Tag: How Digital Signatures Work

How Digital Signature Works | Algorithm

Digital Signatures-


  • The signature on a document is the proof to the receiver that the document is coming from the correct entity.
  • A digital signature guarantees the authenticity of an electronic document in digital communication.


How Digital Signature Works?


  • The sender of the document digitally signs the document.
  • The receiver of the document verifies the signature.


The steps involved in the digital signature algorithm are-


At Sender Side-


At sender side,

  • Using a hash function, sender converts the message to be sent into a digested form.
  • There are various hash functions that may be used like SHA-1, MD5 etc.
  • The message in digested form is called as message digest.
  • Sender encrypts the message digest using his private key.
  • The encrypted message digest is called as signed digest or signature of the sender.
  • Sender sends the signed digest along with the original message to the receiver.



At Receiver Side-


At receiver side,

  • Receiver receives the original message and the signed digest.
  • Using a hash function, receiver converts the original message into a message digest.
  • Also, receiver decrypts the received signed digest using the sender’s public key.
  • On decryption, receiver obtains the message digest.
  • Now, receiver compares both the message digests.
  • If they are same, then it is proved that the document is coming from the correct entity.



Also Read- RSA Algorithm


Important Points-




After digitally signing the document, sender sends the following two things to the receiver-

  • Signed digest or signature
  • Original message




  • Sender uses his private key to digitally sign the document.
  • Receiver uses the sender’s public key to verify the signature.




  • Digital signature of a person varies from document to document.
  • This ensures authenticity of the document.




In digital signature,

  • There is one to one relationship between a message and a signature.
  • Each message has its own signature.




Digital signature verifies-

  • Authenticity
  • Integrity
  • Non-repudiation


Also Read- Diffie Hellman Key Exchange Algorithm






Anarkali digitally signs a message and sends it to Salim. Verification of the signature by Salim requires-

  1. Anarkali’s public key
  2. Salim’s public key
  3. Salim’s private key
  4. Anarkali’s private key




Clearly, Option (A) is correct.




Consider that B wants to send a message m that is digitally signed to A. Let the pair of private and public keys for A and B be denoted by Kx and Kx+ for x = A, B respectively. Let Kx(m) represent the operation of encrypting m with a key Kx and H(m) represent the message digest. Which one of the following indicates the correct way of sending the message m along with the digital signature to A?

  1. {m, KB+(H(m))}
  2. {m, KB(H(m))}
  3. {m, KA(H(m))}
  4. {m, KA+(H(m))}




Clearly, Option (B) is correct.


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