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A great guy named Carl Cheo wrote a blog article recently that I thought interesting enough to share with anyone who follows our little company blog.

While his post is not necessarily FileMaker related, he explains some concepts quite well and I thought it was worth passing on.

You can find his post here, and you should check it out.

My favorite item was his description of asymmetric cryptology:

Asymmetric cryptography

Sharing identical keys works fine among 2 people. What if Alice want to exchange stuff with another guy named Carl, and Alice doesn’t want anybody to see their stuff too? Alice can’t use the same lock and key that she shared with Bob, else Bob can unlock the box easily!

Of course Alice can share a completely new and different lock and key with Carl, but what if Alice wants to exchange stuff with 10 different people? She will need to keep and manage 10 different keys!

So Alice come out with a brilliant solution. Now, she only maintains one key (private key). She distribute the same padlocks (public key) to her friends. Anyone can close the padlocks (encrypt), but only she has the key to open (decrypt) them. Now, anyone can send stuff to Alice using the padlock she distributed, and Alice no longer have to manage different keys for different people.

If Alice wants to send something to Carl, she will ask for Carl’s padlock (public key) so that she can use it to lock (encrypt) her stuff and send it to Carl.

The basic principle is: everyone has their own private key to decrypt message, and they will provide senders their own public key for message encryption.

The rest is equally good.

Author Court Bowman

Court Bowman has been working with in the IT field his whole life, working as a network engineer, database developer in Oracle and Progress and as a IT director for several firms. He has been working with FileMaker Pro since version 2 and has been a reoccurring speaker at the FileMaker developer conference. Apart from his expertise in FileMaker Pro he has experience in system architecture and design, data modeling and database architecture. He also has years of experience as a process and workflow consultant and has helped with the design and deployment of hundreds of systems in FileMaker and on the web.

More posts by Court Bowman

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