Private Key

A secret key that can encrypt, decrypt or sign some data. The functionality of a private key is specific to each cryptographic system. The private key is used to perform sensitive operations. In symmetric cryptographic systems there is only one key, the private key (e.g. password for encryption/decryption). In asymmetric cryptographic systems there is a complementary public key to handle the inverse operation (e.g. sign vs. verify). (see public key).

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