Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm Explained

Abstract: There are two fundamentally different authentication schemes: symmetric systems, which rely on secret keys shared by host and authenticator, and asymmetric systems, such as the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA), which rely on a private key in the authenticator and a public key that the host uses to verify the authenticator. In open systems where third-party entities need to be authenticated, the management and protection of the secret keys can be a problem. Here is where ECDSA offers the required flexibility. This article introduces the ECDSA concept, its mathematical background, and shows how the method can be successfully deployed in practice.