I've exported the root CA cert (ISRG Root X1) used by StackOverflow's digital certificate, as a DER encoded binary X.509 (.cer) file and used openssl in cmd to find out the modulus/exponent:

openssl.exe x509 -in C:\Cert.cer -inform der -text

enter image description here

I then did the same thing for the next certificate in the chain which is called R3, to get the signature:

enter image description here

Signature for R3:

enter image description here

I've copied these into C# as byte arrays and am using the following code to decrypt the signature:

using System.Security.Cryptography;

namespace RsaDecryptor
    class Program
        static void Main(string[] args)
            byte[] decryptedData;
            using (RSACryptoServiceProvider rsa = new RSACryptoServiceProvider())
                var bytesRead = 0;
                // From ISRG root CA:
                var modulus = new byte[] { 0xad, 0xe8, 0x24, 0x73, 0xf4, 0x14, 0x37, 0xf3, 0x9b, 0x9e, 0x2b, 0x57, 0x28, 0x1c, 
                    0x87, 0xbe, 0xdc, 0xb7, 0xdf, 0x38, 0x90, 0x8c, 0x6e, 0x3c, 0xe6, 0x57, 0xa0, 0x78, 0xf7, 0x75, 0xc2, 0xa2, 
                    0xfe, 0xf5, 0x6a, 0x6e, 0xf6, 0x00, 0x4f, 0x28, 0xdb, 0xde, 0x68, 0x86, 0x6c, 0x44, 0x93, 0xb6, 0xb1, 0x63, 
                    0xfd, 0x14, 0x12, 0x6b, 0xbf, 0x1f, 0xd2, 0xea, 0x31, 0x9b, 0x21, 0x7e, 0xd1, 0x33, 0x3c, 0xba, 0x48, 0xf5, 
                    0xdd, 0x79, 0xdf, 0xb3, 0xb8, 0xff, 0x12, 0xf1, 0x21, 0x9a, 0x4b, 0xc1, 0x8a, 0x86, 0x71, 0x69, 0x4a, 0x66, 
                    0x66, 0x6c, 0x8f, 0x7e, 0x3c, 0x70, 0xbf, 0xad, 0x29, 0x22, 0x06, 0xf3, 0xe4, 0xc0, 0xe6, 0x80, 0xae, 0xe2, 
                    0x4b, 0x8f, 0xb7, 0x99, 0x7e, 0x94, 0x03, 0x9f, 0xd3, 0x47, 0x97, 0x7c, 0x99, 0x48, 0x23, 0x53, 0xe8, 0x38, 
                    0xae, 0x4f, 0x0a, 0x6f, 0x83, 0x2e, 0xd1, 0x49, 0x57, 0x8c, 0x80, 0x74, 0xb6, 0xda, 0x2f, 0xd0, 0x38, 0x8d, 
                    0x7b, 0x03, 0x70, 0x21, 0x1b, 0x75, 0xf2, 0x30, 0x3c, 0xfa, 0x8f, 0xae, 0xdd, 0xda, 0x63, 0xab, 0xeb, 0x16, 
                    0x4f, 0xc2, 0x8e, 0x11, 0x4b, 0x7e, 0xcf, 0x0b, 0xe8, 0xff, 0xb5, 0x77, 0x2e, 0xf4, 0xb2, 0x7b, 0x4a, 0xe0, 
                    0x4c, 0x12, 0x25, 0x0c, 0x70, 0x8d, 0x03, 0x29, 0xa0, 0xe1, 0x53, 0x24, 0xec, 0x13, 0xd9, 0xee, 0x19, 0xbf, 
