Date of Graduation

Spring 2018

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Research Sponsor

Jeffrey M. Riedl

First Reader

James Cossey

Second Reader

Stefan Forcey


This paper intends to present an overview of the RSA cryptosystem. Cryptosystems are mathematical algorithms that disguise information so that only the people for whom the information is intended can read it. The invention of the RSA cryptosystem in 1977 was a significant event in the history of cryptosystems. We will describe in detail how the RSA cryptosystem works and then illustrate the process with a realistic example using fictional characters. In addition, we will discuss how cryptosystems worked prior to the invention of RSA and the advantage of using RSA over any of the previous cryptosystems. This will help us understand the significance of the invention of the RSA in the world of security. We will also explain how RSA was created and who the inventors are.

The RSA algorithm has become the standard cryptosystem for industrial-strength encryption, especially for data sent over the Internet. At the present time, RSA is one of the most convenient, widely used and strongest cryptosystems available.

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