# Course 2BA1: Trinity 2006 Section 9: Introduction to Number Theory and Cryptography

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1 Course 2BA1: Trinity 2006 Section 9: Introduction to Number Theory and Cryptography David R. Wilkins Copyright c David R. Wilkins 2006 Contents 9 Introduction to Number Theory and Cryptography Subgroups of the Integers Greatest Common Divisors The Euclidean Algorithm Prime Numbers The Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic The Infinitude of Primes Congruences The Chinese Remainder Theorem A Theorem of Fermat The Mathematics underlying the RSA cryptographic system Introduction to Number Theory and Cryptography 9.1 Subgroups of the Integers A subset S of the set Z of integers is a subgroup of Z if 0 S, x S and x + y S for all x S and y S. It is easy to see that a non-empty subset S of Z is a subgroup of Z if and only if x y S for all x S and y S. Let m be an integer, and let mz = {mn : n Z}. Then mz (the set of integer multiples of m) is a subgroup of Z. 1

2 Then S = mz for some non- Theorem 9.1 Let S be a subgroup of Z. negative integer m. Proof If S = {0} then S = mz with m = 0. Suppose that S {0}. Then S contains a non-zero integer, and therefore S contains a positive integer (since x S for all x S). Let m be the smallest positive integer belonging to S. A positive integer n belonging to S can be written in the form n = qm + r, where q is a positive integer and r is an integer satisfying 0 r < m. Then qm S (because qm = m + m + + m). But then r S, since r = n qm. It follows that r = 0, since m is the smallest positive integer in S. Therefore n = qm, and thus n mz. It follows that S = mz, as required. 9.2 Greatest Common Divisors Definition Let a 1, a 2,..., a r be integers, not all zero. A common divisor of a 1, a 2,..., a r is an integer that divides each of a 1, a 2,..., a r. The greatest common divisor of a 1, a 2,..., a r is the greatest positive integer that divides each of a 1, a 2,..., a r. The greatest common divisor of a 1, a 2,..., a r is denoted by (a 1, a 2,..., a r ). Theorem 9.2 Let a 1, a 2,..., a r be integers, not all zero. Then there exist integers u 1, u 2,..., u r such that (a 1, a 2,..., a r ) = u 1 a 1 + u 2 a u r a r. where (a 1, a 2,..., a r ) is the greatest common divisor of a 1, a 2,..., a r. Proof Let S be the set of all integers that are of the form n 1 a 1 + n 2 a n r a r for some n 1, n 2,..., n r Z. Then S is a subgroup of Z. It follows that S = mz for some non-negative integer m (Theorem 9.1). Then m is a common divisor of a 1, a 2,..., a r, (since a i S for i = 1, 2,..., r). Moreover any common divisor of a 1, a 2,..., a r is a divisor of each element of S and is therefore a divisor of m. It follows that m is the greatest common divisor of a 1, a 2,..., a r. But m S, and therefore there exist integers u 1, u 2,..., u r such that (a 1, a 2,..., a r ) = u 1 a 1 + u 2 a u r a r, as required. 2

