Fundamentals of Computer Security

pp 171-218

Public-Key Cryptosystems

  • Josef PieprzykAffiliated withDepartment of Computing, Macquarie University
  • , Thomas HardjonoAffiliated withVeriSign INC.
  • , Jennifer SeberryAffiliated withSchool of Information Technology and Computer Science, University of Wollongong

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


In 1976 Diffie and Hellman [152] described the framework for public-key cryptography. It was not until 1978 that three designs for public-key cryptosystems were published. Rivest, Shamir, and Adleman [431] showed how the discrete logarithm and factorization problems could be used to construct a public-key cryptosystem. This is the well-known RSA cryptosystem. Merkle and Hellman [339] used the knapsack problem in their construction. McEliece [329] built a system based on error correcting codes. Later in 1985 ElGamal [163] designed a public-key cryptosystem using the discrete logarithm problem. Koblitz [283] and Miller [346] suggested the use of elliptic curves in the design of public-key cryptosystems. Nowadays, there are quite a few more suggestions as to how to design public-key cryptosystems, but none so popular as the RSA and ElGamal cryptosystems.