De facto standards

Various security specifications arising through informal processes become de facto standards. This section mentions one such class of specifications: the PKCS suite.

PKCS specifications

A suite of specifications called The Public-Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS) has parts as listed in Table 15.11. The original PKCS #2 and PKCS #4 have been incorporated into PKCS #1. PKCS #11 is referred to as CRYPTOKI.


PKCS title


RSA encryption standard


Diffie-Hellman key-agreement standard


Password-based encryption standard


Extended-certificate syntax standard


Cryptographic message syntax standard


Private-key information syntax standard


Selected attribute types


Certification request syntax standard


Cryptographic token interface standard

Table 15.11: PKCS specifications.

Ordering and acquiring standards

ISO and ISO/IEC standards may be obtained from (member body) national standards organizations such as ANSI, the British Standards Institution (BSI), and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC). To purchase standards directly from ISO, contact ISO Central Secretariat, Case postale 56, CH-1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland; telephone +41.22.749.01.11.

ANSI X9 standards are published by EDI Support Services Incorporated; to purchase standards, telephone 1-800-334-4912 (from within the USA) or +216-974-7650 (from outside the USA).

FIPS PUBS may be purchased from the National Technical Information Service, U.S. Department of Commerce, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, Virginia 22161 (USA); telephone +703-487-4650, fax +703-321-8547. To obtain copies of specifications of proposed

(draft) FIPS, contact the Standards Processing Coordinator, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Technology Building, Room B-64, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899 (USA); telephone +301-975-2816. Alternatively, consult URL http: //csrc. ncsl.

Internet RFCs and Internet-Drafts are available on-line via anonymous FTP from numerous ftp sites (e.g.,; further information can be obtained by sending an email message to rfc-info@isi .edu with the message body “help: ways.to_get_rfcs”. RFCs are typically under the directory rf с/ as rf cXXXX. txt (e.g. rfcl321.txt), and an RFC index is available as rf c- index. txt. RFCs can also be obtained via electronic mail by sending an email message to This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it whose body includes “Retrieve: RFC” and “Doc-ID: RFCnnnn” on separate lines.

The PKCS suite is published by RSA Laboratories, 100 Marine Parkway, Suite 500, Redwood City, California 94065-1031 (telephone +415-595-7703), and is available by anonymous FTP from rsa. com under the directory pub/pkcs/.

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