3 Definition Let a 1, a 2,..., a r be integers, not all zero. If the greatest common divisor of a 1, a 2,..., a r is 1 then these integers are said to be coprime. If integers a and b are coprime then a is said to be coprime to b. (Thus a is coprime to b if and only if b is coprime to a.) Corollary 9.3 Let a 1, a 2,..., a r be integers, not all zero, Then a 1, a 2,..., a r are coprime if and only if there exist integers u 1, u 2,..., u r such that 1 = u 1 a 1 + u 2 a u r a r. Proof If a 1, a 2,..., a r are coprime then the existence of the required integers u 1, u 2,..., u r follows from Theorem 9.2. On the other hand, if there exist integers u 1, u 2,..., u r with the required property then any common divisor of a 1, a 2,..., a r must be a divisor of 1, and therefore a 1, a 2,..., a r must be coprime. 9.3 The Euclidean Algorithm Let a and b be positive integers with a > b. Let r 0 = a and r 1 = b. If b does not divide a then let r 2 be the remainder on dividing a by b. Then a = q 1 b + r 2, where q 1 and r 2 are positive integers and 0 < r 2 < b. If r 2 does not divide b then let r 3 be the remainder on dividing b by r 2. Then b = q 2 r 2 + r 3, where q 2 and r 3 are positive integers and 0 < r 3 < r 2. If r 3 does not divide r 2 then let r 4 be the remainder on dividing r 2 by r 3. Then r 2 = q 3 r 3 + r 4, where q 3 and r 4 are positive integers and 0 < r 4 < r 3. Continuing in this fashion, we construct positive integers r 0, r 1,..., r n such that r 0 = a, r 1 = b and r i is the remainder on dividing r i 2 by r i 1 for i = 2, 3,..., n. Then r i 2 = q i 1 r i 1 + r i, where q i 1 and r i are positive integers and 0 < r i < r i 1. The algorithm for constructing the positive integers r 0, r 1,..., r n terminates when r n divides r n 1. Then r n 1 = q n r n for some positive integer q n. (The algorithm must clearly terminate in a finite number of steps, since r 0 > r 1 > r 2 > > r n.) We claim that r n is the greatest common divisor of a and b. Any divisor of r n is a divisor of r n 1, because r n 1 = q n r n. Moreover if 2 i n then any common divisor of r i and r i 1 is a divisor of r i 2, because r i 2 = q i 1 r i 1 + r i. If follows that every divisor of r n is a divisor of all the integers r 0, r 1,..., r n. In particular, any divisor of r n is a common divisor of a and b. In particular, r n is itself a common divisor of a and b. If 2 i n then any common divisor of r i 2 and r i 1 is a divisor of r i, because r i = r i 2 q i 1 r i 1. It follows that every common divisor of a and b is a divisor of all the integers r 0, r 1,..., r n. In particular any common divisor 3

4 of a and b is a divisor of r n. It follows that r n is the greatest common divisor of a and b. There exist integers u i and v i such that r i = u i a + v i b for i = 1, 2,..., n. Indeed u i = u i 2 q i 1 u i 1 and v i = v i 2 q i 1 v i 1 for each integer i between 2 and n, where u 0 = 1, v 0 = 0, u 1 = 0 and v 1 = 1. In particular r n = u n a+v n b. The algorithm described above for calculating the greatest common divisor (a, b) of two positive integers a and b is referred to as the Euclidean algorithm. It also enables one to calculate integers u and v such that (a, b) = ua + vb. Example We calculate the greatest common divisor of 425 and 119. Now 425 = = = = It follows that 17 is the greatest common divisor of 425 and 119. Moreover 17 = = 68 (119 68) = = 2 ( ) 119 = Prime Numbers Definition A prime number is an integer p greater than one with the property that 1 and p are the only positive integers that divide p. Let p be a prime number, and let x be an integer. Then the greatest common divisor (p, x) of p and x is a divisor of p, and therefore either (p, x) = p or else (p, x) = 1. It follows that either x is divisible by p or else x is coprime to p. Theorem 9.4 Let p be a prime number, and let x and y be integers. If p divides xy then either p divides x or else p divides y. Proof Suppose that p divides xy but p does not divide x. Then p and x are coprime, and hence there exist integers u and v such that 1 = up + vx (Corollary 9.3). Then y = upy + vxy. It then follows that p divides y, as required. 4

