Elliptic Curve Cryptography vs Rivest Shamir Adleman

“The certificate and the private key must both be PEM files. The private key must have been created using the RSA method and it may be password protected.” (©2024 AVM Computersysteme Vertriebs GmbH, Berlin Mitte. The “AVM” in the company name is the acronym for “Audio Visual marketing” and refers to the company’s beginnings as BTX service.)

ECC provides an equivalent level of encryption strength as RSA algorithm with a shorter key length. As a result, the speed and security offered by an ECC certificate are much higher than an RSA certificate for Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).

Small ECC keys have the equivalent strength of larger RSA keys because of the algorithm used to generate them. For example, a 256-bit ECC key is equivalent to a 3072-bit RSA key and a 384-bit ECC key is equivalent to a 7680-bit RSA key. These strong, small keys allow encryption to stay ahead of computing power without having to simply create longer keys.

Defined in RFC 1422 (part of a series from 1421 through 1424) from 1994 PEM is a container format that may include just the public certificate (such as with Apache installs, and CA certificate files /etc/ssl/certs), or may include an entire certificate chain including public key, private key, and root certificates. Confusingly, it may also encode a CSR as the PKCS10 format can be translated into PEM. The name is from Privacy Enhanced Mail (PEM), a failed method for secure email but the container format it used lives on, and is a base64 translation of the x509 ASN.1 keys.


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