Objective: Gain a comprehensive understanding of asymmetric encryption and its applications.

Introduction to Asymmetric Encryption

Key Concepts

  1. Public and Private Keys:
    • Public Key: Used for encryption or verifying a signature. Can be shared openly.
    • Private Key: Used for decryption or signing data. Must be kept secure and private.
  2. Encryption and Decryption Process:
    • Encryption: Data encrypted with the recipient’s public key can only be decrypted by their private key.
    • Decryption: Data encrypted with one’s own private key can be decrypted by the corresponding public key (used in digital signatures).

Asymmetric Encryption Algorithms

  1. RSA (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman):
    • Widely used for secure data transmission.
    • Based on the computational difficulty of factoring large numbers.
    • Key Sizes: Commonly 2048 bits or higher for strong security.
  2. ECC (Elliptic Curve Cryptography):
    • Offers similar levels of security to RSA but with smaller key sizes.
    • Increasingly popular in mobile and wireless devices due to its efficiency.

Hands-on Exercise: Key Generation and Message Encryption/Decryption


  1. Generate an RSA key pair (public and private keys).
  2. Choose a plaintext message for encryption.
  3. Encrypt the message using the RSA public key.
  4. Decrypt the encrypted message using the RSA private key.
  5. Verify that the decrypted message matches the original plaintext.

Practical Application

Further Reading and Resources