Question 174. What is RSAREF?

RSAREF is a free, portable software developer's library of popular encryption and authentication algorithms. The name "RSAREF" means "RSA reference." RSA Laboratories intends RSAREF to serve as a free, educational reference implementation of modern public- and secret-key cryptography.

The current version of RSAREF is 2.0, which supports the following algorithms:

Version 2.0 offers three other improvements over RSAREF 1.0: the ability to process messages of arbitrary length in parts; the option to process either binary data, or data encoded in printable ASCII; and support for encrypting messages for more than one recipient.

RSAREF is written in the C programming language as a library that can be called from an application program. A simple Internet Privacy-Enhanced Mail (PEM) implementation can be built directly on top of RSAREF, together with message parsing and formatting routines and certificate-management routines. RSAREF is distributed with a demonstration program that shows how one might build such an implementation.

For information on downloading RSAREF over the Internet, send e-mail to <>.