In this chapter, we introduce public-key encryption. We first consider the motivation behind the concept of public-key cryptography and introduce the hard problems on which popular public-key encryption schemes are based. We then discuss two of the best-known public-key cryptosystems, RSA and ElGamal. For each of these public-key cryptosystems, we discuss how to set up key pairs and perform basic encryption and decryption. We also identify the basis for security for each of these cryptosystems. We then compare RSA, ElGamal, and elliptic-curve variants of ElGamal from the perspectives of performance and security. Finally, we look at how public-key encryption is used in practice, focusing on the popular use of hybrid encryption.
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