Encyclopedia of Cryptography and Security

2011 Edition
| Editors: Henk C. A. van Tilborg, Sushil Jajodia

Master Key

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5906-5_86

Related Concepts


A master key is a cryptographic key used only for the protection of other keys.


A master key is a cryptographic key (typically a symmetric key (Symmetric Cryptosystem)) whose sole purpose is to protect other keys, such as session keys, while those keys are in storage, in use, or in transit. This protection may take one of two forms: the master key may be used to encrypt the other keys, or the master key may be used to generate the other keys (e.g., if the master key is \({k}_{0}\)

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Menezes A, van Oorschot P, Vanstone S (1997) Handbook of applied cryptography. CRC, Boca Raton, FLzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Schneier B (1996) Applied cryptography: protocols, algorithms, and source code in C, 2nd edn. Wiley, New YorkzbMATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Information Technology and Engineering (SITE)University of OttawaOttawaCanada