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RE: Encryption question
From: "Marco Araujo" <amon87secfx () hotmail com>
Date: Mon, 01 Mar 2004 18:39:05 -0300

Hi Tony,

I think there's a mistake here. Digital signature is done by applying the sender's private key at the message hash. The private key is known only by the sender. The receiver knows that the message is not a fake one because he (she) has the sender's public key to check. He (she) applies the public key at the message hash to check. It's not possible to make a new private key from the public key.

Hope it helps.

Marco Araujo
Recife/PE - Brasil

From: "Preston, Tony" <Tony.Preston () acs-inc com>
To: security-basics () securityfocus com
Subject: Encryption question
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2004 13:01:29 -0600

Tony Preston
Systems Engineer, AS&T Inc.
Division of L3 Corporation
(609) 485-0205 x 181

I have what is a rather basic question...  I probably am missing something
so I thought I would ask here.

Alice and Bob both have a public and private key.

Alice encrypts her email to Bob using his public key.  Sends the email and
Bob decrypts it using his keys..

Since both Bob and Alice's public keys are known, Why can't I take Alice's
public key and create a key pair using any other private key.  Now, I fake
an electronic signature from Alice using the pair I created and send a bogus
encrypted message to Bob with my "fake" Alice signature.  Bob checks the
signature by using the public key and it is valid. Bob assumes the message
is from Alice...

What prevents me from spoofing someone's electronic signature this way?


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