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Private key

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Definition Edit

A private key is

a cryptographic key, used with a public key cryptographic algorithm, that is uniquely associated with an entity and is not made public. In an asymmetric (public) cryptosystem, the private key is associated with a public key. Depending on the algorithm, the private key may be used to —
1) Compute the corresponding public key,
2) Compute a digital signature that may be verified by the corresponding public key,
3) Decrypt data that was encrypted by the corresponding public key, or
4) Compute a piece of common shared data, together with other information.[1]

Overview Edit

For digital signatures, the private key is uniquely associated with the owner and is not made public. The private key is used to compute a digital signature that may be verified using the corresponding public key.

The integrity of even the most secure digital signature rests on the continuing confidentiality of the private key.

References Edit

  1. NIST Special Publication 800-57.

Source Edit

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