RSA Laboratories is the research center of RSA, The Security Division of EMC.
The RSA algorithm is named after Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir and Len Adleman, who invented it in 1977 [RIVE78]. The basic technique was first discovered in 1973 by Clifford Cocks [COCK73] of CESG (part of the British GCHQ) but this was a secret until 1997. The patent taken out by RSA Labs has expired.
The RSA algorithm can be used for both public key encryption and digital signatures. Its security is based on the difficulty of factoring large integers.