If the message is encrypted symmetrically...

David Shaw dshaw at jabberwocky.com
Wed Jun 20 20:39:02 CEST 2007

On Wed, Jun 20, 2007 at 01:22:44PM -0500, Andrew Berg wrote:
> Joseph Oreste Bruni wrote:
> > By definition of symmetric encryption, you must use the same key to
> >  decrypt that was used to encrypt. I'm not sure what you're really
> > asking.
> >
> > When you say "public key is used to generate symmetric key" you
> > lost me. Symmetric keys are typically just random numbers pulled
> > from /dev/random or similar.
> The public key generates a key that symmetrically encrypts the
> message, which can be deciphered by its corresponding private key.

No.  The symmetric key is not generated by the public key.  As Joseph
said, the symmetric key is random.

The symmetric key is used to encrypt the data, and then the public key
is used to encrypt the symmetric key.


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