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Author Merkle, Ralph C.
Source ACM Digital Library
Content type Text
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
File Format PDF
Language English
Subject Keyword Computer network security ♦ Public key cryptosystem ♦ Passive eavesdropping ♦ Cryptography ♦ Security ♦ Cryptology ♦ Communications security ♦ Key distribution ♦ Wiretap
Abstract According to traditional conceptions of cryptographic security, it is necessary to transmit a key, by secret means, before encrypted massages can be sent securely. This paper shows that it is possible to select a key over open communications channels in such a fashion that communications security can be maintained. A method is described which forces any enemy to expend an amount of work which increases as the square of the work required of the two communicants to select the key. The method provides a logically new kind of protection against the passive eavesdropper. It suggests that further research on this topic will be highly rewarding, both in a theoretical and a practical sense.
Description Affiliation: Univ. of California, Berkeley (Merkle, Ralph C.)
Age Range 18 to 22 years ♦ above 22 year
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2005-08-01
Publisher Place New York
Journal Communications of the ACM (CACM)
Volume Number 21
Issue Number 4
Page Count 6
Starting Page 294
Ending Page 299


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Source: ACM Digital Library