public key

In cryptography, a public key is a value provided by some designated authority as an encryption key that, combined with a private key derived from the public key, can be used to effectively encrypt messages and digital signatures.

In cryptography, a public key is a value provided by some designated authority as an encryption key that, combined with a private key derived from the public key, can be used to effectively encrypt messages and digital signatures.

The use of combined public and private keys is known as asymmetric cryptography. A system for using public keys is called a public key infrastructure (PKI).

This was first published in October 2006

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