What is 'Digital Signature'? Explain Diffie-Hellman key exchange algorithm.
Subject Computer and Network Security
NU Year Set: 5.(a) Marks: 1+6 Year: 2014

A digital signature is a mathematical technique used to validate the authenticity and integrity of a message, software or digital document. The digital equivalent of a handwritten signature or stamped seal, a digital signature offers far more inherent security, and it is intended to solve the problem of tampering and impersonation in digital communications.

Diffie-Hellman algorithm

The Diffie-Hellman algorithm is being used to establish a shared secret that can be used for secret
communications while exchanging data over a public network using the elliptic curve to generate points and get the secret key using the parameters.

  • For the sake of simplicity and practical implementation of the algorithm, we will consider only 4 variables one prime P and G (a primitive root of P) and two private values a and b.
  • P and G are both publicly available numbers. Users (say Alice and Bob) pick private values a and b and they generate a key and exchange it publicly, the opposite person received the key and from that generates a secret key after which they have the same secret key to encrypt.
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