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I have installed a python implementation of scrypt and noticed it has several functions, both an encrypt and hash function. Yet Wikipedia lists it as being used for PBKDF instead of PBKDF2. Is scrypt a hashing function for PBKDF2 or is it on its own an alternative?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Scrypt is most certainly a password-based-key-derivation-function. So is PBKDF2, although it can be confusing since PBKDF2 is an eponym. To add to the confusion, Scrypt uses PBKDF2 internally (which may be the hashing function you refer to), as well as the Salsa20/8 Core function (which may be the encryption function you refer to). Further reading here.

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PBKDF2 and scrypt are both password based key derivation functions (PBKDF's). scrypt is different in the fact that it has a large internal state. This means that it is hard to create a hardware accelerator for it. This means that an attacker cannot use a hardware implementation to gain advantage over the legitimate user.

For more information, please see the rather extensive Wikipedia page about scrypt.

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