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A pair of cryptographic keys used to encrypt, decrypt, or digitally sign messages exchanged over the Internet. The private key is known only to the owner of the key pair. The public key is distributed to those parties with whom the key’s owner wants to exchange encrypted or digitally signed messages.
The Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) technology uses public-private cryptography to sign and validate query responses from authoritative name servers in the root zone. DNSSEC does not, however, encrypt the responses themselves.