How Does Identity-Based Encryption Work?

10.06.2020 Read
How Does Identity-Based Encryption Work?

With the help of breath taking technological advancements, the majority of our communications are conducted online. That is why encryption techniques are more important than ever. Keep reading to learn more about encryption techniques and identity based encryption.

We use electronic communications very often in this day and age. We send files, videos, pictures for business or communication purposes. We use online services like social networks and messenger apps for keeping in touch. We send millions of e-mails, download tons of data. As a result, we put ourselves in a very vulnerable position. Hackers, cyber criminals or attackers can do us harm if they get a hold of our electronic communications. That is why we use multiple cryptography solutions to ensure the safety and integrity of our communications.

Being one of the most popular encryption methods, Identity Based Encryption offers a thorough protection for both individuals and organizations. In this article, we will take a closer look at what identity based encryption is and why it is necessary for your safety.

What is identity based encryption?

Identity based encryption is a scheme of a public key ecosystem. In this ecosystem, any string is considered as a valid public key. Which means, information such as e-mail addresses or even dates can be public keys. This way, if the sender of an e-mail has access to the public parametres of a system, they can encrypt the message using a text value like the e-mail address of the intended receiver of the message.

Identity based encryption is often considered as a significant primordial version of ID-based cryptography. Moreover, it is also a sub-type of public-key encryption.

ID-based encryption was first introduced by Adi Shamir in the early 80s. He first offered identity-based signatures as a method of encryption yet he was not able to offer a solution for the identity-based encryption problem. It was only in 2001 that a unique pairing of Boneh-Franklin scheme and Cocks’s encryption scheme was able to solve the issue posed by the identity based encryption.

How does the identity based encryption work?

Identity based encryption has a rather very straightforward working principle. It allows both the sender and receiver to generate a public key from a text value based on a known identity. For the identity based encryption to work, a trusted third party is needed. This third party is also called as the Private Key Generator and as its name suggests, it creates private keys.

Firstly, the Private Key Generator generates a master publish key and keeps a corresponding master private key (also known as the master key). Then, sender and receivers can compute a public key that corresponds to the identity through bringing the identity value and the master key together. In order to get a hold of the corresponding private key, the authorized party needs to contact the Private Key Generator.

This system allows the parties to encrypt their messages or verify each other’s signatures without needing a distribution of keys prior to sending the intended message.

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