5 Corollary 9.5 Let p be a prime number. If p divides a product of integers then p divides at least one of the factors of the product. Proof Let a 1, a 2,..., a k be integers, where k > 1. Suppose that p divides a 1 a 2 a k. Then either p divides a k or else p divides a 1 a 2 a k 1. The required result therefore follows by induction on the number k of factors in the product. 9.5 The Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic Lemma 9.6 Every integer greater than one is a prime number or factors as a product of prime numbers. Proof Let n be an integer greater than one. Suppose that every integer m satisfying 1 < m < n is a prime number or factors as a product of prime numbers. If n is not a prime number then n = ab for some integers a and b satisfying 1 < a < n and 1 < b < n. Then a and b are prime numbers or products of prime numbers. Thus if n is not itself a prime number then n must be a product of prime numbers. The required result therefore follows by induction on n. An integer greater than one that is not a prime number is said to be a composite number. Let n be an composite number. We say that n factors uniquely as a product of prime numbers if, given prime numbers p 1, p 2,..., p r and q 1, q 2,..., q s such that n = p 1 p 2 p r = q 1 q 2... q s, the number of times a prime number occurs in the list p 1, p 2,..., p r is equal to the number of times it occurs in the list q 1, q 2,..., q s. (Note that this implies that r = s.) Theorem 9.7 (The Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic) Every composite number greater than one factors uniquely as a product of prime numbers. Proof Let n be a composite number greater than one. Suppose that every composite number greater than one and less than n factors uniquely as a product of prime numbers. We show that n then factors uniquely as a product of prime numbers. Suppose therefore that n = p 1 p 2 p r = q 1 q 2..., q s, 5

6 where p 1, p 2,..., p r and q 1, q 2,..., q s are prime numbers, p 1 p 2 p r and q 1 q 2 q s. We must prove that r = s and p i = q i for all integers i between 1 and r. Let p be the smallest prime number that divides n. If a prime number divides a product of integers then it must divide at least one of the factors (Corollary 9.5). It follows that p must divide p i and thus p = p i for some integer i between 1 and r. But then p = p 1, since p 1 is the smallest of the prime numbers p 1, p 2,..., p r. Similarly p = q 1. Therefore p = p 1 = q 1. Let m = n/p. Then m = p 2 p 3 p r = q 2 q 3 q s. But then r = s and p i = q i for all integers i between 2 and r, because every composite number greater than one and less than n factors uniquely as a product of prime numbers. It follows that n factors uniquely as a product of prime numbers. The required result now follows by induction on n. (We have shown that if all composite numbers m satisfying 1 < m < n factor uniquely as a product of prime numbers, then so do all composite numbers m satisfying 1 < m < n + 1.) 9.6 The Infinitude of Primes Theorem 9.8 (Euclid) The number of prime numbers is infinite. Proof Let p 1, p 2,..., p r be prime numbers, let m = p 1 p 2 p r + 1. Now p i does not divide m for i = 1, 2,..., r, since if p i were to divide m then it would divide m p 1 p 2 p r and thus would divide 1. Let p be a prime factor of m. Then p must be distinct from p 1, p 2,..., p r. Thus no finite set {p 1, p 2,..., p r } of prime numbers can include all prime numbers. 9.7 Congruences Let m be a positive integer. Integers x and y are said to be congruent modulo m if x y is divisible by m. If x and y are congruent modulo m then we denote this by writing x y (mod m). The congruence class of an integer x modulo m is the set of all integers that are congruent to x modulo m. Let x, y and z be integers. Then x x (mod m). Also x y (mod m) if and only if y x (mod m). If x y (mod m) and y z (mod m) then x z (mod m). Thus congruence modulo m is an equivalence relation on the set of integers. 6

