Discover the definition of the term Private Key / Public Key presented by Les Assises de la Cybersécurité.


The concept of public key / private key is at the heart of the notion of asymmetric encryption. It is a mathematical revolution that has enabled secure communications between two entities that are unable to exchange securely via a prior encryption key. A user's public key can only be used to encrypt messages intended for them, and can therefore be widely distributed to anyone who may want to communicate with them. Only the corresponding private key (which must therefore be protected) allows access to the content of the messages. By reversing the procedure (encrypt with the private key and decrypt with the public key), it is possible to guarantee that a message actually comes from the owner of the private key in question. This mechanism, combined with a hashing algorithm, is the basis of the electronic signature.

No, just because you can now explain the difference between a private key and a public key does not mean you are allowed to say "encrypt". Still not.

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