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I What resources are there for RSA for the layman?

  1. Apr 2, 2017 #1
    I am looking for any resources which explain the RSA algorithm for the layman. I have found a number of sources but they all tend to end with a morass of technical details. This is for a first year undergraduate course in number theory who have covered some basic work on modular arithmetic.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 2, 2017 #2
    I started with "A Concrete Introduction into Higher Algebra" by Lindsay Childs, Ch. 14. The chapter has a simple example. It' a little tough but try to muscle-through it. Good cooks try again.
     
  4. Apr 2, 2017 #3

    QuantumQuest

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    The steps of the algorithm in rough lines are

    1 Generate two (large) prime numbers ##p_1, p_2## // steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 executed from server in advance
    2 Take their product ##k = p_1p_2##
    3 Let function ##f## be such that ##m = f(k) = (p_1 - 1)(p_2 - 1)##
    4 Choose a prime number ##p_3## that is co-prime to ##m## with ##GCD(m, p_3) = 1## where ##1 \lt p_3 \lt m## // ##k , p_3## is the public key
    5 Choose a number ##n## such that ##p_3n \pmod m = 1## //server keeps ##n, m## as its secret key
    6 Encrypt message M: ##E = M^{p_3} \pmod k## // Browser encrypts the message using this formula and creates the encrypted E message
    7 Decrypt message E: ##M = E^n \pmod k## // Server uses this math to decrypt E and effectively recover M

    If you put some (preferably small in order to verify) numbers you can have a more practical sense about the algorithm.
     
  5. Apr 2, 2017 #4
    I know of no better introduction than this excellent article to be found in an old Quantum magazine: Fermat’s Little Theorem (proving its value to mathematicians), V. Senderov and A. Spivak, May/Jun00, p14 (Feature)
    http://static.nsta.org/pdfs/QuantumV10N5.pdf
     
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