A set of cryptographic keys used for public key cryptography. For each user, a CSP usually maintains two public/private key pairs: an exchange key pair and a digital signature key pair. Both key pairs are maintained from session to session. See exchange key pair and signature key pair.
A set of two numbers used for encryption and decryption, where one is called the private key and the other is called the public key. Public key s are typically made widely available, while private keys are held by their respective owners. Though mathematically related, it is generally viewed as computationally infeasible to derive the private key from the public key. Public and private keys are used only with asymmetric encryption algorithms, also called public-key encryption algorithms, or public-key cryptosystems. Data encrypted with either a public key or a private key from a key pair can be decrypted with its associated key from the key-pair. However, data encrypted with a public key cannot be decrypted with the same public key, and data encrypted with a private key cannot be decrypted with the same private key.