7 Lemma 9.9 Let m be a positive integer, and let x, x, y and y be integers. Suppose that x x (mod m) and y y (mod m). Then x + y x + y (mod m) and xy x y (mod m). Proof The result follows immediately from the identities (x + y) (x + y ) = (x x ) + (y y ), xy x y = (x x )y + x (y y ). Lemma 9.10 Let x, y and m be integers with m 0. Suppose that m divides xy and that m and x are coprime. Then m divides y. Proof There exist integers a and b such that 1 = am + bx, since m and x are coprime (Corollary 9.3). Then y = amy + bxy, and m divides xy, and therefore m divides y, as required. Lemma 9.11 Let m be a positive integer, and let a, x and y be integers with ax ay (mod m). Suppose that m and a are coprime. Then x y (mod m). Proof If ax ay (mod m) then a(x y) is divisible by m. But m and a are coprime. It therefore follows from Lemma 9.10 that x y is divisible by m, and thus x y (mod m), as required. Lemma 9.12 Let x and m be non-zero integers. Suppose that x is coprime to m. Then there exists an integer y such that xy 1 (mod m). Moreover y is coprime to m. Proof There exist integers y and k such that xy + mk = 1, since x and m are coprime (Corollary 9.3). Then xy 1 (mod m). Moreover any common divisor of y and m must divide xy and therefore must divide 1. Thus y is coprime to m, as required. Lemma 9.13 Let m be a positive integer, and let a and b be integers, where a is coprime to m. Then there exist integers x that satisfy the congruence ax b (mod m). Moreover if x and x are integers such that ax b (mod m) and ax b (mod m) then x x (mod m). Proof There exists an integer c such that ac 1 (mod m), since a is coprime to m (Lemma 9.12). Then ax b (mod m) if and only if x cb (mod m). The result follows. 7

8 Lemma 9.14 Let a 1, a 2,..., a r be integers, and let x be an integer that is coprime to a i for i = 1, 2,..., r. Then x is coprime to the product a 1 a 2 a r of the integers a 1, a 2,..., a r. Proof Let p be a prime number which divides the product a 1 a 2 a r. Then p divides one of the factors a 1, a 2,..., a r (Corollary 9.5). It follows that p cannot divide x, since x and a i are coprime for i = 1, 2,..., r. Thus no prime number is a common divisor of x and the product a 1 a 2 a r. It follows that the greatest common divisor of x and a 1 a 2 a r is 1, since this greatest common divisor cannot have any prime factors. Thus x and a 1 a 2 a r are coprime, as required. Let m be a positive integer. For each integer x, let [x] denote the congruence class of x modulo m. If x, x, y and y are integers and if x x (mod m) and y y (mod m) then xy x y (mod m). It follows that there is a well-defined operation of multiplication defined on congruence classes of integers modulo m, where [x][y] = [xy] for all integers x and y. This operation is commutative and associative, and [x][1] = [x] for all integers x. If x is an integer coprime to m, then it follows from Lemma 9.12 that there exists an integer y coprime to m such that xy 1 (mod m). Then [x][y] = [1]. Therefore the set Z m of congruence classes modulo m of integers coprime to m is an Abelian group (with multiplication of congruence classes defined as above). 9.8 The Chinese Remainder Theorem Let I be a set of integers. The integers belonging to I are said to be pairwise coprime if any two distinct integers belonging to I are coprime. Proposition 9.15 Let m 1, m 2,..., m r be non-zero integers that are pairwise coprime. Let x be an integer that is divisible by m i for i = 1, 2,..., r. Then x is divisible by the product m 1 m 2 m r of the integers m 1, m 2,..., m r. Proof For each integer k between 1 and r let P k be the product of the integers m i with 1 i k. Then P 1 = m 1 and P k = P k 1 m k for k = 2, 3,..., r. Let x be a positive integer that is divisible by m i for i = 1, 2,..., r. We must show that P r divides x. Suppose that P k 1 divides x for some integer k between 2 and r. Let y = x/p k 1. Then m k and P k 1 are coprime (Lemma 9.14) and m k divides P k 1 y. It follows from Lemma 9.10 that m k divides y. But then P k divides x, since P k = P k 1 m k and x = P k 1 y. On successively applying this result with k = 2, 3,..., r we conclude that P r divides x, as required. 8