                    0x10, 0xb3, 0x4a, 0x8c, 0x3f, 0x89, 0xa3, 0x61, 0x51, 0xde, 0xac, 0x87, 0x07, 0x94, 0xf4, 0x63, 0x71, 0xec, 
                    0x2e, 0xe2, 0x6f, 0x5b, 0x98, 0x81, 0xe1, 0x89, 0x5c, 0x34, 0x79, 0x6c, 0x76, 0xef, 0x3b, 0x90, 0x62, 0x79, 
                    0xe6, 0xdb, 0xa4, 0x9a, 0x2f, 0x26, 0xc5, 0xd0, 0x10, 0xe1, 0x0e, 0xde, 0xd9, 0x10, 0x8e, 0x16, 0xfb, 0xb7, 
                    0xf7, 0xa8, 0xf7, 0xc7, 0xe5, 0x02, 0x07, 0x98, 0x8f, 0x36, 0x08, 0x95, 0xe7, 0xe2, 0x37, 0x96, 0x0d, 0x36, 
                    0x75, 0x9e, 0xfb, 0x0e, 0x72, 0xb1, 0x1d, 0x9b, 0xbc, 0x03, 0xf9, 0x49, 0x05, 0xd8, 0x81, 0xdd, 0x05, 0xb4, 
                    0x2a, 0xd6, 0x41, 0xe9, 0xac, 0x01, 0x76, 0x95, 0x0a, 0x0f, 0xd8, 0xdf, 0xd5, 0xbd, 0x12, 0x1f, 0x35, 0x2f, 
                    0x28, 0x17, 0x6c, 0xd2, 0x98, 0xc1, 0xa8, 0x09, 0x64, 0x77, 0x6e, 0x47, 0x37, 0xba, 0xce, 0xac, 0x59, 0x5e, 
                    0x68, 0x9d, 0x7f, 0x72, 0xd6, 0x89, 0xc5, 0x06, 0x41, 0x29, 0x3e, 0x59, 0x3e, 0xdd, 0x26, 0xf5, 0x24, 0xc9, 
                    0x11, 0xa7, 0x5a, 0xa3, 0x4c, 0x40, 0x1f, 0x46, 0xa1, 0x99, 0xb5, 0xa7, 0x3a, 0x51, 0x6e, 0x86, 0x3b, 0x9e, 
                    0x7d, 0x72, 0xa7, 0x12, 0x05, 0x78, 0x59, 0xed, 0x3e, 0x51, 0x78, 0x15, 0x0b, 0x03, 0x8f, 0x8d, 0xd0, 0x2f, 
                    0x05, 0xb2, 0x3e, 0x7b, 0x4a, 0x1c, 0x4b, 0x73, 0x05, 0x12, 0xfc, 0xc6, 0xea, 0xe0, 0x50, 0x13, 0x7c, 0x43, 
                    0x93, 0x74, 0xb3, 0xca, 0x74, 0xe7, 0x8e, 0x1f, 0x01, 0x08, 0xd0, 0x30, 0xd4, 0x5b, 0x71, 0x36, 0xb4, 0x07, 
                    0xba, 0xc1, 0x30, 0x30, 0x5c, 0x48, 0xb7, 0x82, 0x3b, 0x98, 0xa6, 0x7d, 0x60, 0x8a, 0xa2, 0xa3, 0x29, 0x82, 
                    0xcc, 0xba, 0xbd, 0x83, 0x04, 0x1b, 0xa2, 0x83, 0x03, 0x41, 0xa1, 0xd6, 0x05, 0xf1, 0x1b, 0xc2, 0xb6, 0xf0, 
                    0xa8, 0x7c, 0x86, 0x3b, 0x46, 0xa8, 0x48, 0x2a, 0x88, 0xdc, 0x76, 0x9a, 0x76, 0xbf, 0x1f, 0x6a, 0xa5, 0x3d, 
                    0x19, 0x8f, 0xeb, 0x38, 0xf3, 0x64, 0xde, 0xc8, 0x2b, 0x0d, 0x0a, 0x28, 0xff, 0xf7, 0xdb, 0xe2, 0x15, 0x42, 
                    0xd4, 0x22, 0xd0, 0x27, 0x5d, 0xe1, 0x79, 0xfe, 0x18, 0xe7, 0x70, 0x88, 0xad, 0x4e, 0xe6, 0xd9, 0x8b, 0x3a, 
                    0xc6, 0xdd, 0x27, 0x51, 0x6e, 0xff, 0xbc, 0x64, 0xf5, 0x33, 0x43, 0x4f };

