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Security Glossary of Terms

Public and Private Keys

Public and Private Keys are electronic tokens which verify the identities of users behind two computers using Public-Key Infrastructure (PKI). The computer responsible for delivering the data has a private key it uses to identify itself. The public key is available to anyone and is employed by the requesting computer to initiate a request for data. Both keys are scrambled to provide an encrypted hash which can be checked against the keys for validity as true or false. When the encrypted data is received by the requesting computer the hash is checked against the public and private keys. If they match, the data is decrypted for the user.

Last updated Thursday, 05-Apr-2012 12:14:31 MDT

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