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Private and Public Key Encryption

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What is a key? What are the differences between private key and public key encryption? Provide examples of each.

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The expert examines the differences between private key and public key encryption. Examples of each are provided.

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Public Key Cryptography and Private Key Cryptography
Cryptography involves methods use to provide information security for example maintaining confidentiality of data, entity authentication and origin of data authentication. This involves encryption and decryption of data. This may be in form of key cryptography, hash functions or digital watermarking. (Chaddoud, 2005)

Encryption changes the form of the information. It uses a predefined algorithm either known or hidden to convert the given meaningful text into another text that may or may not be meaningful. This is usually referred to as conversion of plaintext into cipher text. Encrypted data is meant to be read only by the party having a specific key. (Northwestern University, 2009)

Decryption is to find the meaning of the given cipher text, i.e. is to find the hidden data in the given data. This is also done by using a key. . (University of Rhode Island, 2009)

Key: - A key is the strength of any cryptography algorithm. Key decides the functional output of a cryptographic algorithm or cipher. Key plays an important role in both encryption and decryption. A key defines the transformation between the cipher text and plaintext. There are generally two forms of keys: -

• Encryption key: - encryption key is used to convert given message or plaintext into the encrypted form or plaintext. This transformation is based on a predefined mathematical function such as XOR, modular ...

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