## Introduction to Public Key Cryptography Standards

PKCS stands for public-key cryptography standard is a model developed by RSA laboratories in early 1990, design to standardize the public key infrastructure. Public Key Cryptography Standard provides a total of 15 standards named as a number like PKCS#1, PKCS#2, PKCS#3, ….. PKCS#15.

### List of PKCS

There is a total of 15 Public Key cryptography standards. Let’s discuss those Public Key cryptography standards one by one.

#### PKCS #1

The main purpose of this standard is the RSA encryption standard. This standard defines the basic rules for RSA Public Key functions, more specifically the digital certificates. This standard also defines the syntax for the RSA private and Public Keys which helps to choose and calculate the key pair used for the RSA algorithm. Along with this, it also defines how digital certificates should be calculated, how the structure of the data should be signed, the format of the digital signature.

#### PKCS #2

The main purpose of this standard is the RSA encryption standard for message digest. This standard defines the calculation for message digest. Now PKCS#2 is merged with PKCS#1. As it merges with standard 1, it does not have an independent existence.

#### PKCS #3

The main purpose of this standard is the Diffie-Hellman key agreement standard. This standard defines the mechanism to implement the Diffie Hellman key agreement protocol.

#### PKCS #4

This Public Key cryptography standard also merged with PKCS#1, so it also does not have an independent existence.

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#### PKCS #5

The main purpose of this standard is password-based encryption. It defines the method for encrypting an octet string using a symmetric key which is derived from the password.

#### PKCS #6

The main purpose of this standard is extended certificate syntax standard. It defines the syntax for extending the attributes of the X.509 digital certificate.

#### PKCS #7

The main purpose of this standard is the cryptographic message syntax standard. It defines the syntax for the data which is the resultant form of cryptographic operations, for example, digital signature and digital envelopes. This standard also provides various formatting options like messages that are only enveloped, only signed, signed.

#### PKCS #8

The main purpose of this standard is the private key information standard. It defines the syntax for private-key information. In other words, we can say that it defines the algorithms and attributes that are being used to generate the private key.

#### PKCS #9

The main purpose of this standard is selected attribute types. It defines the selected attribute types that are used in PKCS#6 extended certificates. For example email address, unstructured address, and name.

#### PKCS #10

The main purpose of this standard is certificate request syntax standard. It defines the syntax yo request the digital certificate. The certificate request contains a Distinguishedname and Public Key.

#### PKCS #11

The main purpose of this standard is the cryptographic token interface standard. This standard is also known for Cryptok. It defines API for single-user user devices that contain information about cryptography such as digital certificates and Public Key. These devices can perform cryptographic functions. For example, smart cards.

#### PKCS #12

The main purpose of this standard is personal information exchange syntax. It defines the syntax for personal identification such as digital certificates, private keys, etc. In words, we can say that this standard allows users to transfer their data from one device to another using the standard mechanism.

#### PKCS #13

The main purpose of this standard is the elliptic curve cryptography standard. This standard is used to deal with a new upcoming cryptographic mechanism called as elliptic curve cryptography.

#### PKCS #14

The main purpose of this standard is the pseudo-random number generation standard. This standard defines the requirements and processes for random number generation. As random number generation is extremely used in cryptography, standardizing their generation becomes so much important.

#### PKCS #15

The main purpose of this standard is cryptographic token information syntax standard. This standard defines the tokes that are used in the cryptographic process so that they can interoperate.

### Conclusion – PKCS

In this article, we have seen what is Public Key cryptographic standard along with its various standards in detail. I hope you will find this article helpful.

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