# rsa encryption

Computing Dictionary

### RSA encryption definition

cryptography, algorithm
A public-key cryptosystem for both encryption and authentication, invented in 1977 by Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman. Its name comes from their initials.
The RSA algorithm works as follows. Take two large prime numbers, p and q, and find their product n = pq; n is called the modulus. Choose a number, e, less than n and relatively prime to (p-1)(q-1), and find its reciprocal mod (p-1)(q-1), and call this d. Thus ed = 1 mod (p-1)(q-1); e and d are called the public and private exponents, respectively. The public key is the pair (n, e); the private key is d. The factors p and q must be kept secret, or destroyed. It is difficult (presumably) to obtain the private key d from the public key (n, e). If one could factor n into p and q, however, then one could obtain the private key d. Thus the entire security of RSA depends on the difficulty of factoring; an easy method for factoring products of large prime numbers would break RSA.
RSA FAQ (http://rsa.com/rsalabs/faq/faq_home.html).
(2004-07-14)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: rsa data security, inc.
Next Definition: rsc
Words Near: rsa encryption
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for rsa encryption
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing rsa encryption
More from Dictionary.com Translator
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.