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You are here: UMWiki>CBI_ComputerSecurity Web>Mechanisms>MechanismsDiffieHellmanKeyExchange (25 Feb 2014, norqu036)

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Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange

The Diffie-Hellman key exchange is the basis for public key cryptography, a method that allows two parties to exchange encrypted information securely over a public channel. The method is named after developers Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman who, along with third collaborator Ralph Merkle, conceived of a way of ensuring both privacy and authentication by using a "trap door" one-way mathematical function.(1)

Diffie, Hellman, and Merkle, while working together at Stanford University in the 1975 and 1976, developed the concept of the trap door one-way function - a function that could be solved more easily in one direction than in the other. This allows one party to split their encryption key into two parts, one public and one private. A sender could then encrypt a message using their own private key and the recipient's public key, making is so that the recipient would be the only one who could decrypt the message. The details were published in Diffie and Hellman's groundbreaking 1976 article, "New Directions in Cryptography," published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Information Theory.(2)

Jeffrey Yost from the Charles Babbage Institute conducted an oral history interview with Martin Hellman (OH 375) on November 22, 2004.


1 , 2 : Martin Hellman, OH 375. Oral history interview by Jeffrey R. Yost, 22 November 2004, Palo Alto, California. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Topic revision: r7 - 25 Feb 2014 - 10:09:50 - norqu036
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