# Tales from the Cryptography: The Terrifying Math Explained - Part 1

Most public key cryptosystems are mathematically hard and hard on the eyes. If you visit some of the Wikipedia pages for these cryptosystems, your eyes may start to get sore from looking at the intense mathematical equations. In this multipart series of blog posts, I will go over some popular public key cryptosystems and present the hard mathematical problems behind them at an accessible level.

First up is RSA. RSA is named after the designers of the algorithm: Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir and Leonard Adleman. First published in 1977, the trio’s system is still widely in use to this day. RSA consists of three phases: key generation, encryption, and decryption. In the key generation phase, the public and private keys are created. The encryption phase takes in a plaintext message, uses the recipient’s public key, and returns a cipher text. The decryption phase takes in a cipher text, uses the