You can then encrypt a message with the recipients and your own public key. You will also learn about public-key and symmetric-key systems, as well as hash algorithms. How Public Key Cryptography Works. How does public-key encryption work? Public key encryption is a method of encrypting data with two different keys — a public key that is available to everyone and a private one that is known only to the recipient. The production of a working Public Key Encryption system is attributed to Rivest–Shamir–Adleman (RSA) or Clifford Cocks. SSL is an example of asymmetric encryption , and uses some very cool math tricks to make it easy to use your key pair together for security purposes but practically impossible for anyone else to break your encryption knowing the public key alone. Of course, the public key can be shared publicly while the private key must be kept secret. Everyone is assigned two keys: a public one that you can share with everyone and a private one, which you keep to yourself. One of the two keys is a public key, which anyone can use to encrypt a message for the owner of that key. How keys are distributed is vital to any encryption system. In the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), both types of encryption are used. Asymmetric (public key) encryption is used first to establish the connection, which is then replaced with symmetric encryption (called the session) for the duration.. Here’s how it works in more detail: Like above, Cocks discovered first, but he didn't publish it. Public key ( asymmetric ) encryption work For asymmetric encryption to deliver confidentiality, integrity, authenticity and non-repudiability, users and systems need to be certain that a public key is authentic, that it belongs to the person or entity claimed and that it has not been tampered with or replaced by a malicious third party. Public key cryptography is an asymmetric scheme that uses a pair of keys for encryption: a public key, which encrypts data, and a corresponding private, or secret key for decryption. It does this through some unique properties of prime numbers. The private key is known only to you, while the public key can be published to be seen by anyone who wants to communicate securely with you. Find out how to do it with the Diffie–Hellman key exchange and using public-key cryptography. To do it using Public key cryptography, each party needs to have a public key and a private key. It’s useful to see a diagram to understand how PGP encryption works. if you encrypt a message with my public key, you can't decrypt it anymore. Using symmetric encryption requires, though, that a sender share the encryption key with the recipient in plain text, and this would be insecure. How does PGP work? What does it mean for the key to be 256 bits? Symmetric key encryption To explain this concept, we’ll use the postal service metaphor described in Wikipedia to understand how symmetric key algorithms works. @xLogiiC Correct. Is there a language for writing encryption programs or is any language fine? Authentication using SSH key pairs begins after the symmetric encryption has been established as described in the last section. It does so by creating two different cryptographic keys (hence the name asymmetric encryption) -- a private key and a public key. Asymmetric key algorithms use different keys for encryption and decryption—this is usually referred to as Public-key Cryptography. Let’s say Alice and Bob want to exchange messages in a secure way. By using a two-key encryption system, PKI secures sensitive electronic information as it is passed back and forth between two parties, and provides each party with a key to encrypt and decrypt the digital data. 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