                // From R3 intermediate CA:
                var signature = new byte[] { 0x85, 0xca, 0x4e, 0x47, 0x3e, 0xa3, 0xf7, 0x85, 0x44, 0x85, 0xbc, 0xd5, 0x67, 0x78, 
                    0xb2, 0x98, 0x63, 0xad, 0x75, 0x4d, 0x1e, 0x96, 0x3d, 0x33, 0x65, 0x72, 0x54, 0x2d, 0x81, 0xa0, 0xea, 0xc3, 
                    0xed, 0xf8, 0x20, 0xbf, 0x5f, 0xcc, 0xb7, 0x70, 0x00, 0xb7, 0x6e, 0x3b, 0xf6, 0x5e, 0x94, 0xde, 0xe4, 0x20, 
                    0x9f, 0xa6, 0xef, 0x8b, 0xb2, 0x03, 0xe7, 0xa2, 0xb5, 0x16, 0x3c, 0x91, 0xce, 0xb4, 0xed, 0x39, 0x02, 0xe7, 
                    0x7c, 0x25, 0x8a, 0x47, 0xe6, 0x65, 0x6e, 0x3f, 0x46, 0xf4, 0xd9, 0xf0, 0xce, 0x94, 0x2b, 0xee, 0x54, 0xce, 
                    0x12, 0xbc, 0x8c, 0x27, 0x4b, 0xb8, 0xc1, 0x98, 0x2f, 0xa2, 0xaf, 0xcd, 0x71, 0x91, 0x4a, 0x08, 0xb7, 0xc8, 
                    0xb8, 0x23, 0x7b, 0x04, 0x2d, 0x08, 0xf9, 0x08, 0x57, 0x3e, 0x83, 0xd9, 0x04, 0x33, 0x0a, 0x47, 0x21, 0x78, 
                    0x09, 0x82, 0x27, 0xc3, 0x2a, 0xc8, 0x9b, 0xb9, 0xce, 0x5c, 0xf2, 0x64, 0xc8, 0xc0, 0xbe, 0x79, 0xc0, 0x4f, 
                    0x8e, 0x6d, 0x44, 0x0c, 0x5e, 0x92, 0xbb, 0x2e, 0xf7, 0x8b, 0x10, 0xe1, 0xe8, 0x1d, 0x44, 0x29, 0xdb, 0x59, 
                    0x20, 0xed, 0x63, 0xb9, 0x21, 0xf8, 0x12, 0x26, 0x94, 0x93, 0x57, 0xa0, 0x1d, 0x65, 0x04, 0xc1, 0x0a, 0x22, 
                    0xae, 0x10, 0x0d, 0x43, 0x97, 0xa1, 0x18, 0x1f, 0x7e, 0xe0, 0xe0, 0x86, 0x37, 0xb5, 0x5a, 0xb1, 0xbd, 0x30, 
                    0xbf, 0x87, 0x6e, 0x2b, 0x2a, 0xff, 0x21, 0x4e, 0x1b, 0x05, 0xc3, 0xf5, 0x18, 0x97, 0xf0, 0x5e, 0xac, 0xc3, 
                    0xa5, 0xb8, 0x6a, 0xf0, 0x2e, 0xbc, 0x3b, 0x33, 0xb9, 0xee, 0x4b, 0xde, 0xcc, 0xfc, 0xe4, 0xaf, 0x84, 0x0b, 
                    0x86, 0x3f, 0xc0, 0x55, 0x43, 0x36, 0xf6, 0x68, 0xe1, 0x36, 0x17, 0x6a, 0x8e, 0x99, 0xd1, 0xff, 0xa5, 0x40, 
                    0xa7, 0x34, 0xb7, 0xc0, 0xd0, 0x63, 0x39, 0x35, 0x39, 0x75, 0x6e, 0xf2, 0xba, 0x76, 0xc8, 0x93, 0x02, 0xe9, 
                    0xa9, 0x4b, 0x6c, 0x17, 0xce, 0x0c, 0x02, 0xd9, 0xbd, 0x81, 0xfb, 0x9f, 0xb7, 0x68, 0xd4, 0x06, 0x65, 0xb3, 
                    0x82, 0x3d, 0x77, 0x53, 0xf8, 0x8e, 0x79, 0x03, 0xad, 0x0a, 0x31, 0x07, 0x75, 0x2a, 0x43, 0xd8, 0x55, 0x97,
                    0x72, 0xc4, 0x29, 0x0e, 0xf7, 0xc4, 0x5d, 0x4e, 0xc8, 0xae, 0x46, 0x84, 0x30, 0xd7, 0xf2, 0x85, 0x5f, 0x18, 
                    0xa1, 0x79, 0xbb, 0xe7, 0x5e, 0x70, 0x8b, 0x07, 0xe1, 0x86, 0x93, 0xc3, 0xb9, 0x8f, 0xdc, 0x61, 0x71, 0x25, 
                    0x2a, 0xaf, 0xdf, 0xed, 0x25, 0x50, 0x52, 0x68, 0x8b, 0x92, 0xdc, 0xe5, 0xd6, 0xb5, 0xe3, 0xda, 0x7d, 0xd0, 
                    0x87, 0x6c, 0x84, 0x21, 0x31, 0xae, 0x82, 0xf5, 0xfb, 0xb9, 0xab, 0xc8, 0x89, 0x17, 0x3d, 0xe1, 0x4c, 0xe5, 
                    0x38, 0x0e, 0xf6, 0xbd, 0x2b, 0xbd, 0x96, 0x81, 0x14, 0xeb, 0xd5, 0xdb, 0x3d, 0x20, 0xa7, 0x7e, 0x59, 0xd3, 
                    0xe2, 0xf8, 0x58, 0xf9, 0x5b, 0xb8, 0x48, 0xcd, 0xfe, 0x5c, 0x4f, 0x16, 0x29, 0xfe, 0x1e, 0x55, 0x23, 0xaf, 
                    0xc8, 0x11, 0xb0, 0x8d, 0xea, 0x7c, 0x93, 0x90, 0x17, 0x2f, 0xfd, 0xac, 0xa2, 0x09, 0x47, 0x46, 0x3f, 0xf0,
                    0xe9, 0xb0, 0xb7, 0xff, 0x28, 0x4d, 0x68, 0x32, 0xd6, 0x67, 0x5e, 0x1e, 0x69, 0xa3, 0x93, 0xb8, 0xf5, 0x9d, 
                    0x8b, 0x2f, 0x0b, 0xd2, 0x52, 0x43, 0xa6, 0x6f, 0x32, 0x57, 0x65, 0x4d, 0x32, 0x81, 0xdf, 0x38, 0x53, 0x85, 
                    0x5d, 0x7e, 0x5d, 0x66, 0x29, 0xea, 0xb8, 0xdd, 0xe4, 0x95, 0xb5, 0xcd, 0xb5, 0x56, 0x12, 0x42, 0xcd, 0xc4, 
                    0x4e, 0xc6, 0x25, 0x38, 0x44, 0x50, 0x6d, 0xec, 0xce, 0x00, 0x55, 0x18, 0xfe, 0xe9, 0x49, 0x64, 0xd4, 0x4e, 
                    0xca, 0x97, 0x9c, 0xb4, 0x5b, 0xc0, 0x73, 0xa8, 0xab, 0xb8, 0x47, 0xc2 };

