IV Reunión Española de Criptología (IV REC), pp. 27-33, Septiembre, 1996.
Nowadays cryptography is present in nearly every aspect of our everyday life, in particular public-key cryptosystems. Some of them have a mathematical foundation of number theory working with big integer numbers. Factoring these numbers is more complex and time-consuming than generating and testing prime numbers; this is the main reason for the strenght of some public key cryptosystems. This paper presents three different probabilistic methods for testing big prime numbers in a reasonable amount of time. A comparison of their efficiency to test prime numbers is also introduced.