Advances in Cryptology – CRYPTO 2012

Volume 7417 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 626-642

Public Keys

  • Arjen K. LenstraAffiliated withEPFL IC LACAL
  • , James P. HughesAffiliated withSelf
  • , Maxime AugierAffiliated withEPFL IC LACAL
  • , Joppe W. BosAffiliated withEPFL IC LACAL
  • , Thorsten KleinjungAffiliated withEPFL IC LACAL
  • , Christophe WachterAffiliated withEPFL IC LACAL


We performed a sanity check of public keys collected on the web and found that the vast majority works as intended. Our main goal was to test the validity of the assumption that different random choices are made each time keys are generated. We found that this is not always the case, resulting in public keys that offer no security. Our conclusion is that generating secure public keys in the real world is challenging. We did not study usage of public keys.


Sanity check public keys (batch) factoring discrete logarithm Euclidean algorithm seeding random number generators