# very basic quextions: public key encryption

**From:** walterbyrd (*walterbyrd_at_iname.com*)

**Date:** 08/04/04

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Date: 4 Aug 2004 08:22:12 -0700

As I understand it:

1) Sender encrypts plaintext, sends it to me along with public key.

2) I decrypt with my private key.

Q: What exactly is my private key? How do I get it? Where is it

stored? Do I only use it once? Do I have some special program that

generates it? Do I have to be using a specific software application

that is in sync with the senders software application?

Does the sender send everybody the same public key? If not, what makes

it "public"? If so, how can that be secure?

Although there seems to be thousands of sources that explain the basic

process, in about the same level of depth that I use in steps 1) and

2) above; I can't find any source that answers these sufficient

detail. Without understand simple details like "what exactly is a

private key?" I can't really get my mind around the process. Any help

is appreciated. Thank you.

**Next message:**Madhu Ramachandran: "Re: SSH"**Previous message:**Jacob Nevins: "Re: openssh + putty interoperability"**Next in thread:**Richard E. Silverman: "Re: very basic quextions: public key encryption"**Reply:**Richard E. Silverman: "Re: very basic quextions: public key encryption"**Reply:**Darren Dunham: "Re: very basic quextions: public key encryption"**Reply:**Mark Rafn: "Re: very basic quextions: public key encryption"**Reply:**Anne & Lynn Wheeler: "Re: very basic quextions: public key encryption"**Reply:**walterbyrd: "Re: very basic quextions: public key encryption"**Messages sorted by:**[ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ] [ attachment ]