Dec 11, 2008

Public Key Infrastructure(PKI)

In cryptography, a public key infrastructure (PKI) is an arrangement that binds public keys with respective user identities by means of a certificate authority (CA). The user identity must be unique for each CA. The binding is established through the registration and issuance process, which, depending on the level of assurance the binding has, may be carried out by software at a CA, or under human supervision. The PKI role that assures this binding is called the Registration Authority (RA) . For each user, the user identity, the public key, their binding, validity conditions and other attributes are made unforgeable in public key certificates issued by the CA.

The term trusted third party (TTP) may also be used for certificate authority (CA). The term PKI is sometimes erroneously used to denote public key algorithms, which do not require the use of a CA.
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