#43: Public-key cryptography: math invention that revolutionized the Internet
by Tomasz Nurkiewicz
Disclaimer: this podcast is not about cryptocurrencies. I despise them. Instead, we’ll talk about asymmetric encryption. One of the most wonderful math discoveries of the 20th century. Before 1970s all cryptographic algorithms were symmetric. This means that the same key must be used to encrypt and decrypt data. That sounds rather obvious. If you encrypt a file with a password, you must use the same password to decrypt it. But there’s one problem. Imagine Bob wants to e-mail an encrypted file to Alice. Sadly, Eve can read all communication between Alice and Bob. File was encrypted, so no worries? Well, it’s not only encrypted, but also worthless. Alice doesn’t have a password. And how is Bob suppose to provide that password if Eve can spy all communication channels?
- If the German’s changed the Enigma settings every day at midnight, how did the recipients of the encrypted messages know about the settings?
- How did the Germans make sure their Enigma machines were all configured the same?
- Public key infrastructure
- Enigma code book
- Cryptography: Crash Course Computer Science #33 on YouTube
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