月曜日, 12月 11, 2006

snippet from the code book by simon singh

Alice must create a public-key, which she would then publish so that Bob (and everyone else) can use it to encrypt messages to her. Because the public-key is a one way function, it must be virtually impossible for anybody to reverse it and decrypt Alice's messages.

However, Alice needs to decrypt the messages being sent to her. She must therefore have a private-key, some special piece of information which allows her to reverse the effect of the public-key. Therefore Alice (and Alice alone) has the power to decrypt any message sent to her.

I'm on page 274, and I would recommend this book for anyone that is curious about crypto history.
I'm also halfway through Bill Clinton's autobiography, not sure if I want to spend my precious free time finishing that book, although it does give some unique insights to the wheels of politics.

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