees but only when Bob signs the public key id of her. Is this something ...
8
votes
1answer
975 views

How should I check the received ephemeral Diffie-Hellman public keys?

In my application I'm doing a DH key exchange, where both sides generate their own ephemeral key. No static keys are used. I am trying to make my application resistant against an active attack and ...
8
votes
4answers
301 views

Is there a public key encryption scheme with optimal key size?

Symmetric encryption schemes such as AES have known security levels equal to their key sizes (i.e. breaking an encryption with an $n$ bit key needs about $2^n$ work steps). Elliptic curve encryption ...
8
votes
1answer
157 views

Proof of Communication

I desire an algorithm in which Alice sends a block of data $X$ to Bob, with proof that the data was both sent and received. Ideally this would take the form of a public-key signature of the block $X$ ...
8
votes
1answer
153 views

Is the Couvreur et al. polynomial time attack on McEliece practical?

There's a new e-print out on arXiv titled "A Polynomial Time Attack against Algebraic Geometry Code Based Public Key Cryptosystems" by Alain Couvreur, Irene Márquez-Corbella and Ruud Pellikaan: ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Why is it important that phi(n) is kept a secret, in RSA?

Why is it important that $\phi(n)$ is kept a secret, in RSA?
7
votes
2answers
398 views

Why does key generation take an input $1^k$, and how do I represent it in practice?

In my lecture, the lecturer said: Let $K$ be the key generation algorithm. Given a security parameter represented in unary, $1^k$, $K(1^k)$ will output a keypair $(pk; sk)$, known as the public ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Generating Random Primes

Although this has been extensively discussed around here, I'm curious whether my approach makes sense, or I should just stick to "the standard version". I'm implementing some homomorphic encryption ...