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Revision Date Username Comment
704 Nov 2013 - 08:56norqu036? 
628 Oct 2013 - 19:57ThomasMisa 
503 Oct 2013 - 14:40norqu036? 
406 May 2013 - 10:31NicLewis 
327 Mar 2013 - 09:18NicLewis 
221 Mar 2013 - 12:37NicLewis 
121 Mar 2013 - 12:28NicLewis 

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You are here: UMWiki>CBI_ComputerSecurity Web>Mechanisms>MechanismsRSA (revision 4)



Named after the algorithm developers, Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Aldeman, the RSA algorithm was first described in 1977, subsequently earning its discoverers the Turing Award.(1) Intrigued by the theoretical concepts of the Diffie-Hellman "New Directions in Cryptography" paper of 1976, Ronald Rivest sought to develop a practical algorithm for a public key system. Working with Adi Shamir and Leonard Aldeman, Rivest's algorithm encrypted data using the product of two large prime numbers as the decryption key. Decryption required knowing the two prime numbers, which were essentially impossible to guess, considering their large size. Rivest, Shamir, and Aldeman then formed the RSA Data Security company in order to commercialize the RSA encryption technology, eventually licensing the algorithm to companies like Lotus, Microsoft, and Apple. RSA Data Security, with Jim Bidzos leading the firm, spawned the annual RSA Data Security Conference in the late 1980s, becoming a premier gathering for experts in computer security.(2)

Additional Resources:

  • lock RSApaper.pdf: 1977 paper, "A Method for Obtaining Digital Signatures and Public-Key Cryptosystems," introducing the RSA algorithm (Log-in required).


1 : Karl de Leeuw and Jan Bergstra, eds., The History of Information Security: A Comprehensive Handbook (New York: Elsevier, 2007), 613.

2 : Ibid, 614.

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Topic revision: r4 - 06 May 2013 - 10:31:05 - NicLewis
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