Home > Store

Introduction to the Public Key Infrastructure for the Internet

Register your product to gain access to bonus material or receive a coupon.

Introduction to the Public Key Infrastructure for the Internet


  • This product currently is not for sale.
Not for Sale


  • Copyright 2002
  • Dimensions: K
  • Pages: 272
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-060927-7
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-060927-4

The practical, results-focused PKI primer for every security developer and IT manager.

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and related standards give you powerful new ways to solve your toughest e-commerce and Internet security problems. Now there's a comprehensive PKI primer for both technical and nontechnical professionals. IBM security expert Messaoud Benantar delivers the in-depth guidance developers and managers need to make PKI work, including coverage of important related topics such as ASN.1 and PKCS. From start to finish, Benantar focuses on getting results—and on answering your most critical questions about PKI deployment, operation, and administration. Coverage includes:

  • The fundamentals of secret and public key cryptography
  • The challenge of key distribution, and the central role of public key assurance systems
  • Using PKIX to build secure Internet systems
  • Understanding the PKIX notational language, data encoding scheme, and topology
  • Implementing effective PKI trust models
  • Using LDAP as an Internet repository for PKIX
  • Certificate validation, credentials management, and key rollover issues

Benantar's detailed real-world scenarios give developers, administrators, and decision-makers unprecedented insight for deploying effective PKI/PKIX systems. If you plan to use these breakthrough Internet security technologies, there's no better resource.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Secret Key Cryptography

Table of Contents


1. Secret Key Cryptography.

Introduction. Background. Basic XOR. About the Key Space. Common Secret Key Algorithms. Security Services of Secret Key Encryption. Secret Key Cryptography and Nonrepudiation. Origin Authenticity. Data Integrity.

2.Secret Key Distribution and Management.

Introduction. Sharing Secret Keys: Topology Effect.Central Secret Key Management. The Needham-Schroeder Scheme. A Note about Secret Key Distribution.

3. Public Key Cryptography.

Foundations of Public Key Cryptography. The Fate of Secret Key Cryptography. Public Key Cryptography Services. Trusting a Public Key.

4. Public Key Establishment-the PKIX Way.

Introduction. Background. PKIX Certificates and Certificate Revocation Lists. Elements of PKIX. ASN.1: The PKIX Definition Language. The PKIX Information Mode.

5. X.509 Certificate and CRL Extensions.

Introduction. X.509 v3 Certificate Extensions. About the X.509 Certificate Extensions. X.509 v2 CRL Extensions. Reason Code. Invalidity Date. Certificate Issuer. Hold Instruction Code.

6. Trust Establishment in PKIX.

Introduction. Hierarchical Trust. Cross-Certification. Hybrid Model. Web Trust Model. Certificate Validation. Validation Input. Validation Procedure.

7. PKIX Topology and Operational Protocols.

Introduction. The Infrastructure Topology. Overview of the PKI Management Operations. Certificate Management Protocol (CMP).

8. PKI Certificate and CRL Repositories.

Introduction. FTP. HTTP. Electronic Mail. DNS. LDAP.

9. PKI Credentials Management.

Introduction. PKCS #8. PKCS #12. PKCS #11. PKCS #15.

10. PKI-Based Security Applications.

Introduction. PKCS #7. Content Parameterization. Encrypted Data. Enveloped Data. Signed and Enveloped Data. Digested Data. PKCS #7 Security Services. CMS. CMC. Further Protections of CMS Messages. S/MIME v3. SSL/TLS.





Modern secret key cryptography draws strength from the secrecy of keys. This characteristic is not arrived at by choice, rather it is an imposed one. Consider the case of shedding secrecy around a particular cryptographic algorithm. First, the algorithm becomes unavailable for public scrutiny. In the absence of technical scrutiny, the algorithm may hide its weaknesses and thus serves the undesirable principle of security by obscurity. Further yet, such a hiding of the strength or the weakness in a cryptographic algorithm cannot go on for an indefinite period of time. Sooner or later someone will arrive at reverse-engineering the processing logic embedded in a software or a hardware cryptographic module. The outcome will indeed signal the end of that particular algorithm.

Secret keys require distribution to communicating partners and the more often a secret key is distributed the more likely it is to become compromised. Distribution of long-term secret keys goes against the core premise of secret key cryptography, otherwise known as symmetric key cryptography. Transport of secret keys requires the establishment of secure channels. Human transport can be a solution but is certainly one that does not lend itself to large scale distributions. Online distributions require highly secure cryptographic channels, and thus the bootstrapping nature of the secret key distribution problem arises.

In order to alleviate the extent of the secret key distribution problem, the concept of central key distribution (KDC) entity emerged as a somewhat of a natural progression. This entity represents the sole agent that is trusted by every other entity. It plays the role of both the keeper of secret long-term keys and the distributor of short-term session keys intended for use between two communicating entities. This latter role is dubbed as the introduction of entities to one another and is accomplished using cryptographic channels established between each respective entity and the third party agent based upon a shared long term secret key. Albeit this approach has evolved into the most elegant third party key distribution center, it lacks the flexibility of today's Internet ubiquitous computing paradigm.

Now we're back to the future, to exploiting the concept of public key cryptography that had emerged long before concepts such as the KDC existed. In the basic yet far-reaching concept of public key cryptography, encryption keys come in related pairs, private and public. The private key remains concealed by the key owner, while the public key is freely disseminated. The premise is that it is computationally infeasible to compute the private key by knowing the public key. Data encrypted by the public key can only be decrypted by the private key. With such an appealing characteristic, public key cryptography finally seemed to hold the promise of solving the secret key distribution problem. It certainly did so with the elegant key exchange scheme such as Diffie-Hellman's. Public key Public key cryptography, however, is intended to achieve not only key exchange protocols but to render various security services such as digital signatures, non-repudiation and data enciphering using the well known public key algorithms such as RSA.

The premise of freely disseminating a public key comes with a cost; that of trust. Security services that are based on public key cryptography rely on the single foundation of trusting that a particular public key material is indeed bound to its legitimate user. A promising solution for public key trust-establishment lies in the digital certification provided by X.509 which is adopted as an Internet standard. This book is intended to be a single source covering the major aspects of the Internet public key certification.


Submit Errata

More Information

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020