Assume $n=pq$, with $p,q$ primes, $e=65537$, and length of $n$, $|n|=N=1024$ bits = 309 decimal digits. $p,q$ are unknown.

I am trying to understand the information sourced from Wikipedia page on RSA better. This is not a homework question.

I assume from Wikipedia that $\phi(N)$ equals the order of the multiplicative group $Z_N^*$.

Now by definition of Euler's totient function $\phi(N)$ is also equal to $1024(1-\frac{1}{2})=512$ since $2$ is the only prime which divides $1024$.

Also $\lambda(n)=LCM(p-1,q-1)$.

Wikipedia page states $\lambda(n) | \phi(n)$, and $\phi(n) = (p-1)(q-1)$


  1. This would mean that $512=\phi(n) \ge \lambda(n) > e = 65537$ which can't be right. Am I misunderstanding something? - Corrected assumption & now resolved

  2. What information can we deduce about $n$, $\phi(n)$ or $\lambda(n)$ - eg can we obtain a lower bound on $\phi(n)$? Eg $\phi(n)=(p-1)(q-1) \ge \lambda(n) > e = 65537$ ?

    • I'm looking for useful info / ways how to reduce numbers to consider for $\phi(n)$ and $\lambda(n)$.
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Your remark that $\phi(n) = 512$ is not true. $n$ is a number with about $1024$ bits. In fact $\phi(n) = (p-1)(q-1)$, so yes it is true that $\phi(n) \ge \lambda(n)$. Since $p$ and $q$ are numbers with roughly $512$ bits, they are considerably larger than $e$. $\endgroup$ – Derek Holt Apr 22 at 19:40
  • $\begingroup$ You used $\phi(N)$ in stead of $\phi(n)$. The number $n$ has 309 decimal digits. It's pretty big. On the other hand $N$ is the number of (binary) digits of $n$. $N$ is just a rough estimate for $n$. There are MANY numbers with $N$ digits. $\endgroup$ – Kolja Apr 22 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ Ok thank you both. I have updated the information above. Now I am looking for information for the revised second question. $\endgroup$ – unseen_rider Apr 22 at 20:02
  • $\begingroup$ Any thoughts about the answer I posted two days ago, unseen? $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Apr 25 at 5:33
  • $\begingroup$ @gerrymyerson yes helpful. I am planning to use results in your answer for a brute force algorithm for RSA. Any other results on $n$, $\phi(n)$, or $\lambda(n)$ that I could use? $\endgroup$ – unseen_rider Apr 25 at 21:58

$\phi(n)=(p-1)(q-1)=pq-(p+q)+1=n+1-(p+q)$ so a lower bound on $\phi(n)$ comes from an upper bound on $p+q$ over all pairs with $pq=n$. This occurs when $p=2$ and $q=n/2$, so $$\phi(n)\ge(n-2)/2$$ for $n$ of the form $pq$ with $p,q$ prime.

For $\lambda(n)$, the extreme case occurs when $p-1=2(q-1)$.


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