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XKMS question from Mikalai's note

Mark Heron

Joined: Aug 19, 2010
Posts: 20

I was going through XKMS content from Mikalai's online study guide.( I came across this statement.

PKI refers to a set of security services for authentication, encryption and digital certificate management under which documents are encrypted with a private key and decrypted using a publicly available key accessible to the recipient via a network.

Shouldn't it be reverse like "...encrypted with a public key and decrypted using private key..."?

Ivan Krizsan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 04, 2006
Posts: 2198
As far as I understand, you can encrypt data using either the public or private key, as long as you use the other, that is the private or public key, to decrypt the data.
The most common case is encryption using the public key, which is freely distributed. The encrypted data can then only be decrypted by the party that holds the private key, which is supposed to be a well-kept secret.
With signing of data only one party is supposed to be able to produce a signature of some data while anyone is supposed to verify from where the signature came. Thus, the private key is used to sign the data and the public key can then be used to verify the signature.
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Mark Heron

Joined: Aug 19, 2010
Posts: 20

Thanks Ivan for your explanation !!
Dan Drillich
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Joined: Jul 09, 2001
Posts: 1183
Public-key cryptography describes what Ivan just said -
The two main branches of public key cryptography are:

Public key encryption: ...

Digital signatures: a message signed with a sender's private key can be verified by anyone who has access to the sender's public key, thereby proving that the sender had access to the private key (and therefore is likely to be the person associated with the public key used), and the part of the message that has not been tampered with. On the question of authenticity, see also message digest.


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subject: XKMS question from Mikalai's note
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