I was wondering if in SSL/TLS negotiation process, there is another role for the RSA permanent private key in ECDHE-RSA-AES scheme besides signing the DH public key for authenticating the identity of the server in front of the client??

I know that in prior versions of SSL/TLS, the RSA permanent private key was also used for decrypting some initial information.

  • One important tip regarding key use: Use the key only for one operation. Not multiple. Using it for multiple operations increases the possibility of key discovery
    – Limit
    Oct 26, 2016 at 20:49
  • @Limit using the same RSA keypair for both RSA key exchange (key encipherment) and signing a DH key exchange (digital signatures) is secure. Well, as long as you accept PKCS#1 v1.5 as secure. TLS 1.3 switched to RSASSA-PSS.
    – Z.T.
    Oct 26, 2016 at 20:59
  • @Z.T. it may be secure but I will still not recommend it. Plus, security.stackexchange.com/questions/1806/…
    – Limit
    Oct 26, 2016 at 21:18

1 Answer 1


No, in TLS_DHE_RSA_* and TLS_ECDHE_RSA_* cipher suites, RSA is used by the server only to generate digital signatures and by the client only to verify digital signatures.

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