The Evolution of Public Key Encryption

Victor Shoup

In this talk, I will discuss some of the history and recent results in the area of public-key encryption. The notion of public-key cryptography in general, and of public-key encryption in particular, was proposed in the late 1970's by Diffie and Hellman. Since then, the use of public-key encryption has come to play an increasingly important role in secure communication over insecure networks, such as the Internet, including applications to such areas as electronic commerce.

The mathematical underpinnings of this topic have evolved quite a bit since its inception, and I will discuss the mathematical framework currently used to analyze public-key encryption schemes, and its relevance to the practice of security. I will also discuss the strengths and weaknesses of several public-key encryption schemes designed by myself and others.

Gates 4B (opposite 490), 5/22/01, 4:30 PM