9 Theorem 9.16 (Chinese Remainder Theorem) Let m 1, m 2,..., m r be pairwise coprime positive integers. Then, given any integers x 1, x 2,..., x r, there exists an integer z such that z x i (mod m i ) for i = 1, 2,..., r. Moreover if z is any integer satisfying z x i (mod m i ) for i = 1, 2,..., r then z z (mod m), where m = m 1 m 2 m r. Proof Let m = m 1 m 2 m r, and let s i = m/m i for i = 1, 2,..., r. Note that s i is the product of the integers m j with j i, and is thus a product of integers coprime to m i. It follows from Lemma 9.14 that m i and s i are coprime for i = 1, 2,..., r. Therefore there exist integers a i and b i such that a i m i + b i s i = 1 for i = 1, 2,..., r (Corollary 9.3). Let u i = b i s i for i = 1, 2,..., r. Then u i 1 (mod m i ), and u i 0 (mod m j ) when j i. Thus if z = x 1 u 1 + x 2 u 2 + x r u r then z x i (mod m i ) for i = 1, 2,..., r. Now let z be an integer with z x i (mod m i ) for i = 1, 2,..., r. Then z z is divisible by m i for i = 1, 2,..., r. It follows from Proposition 9.15 that z z is divisible by the product m of the integers m 1, m 2,..., m r. Then z z (mod m), as required. Example Suppose we seek an integer x such that x 3 (mod 5), x 7 (mod 11) and x 4 (mod 17). (Note that 5, 11 and 17 are prime numbers, and are therefore pairwise coprime.) There should exist such an integer x that is of the form x = 3u 1 + 7u 2 + 4u 3, where u 1 1 (mod 5) u 1 0 (mod 11), u 1 0 (mod 17), u 2 0 (mod 5) u 2 1 (mod 11), u 2 0 (mod 17), u 3 0 (mod 5) u 3 0 (mod 11), u 3 1 (mod 17). Now u 1 should be divisible by both 11 and 17. Moreover 11 and 17 are coprime. It follows that u 1 should be divisible by the product of 11 and 17, which is 187. Now (mod 5), and we are seeking an integer u 1 for which u 1 1 (mod 5). However 3 2 = 6 and 6 1 (mod 5), and = 561. It follows from standard properties of congruences that if we take u 1 = 561, then u 1 satisfies all the required congruences. And one can readily check that this is the case. Similarly u 2 should be a multiple of 85, given that 85 = But 85 8 (mod 11), 7 8 = 56, 56 1 (mod 11), and 7 85 = 595, so if we 9

10 take u 2 = 595 then u 2 should satisfy all the required congruences, and this is the case. The same method shows that u 3 should be a multiple of 55. But 55 4 (mod 17), 13 4 = 52, 52 1 (mod 17) and = 715, and thus if u 3 = 715 then u 3 should satisfy the required congruences, which it does. An integer x satisfying the congruences x 3 (mod 5), x 7 (mod 11) and x 4 (mod 17), is then given by x = = Now the integers y satisfying the required congruences are those that satisfy the congruence y x (mod 935), since 935 = The smallest positive value of y with the required properties is A Theorem of Fermat Theorem 9.17 (Fermat) Let p be a prime number. Then x p x (mod p) for all integers x. Moreover if x is coprime to p then x p 1 1 (mod p). We shall give two proofs of this theorem below. Lemma 9.18 Let p be a prime number. Then the binomial coefficient is divisible by p for all integers k satisfying 0 < k < p. ( ) p k ( ) p p! Proof The binomial coefficient is given by the formula = k (p k)!k!. ( ) p Thus if 0 < k < p then = pm (p 1)!, where m =. Thus if 0 < k < p k k! (p k)! then k! divides pm. Also k! is coprime to p. It follows ( ) that k! divides m p (Lemma 9.10), and therefore the binomial coefficient is a multiple of k p. First Proof of Theorem 9.17 Let p be prime number. Then p ( ) p (x + 1) p = x k. k It then follows from Lemma 9.18 that (x + 1) p x p + 1 (mod p). Thus if f(x) = x p x then f(x + 1) f(x) (mod p) for all integers x, since f(x + 1) f(x) = (x + 1) p x p 1. But f(0) 0 (mod p). It follows by induction on x that f(x) 0 (mod p) for all integers x. Thus x p x (mod p) for all integers x. Moreover if x is coprime to p then it follows from Lemma 9.11 that x p 1 1 (mod p), as required. k=0 10

