RSA Public Key format

encryptionpublic-key-encryptionrsa

Where can i find some documentation on the format of an RSA public key?

An RSA public key formatted by OpenSSH:

ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAABJQAAAQB/nAmOjTmezNUDKYvEeIRf2YnwM9/uUG1d0BYsc8/tRtx+RGi7N2lUbp728MXGwdnL9od4cItzky/zVdLZE2cycOa18xBK9cOWmcKS0A8FYBxEQWJ/q9YVUgZbFKfYGaGQxsER+A0w/fX8ALuk78ktP31K69LcQgxIsl7rNzxsoOQKJ/CIxOGMMxczYTiEoLvQhapFQMs3FL96didKr/QbrfB1WT6s3838SEaXfgZvLef1YB2xmfhbT9OXFE3FXvh2UPBfN+ffE7iiayQf/2XR+8j4N4bW30DiPtOQLGUrH1y5X/rpNZNlWW2+jGIxqZtgWg7lTy3mXy5x836Sj/6L

The same public key formatted for use in Secure Shell (RFC 4716 – The Secure Shell (SSH) Public Key File Format):

---- BEGIN SSH2 PUBLIC KEY ----
AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAABJQAAAQB/nAmOjTmezNUDKYvEeIRf2YnwM9/uUG1d0BYs
c8/tRtx+RGi7N2lUbp728MXGwdnL9od4cItzky/zVdLZE2cycOa18xBK9cOWmcKS
0A8FYBxEQWJ/q9YVUgZbFKfYGaGQxsER+A0w/fX8ALuk78ktP31K69LcQgxIsl7r
NzxsoOQKJ/CIxOGMMxczYTiEoLvQhapFQMs3FL96didKr/QbrfB1WT6s3838SEaX
fgZvLef1YB2xmfhbT9OXFE3FXvh2UPBfN+ffE7iiayQf/2XR+8j4N4bW30DiPtOQ
LGUrH1y5X/rpNZNlWW2+jGIxqZtgWg7lTy3mXy5x836Sj/6L
---- END SSH2 PUBLIC KEY ----

The same public key formatted as an RSA public key (note the five -, and no space):

-----BEGIN RSA PUBLIC KEY-----
MIIBCgKCAQEA+xGZ/wcz9ugFpP07Nspo6U17l0YhFiFpxxU4pTk3Lifz9R3zsIsu
ERwta7+fWIfxOo208ett/jhskiVodSEt3QBGh4XBipyWopKwZ93HHaDVZAALi/2A
+xTBtWdEo7XGUujKDvC2/aZKukfjpOiUI8AhLAfjmlcD/UZ1QPh0mHsglRNCmpCw
mwSXA9VNmhz+PiB+Dml4WWnKW/VHo2ujTXxq7+efMU4H2fny3Se3KYOsFPFGZ1TN
QSYlFuShWrHPtiLmUdPoP6CV2mML1tk+l7DIIqXrQhLUKDACeM5roMx0kLhUWB8P
+0uj1CNlNN4JRZlC7xFfqiMbFRU9Z4N6YwIDAQAB
-----END RSA PUBLIC KEY-----

The hex dump of the base-64 encoded data:

00 00 00 07 73 73 68 2d 72 73 61 00 00 00 01 25 00 00 01 00 7f 9c 09
8e 8d 39 9e cc d5 03 29 8b c4 78 84 5f d9 89 f0 33 df ee 50 6d 5d d0 
16 2c 73 cf ed 46 dc 7e 44 68 bb 37 69 54 6e 9e f6 f0 c5 c6 c1 d9 cb
f6 87 78 70 8b 73 93 2f f3 55 d2 d9 13 67 32 70 e6 b5 f3 10 4a f5 c3 
96 99 c2 92 d0 0f 05 60 1c 44 41 62 7f ab d6 15 52 06 5b 14 a7 d8 19 
a1 90 c6 c1 11 f8 0d 30 fd f5 fc 00 bb a4 ef c9 2d 3f 7d 4a eb d2 dc 
42 0c 48 b2 5e eb 37 3c 6c a0 e4 0a 27 f0 88 c4 e1 8c 33 17 33 61 38 
84 a0 bb d0 85 aa 45 40 cb 37 14 bf 7a 76 27 4a af f4 1b ad f0 75 59 
3e ac df cd fc 48 46 97 7e 06 6f 2d e7 f5 60 1d b1 99 f8 5b 4f d3 97 
14 4d c5 5e f8 76 50 f0 5f 37 e7 df 13 b8 a2 6b 24 1f ff 65 d1 fb c8 
f8 37 86 d6 df 40 e2 3e d3 90 2c 65 2b 1f 5c b9 5f fa e9 35 93 65 59 
6d be 8c 62 31 a9 9b 60 5a 0e e5 4f 2d e6 5f 2e 71 f3 7e 92 8f fe 8b

i've read that there are a couple of formats🕗:

Key data may be encoded in three general ways:

  • Binary DER-encoded format. This is sometimes called ASN.1 BER-encoded
  • PEM or base64 format. This is the same data as the DER-encoded file but it is encoded in base64 with additional header and footer lines
  • XML format.

If it's ASN.1, the hex certainly doesn't look like it.

What's the format of an RSA public key?


See also

Best Solution

You can't just change the delimiters from ---- BEGIN SSH2 PUBLIC KEY ---- to -----BEGIN RSA PUBLIC KEY----- and expect that it will be sufficient to convert from one format to another (which is what you've done in your example).

This article has a good explanation about both formats.

What you get in an RSA PUBLIC KEY is closer to the content of a PUBLIC KEY, but you need to offset the start of your ASN.1 structure to reflect the fact that PUBLIC KEY also has an indicator saying which type of key it is (see RFC 3447). You can see this using openssl asn1parse and -strparse 19, as described in this answer.

EDIT: Following your edit, your can get the details of your RSA PUBLIC KEY structure using grep -v -- ----- | tr -d '\n' | base64 -d | openssl asn1parse -inform DER:

    0:d=0  hl=4 l= 266 cons: SEQUENCE          
    4:d=1  hl=4 l= 257 prim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
  265:d=1  hl=2 l=   3 prim: INTEGER           :010001

To decode the SSH key format, you need to use the data format specification in RFC 4251 too, in conjunction with RFC 4253:

   The "ssh-rsa" key format has the following specific encoding:

      string    "ssh-rsa"
      mpint     e
      mpint     n

For example, at the beginning, you get 00 00 00 07 73 73 68 2d 72 73 61. The first four bytes (00 00 00 07) give you the length. The rest is the string itself: 73=s, 68=h, ... -> 73 73 68 2d 72 73 61=ssh-rsa, followed by the exponent of length 1 (00 00 00 01 25) and the modulus of length 256 (00 00 01 00 7f ...).

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