                // The next line results in:
                // AsnContentException: The encoded length exceeds the maximum supported by this library (Int32.MaxValue).
                rsa.ImportRSAPublicKey(modulus, out bytesRead);

                //var rsaParams = new RSAParameters();
                //rsaParams.Modulus = modulus;
                //rsaParams.Exponent = new byte[] { 0x01, 0x00, 0x01 };

                // If the 4 lines above are used instead, the following throws:
                // System.Security.Cryptography.CryptographicException: 'Cryptography_OAEPDecoding'
                // if fOAEP == true.
                // if fOAEP == false then it throws:
                // Internal.Cryptography.CryptoThrowHelper.WindowsCryptographicException: 'Key does not exist.'
                var fOAEP = false;
                decryptedData = rsa.Decrypt(signature, fOAEP);

rsa.ImportRSAPublicKey(modulus, out bytesRead); is failing with:

System.Security.Cryptography.CryptographicException: 'ASN1 corrupted data.'
AsnContentException: The encoded length exceeds the maximum supported by this library (Int32.MaxValue).

From the comments in the above code, you can see I'm trying another method, however this fails as well.

Is this the correct way to manually decrypt a signature using RSA?

Do I need to specify the exponent somewhere? Or is it assumed to be 65537?

  • $\begingroup$ The coding part is off-topic here. ASN.1 JavaScript decoder may help your process. $\endgroup$
    – kelalaka
    Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 10:46
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You can't decrypt a signature. It's not encrypted. What are you actually trying to do? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 10:55
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, as Gilles pointed out you are using the wrong terminology. You need to say decoding the DER and verification the signature. $\endgroup$
    – kelalaka
    Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 11:38
  • $\begingroup$ As an old Stack Overflow user, you should know that cross-posting is not welcomed. Now we had two answers on the both sides. stackoverflow.com/q/70997010/1820553 $\endgroup$
    – kelalaka
    Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 11:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Gilles'SO-stopbeingevil' the signature is the encrypted hash of the certificate. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 13:29

1 Answer 1


From the docs, the public key should be in the following form:

The bytes of a PKCS#1 RSAPublicKey structure in the ASN.1-BER encoding.

That means it should be a sequence (0x30) of two integers (0x02), where each tag is followed by the length of the data encoded. Here are some examples of the structure: https://crypto.stackexchange.com/a/98513/49392 What is the SSL private key file format?

Note that a public key consists of both the modulus and the exponent (65537). At the moment, you're just trying to use the modulus alone. That is why you need to use the BER structure above to provide both pieces of data.


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