11 Second Proof of Theorem 9.17 Let x be an integer. If x is divisible by p then x 0 (mod p) and x p 0 (mod p). Suppose that x is coprime to p. If j is an integer satisfying 1 j p 1 then j is coprime to p and hence xj is coprime to p. It follows that there exists a unique integer u j such that 1 u j p 1 and xj u j (mod p). If j and k are integers between 1 and p 1 and if j k then u j u k. It follows that each integer between 1 and p 1 occurs exactly once in the list u 1, u 2,..., u p 1, and therefore u 1 u 2 u p 1 = (p 1)!. Thus if we multiply together the left hand sides and right hand sides of the congruences xj u j (mod p) for j = 1, 2,..., p 1 we obtain the congruence x p 1 (p 1)! (p 1)! (mod p). But then x p 1 1 (mod p) by Lemma 9.11, since (p 1)! is coprime to p. But then x p x (mod p), as required The Mathematics underlying the RSA cryptographic system Theorem 9.19 Let p and q be distinct prime numbers, let m = pq and let s = (p 1)(q 1). Let j and k be positive integers with the property that j k (mod s). Then x j x k (mod m) for all integers x. Proof We may order j and k so that j k. Let x be an integer. Then either x is divisible by p or x is coprime to p. Let us first suppose that x is coprime to p. Then Fermat s Theorem (Theorem 9.17) ensures that x p 1 1 (mod p). But then x r(p 1) 1 (mod p) for all non-negative integers r (for if two integers are congruent modulo p, then so are the rth powers of those integers). In particular x ns 1 (mod p) for all non-negative integers n, where s = (p 1)(q 1). Now j and k are positive integers such that j k and j k (mod s). It follows that there exists some nonnegative integer n such that k = ns + j. But then x k = x ns x j, and therefore x k x j (mod p). We have thus shown that the congruence x j x k (mod p) is satisfied whenever x is coprime to p. This congruence is also satisfied when x is divisible by p, since in that case both x k and x j are divisible by p and so are congruent to zero modulo p. We conclude that x j x k (mod p) for all integers x. On interchanging the roles of the primes p and q we find that x j x k (mod q) for all integers x. Therefore, given any integer x, the integers x k x j is divisible by both p and q. But p and q are distinct prime numbers, and are therefore coprime. It follows that x k x j must be divisible by the product m of p and q (see Proposition 9.15). Therefore every integer x satisfies the congruence x j x k (mod m), as required. The RSA encryption scheme works as follows. In order to establish the necessary public and private keys, one first chooses two distinct large prime 11

