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Digital Signature Algorithm

The Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA) is a United States Federal Government standard for digital signatures. It was proposed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in August 1991 for use in their Digital Signature Standard (DSS). It was designed at the NSA as part of the Federal Government's attempt to control high security cryptography. Part of that policy included prohibition (with severe criminal penalties) of the export of high quality encryption algorithms. The DSS (Digital Signature Standard) was intended to provide a way to use high security digital signatures across borders in a way which did not allow encryption. Those signatures required high security asymmetric key encryption algorithms, but the DSA (the algorithm at the heart of the DSS) was intended to allow one use of those algorithms, but not the other. It didn't work. DSA was discovered, shortly after its release, to be capable of encryption (prohibited high quality encryption, at that) but to be so slow when used for encryption as to be even more than usually impractical.

Table of contents
1 Key Generation
2 Signing
3 Verifying

Key Generation

Note that (p, q, g) can be shared between different users of the system, if desired



DSA is similar to
Elgamal discrete logarithm cryptosystem signatures.