PKCS 11 is a Public-Key Cryptography Standard which defines a platform-independent API to cryptographic tokens, such as Hardware Security Module (HSM) and Smart Cards, and names the API itself "Cryptoki" (from "Cryptographic Token Interface" and pronounced as "crypto-key" - but "PKCS #11" is often used to refer to the API as well as the standard that defines it).

The API defines most commonly used cryptographic object types (RSA keys, X.509 Certificates, DES/Triple DES keys, etc.) and all the functions needed to use, create/generate, modify and delete those objects.

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