# RSA Encryption and Decryption

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The RSA algorithm for public-key encryption was originated by Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman at MIT in 1977. Several similar methods had been proposed by earlier workers. The algorithm is based on the fact that it is far more difficult to factor a product of two primes than it is to multiply the two primes. Even the most powerful modern supercomputers would require more time than the age of the universe to factor a 400-digit number. (This might change if quantum computers ever become operational.)

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Contributed by: S. M. Blinder (March 2011)

Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

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