Purpose and Scope of IEEE P1363a

P1363a: Standard Specifications for Public-Key Cryptography: Additional Techinques


Specifications of common public-key cryptographic techniques supplemental to those considered in IEEE P1363, including mathematical primitives for secret value (key) derivation, public-key encryption, digital signatures, and identification, and cryptographic schemes based on those primitives. Specifications of related cryptographic parameters, public keys and private keys.


The transition from paper to electronic media brings with it the need for electronic privacy and authenticity. Public-key cryptography offers fundamental technology addressing this need. Many alternative public-key techniques have been proposed, each with its own benefits. However, there has been no single, comprehensive reference defining a full range of common public-key techniques covering key agreement, public-key encryption, digital signatures, and identification from several families, such as discrete logarithms, integer factorization, and elliptic curves.

It is not the purpose of this project to mandate any particular set of public-key techniques, or particular attributes of public-key techniques such as key sizes. Rather, the purpose is to provide a reference for specifications of a variety of techniques from which applications may select.

Work is in progress in the IEEE P1363 project on specifying many of the basic techniques in a standard way. Additional techniques remain to be specified, which could eventually be added to the IEEE P1363 work. However, many of those additional techniques require further development before being standardized, whereas the basic techinques in IEEE P1363 are relatively more established. To facilitate the completion of the work on the basic techniques while also providing a forum for discussing additional techniques, the IEEE P1363 working group seeks to have separate projects for the two efforts, which would result in separate, companion standards for some period of time. It is the working group's intention that the standards would be merged during future revisions.

PAR as approved by IEEE Standards Board in December 1997.
This page was last modified on October 7, 2004.
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