12 numbers p and q. Messages to be sent are to be represented by integers n satisfying 0 n < m, where m = pq. Let s = (p 1)(q 1), and let e be any positive integer that is coprime to s. Then there exists a positive integer d such that ed 1 (mod s) (see Lemma 9.12). Indeed there exist integers d and t such that ed st = 1 (Corollary 9.3), and appropriate values for d and t may by found using the Euclidean algorithm. Moreover d and t may be chosen such that d > 1, for if d and t satisfy the equation ed st = 1, and if d = d + ks and t = t + ke for some integer k, then ed st = 1. Thus, once a positive integer e is chosen coprime to s, standard algorithms enable one to calculate a positive integer d such that ed 1 (mod s). Now suppose that p, q, m, s, e and d have been chosen such that p and q are distinct prime numbers, m = pq, s = (p 1)(q 1), e and d are coprime to s and ed 1 (mod s). Let I = {n Z : 0 n < m}. Then for each integer x belonging to the set I, there exists a unique integer E(x) that belongs to I and satisfies the congruence E(x) x e (mod m). Similarly, for each integer y belonging to the set I, there exists a unique integer D(y) that belongs to I and satisfies the congruence D(y) y d (mod m). Now it follows from standard properties of congruences (Lemma 9.9) that if y and z are integers, and if y z (mod m), then y d z d (mod m). It follows that D(E(x)) D(x e ) x ed (mod m) for all integers x belonging to I. But ed 1 (mod s), where s = (p 1)(q 1). It follows from Theorem 9.19 that x ed x (mod m). We conclude therefore that D(E(x)) x (mod m) for all x I. But every congruence class modulo m is represented by a single integer in the set I. It follows that that D(E(x)) = x for all x I. On reversing the roles of the numbers e and d, we find that E(D(y)) = y for all y I. Thus E: I I is an invertible function whose inverse is D: I I. On order to apply the RSA cryptographic method one determines integers p, q, m, s, e and d. The pair (m, e) of integers represents the public key and determines the encryption function E: I I. The pair (m, d) of integers represents the corresponding private key and determines the decryption function D: I I. The messages to be sent are represented as integers belonging to I, or perhaps as strings of such integers. If Alice publishes her public key (m, e), but keeps secret her private key (m, d), then Bob can send messages to Alice, encrypting them using the encryption function E determined by Alice s public key. When Alice receives the message from Bob, she can decrypt it using the decryption function D determined by her private key. Note that if the value of the integer s is known, where s = (p 1)(q 1), then a private key can easily be calculated by means of the Euclidean 12

13 algorithm. Obviously once the values of p and q are known, then so are the values of m and s. Conversely if the values of m and s are known, then p and q can easily be determined, since these prime numbers are the roots of the polynomial x 2 + (s m 1)x + m. Thus knowledge of s corresponds to knowledge of the factorization of the composite number m as a product of prime numbers. There are known algorithms for factoring numbers as products of primes, but one can make sure that the primes p and q are chosen large enough to ensure that massive resources are required in order to factorize their product pq using known algorithms. The security of RSA also rests on the assumption that there is no method of decryption that requires less computational resources than are required for factorizing the product of the prime numbers determining the public key. It remains to discuss whether it is in fact feasable to do the calculations involved in encrypting messages using RSA. Now, in order determine the value of E(x) for any non-negative integer x less than m, one needs to determine the congruence class of x e modulo m. Now e could be a very large number. However, in order to determine the congruence class of x e modulo m, it is not necessary to determine the value of the integer x e itself. For given any non-negative integer x less than m, we can determine a sequence a 0, a 1, a 2, a 3,... of non-negative integers less than m such that a 0 = x and a k+1 a 2 k (mod m) for each non-negative integer k. It then follows easily from standard properties of congruences that a k x 2k for all non-negative integers k. Any positive integer e may then be expressed in the form e = e 0 + 2e e e 3 + where e k has the value 0 or 1 for each non-negative integer k. (These numbers e k are of course the digits in the binary representation of the number e.) Then x e is then congruent to the product of those integers a k for which e k = 1. The execution time required to calculate E(x) by this method is therefore determined by the number of digits in the binary expansion of e, and is therefore bounded above by some constant multiple of log m (assuming that e has been chosen so that it is less than s, and thus less than m). Moreover the execution time required by the Euclidean algorithm, when applied to natural numbers that are less than m is also bounded above by some constant multiple of log m. For in order to apply the Euclidean algorithm, one is required to calculate a decreasing sequence r 0, r 1, r 2, r 3,... such that, for k 2, the non-negative integer r k is the remainder obtained on dividing r k 2 by r k 1 in integer arithmetic, and therefore satisfies the inequality r k 1r 2 k 2. (To see this, consider separately what happens in the two cases when r k 1 1r 2 k 2 and r k 1 > 1r 2 k 2.) 13

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