Design of cryptographic primitives (algorithms), like block ciphers, stream ciphers, random-number generators, hash functions, MACs, key exchanges, public-key encryption or signature schemes. Also tag with the relevant type of primitive. If you ask about a known existing algorithm, also tag with its ...

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How is the MD2 hash function S-table constructed from Pi?

For fun, I'm learning more about cryptography and hashing. I'm implementing the MD2 hash function following RFC 1319 (http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1319). I'll preface by saying I know there are ...
18
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5answers
3k views

What is the lowest level of mathematics required in order to understand how encryption algorithms work?

What mathematical fields of knowledge would be required in order to get a good understanding of encryption algorithms? Is it basic algebra, or is there a "higher education" mathematical field ...
17
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2answers
6k views

Why use an Initialization Vector (IV)?

Why use an Initialization Vector (IV)? How are IV's used? What are the advantages/disadvantages of using an IV? Why use an IV instead of a longer key in which some section of the key is pubic? What ...
16
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9answers
2k views

Why not the one-time pad with pseudo-number generator

I am very new to cryptography (so be kind), but I have a question that may seem silly. If the one-time pad is the perfect cipher and impossible to crack, why would the following algorithm not be one ...
13
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2answers
4k views

Differences Between White-Box Cryptography and Code Obfuscation

I have been reading the question "What is a white-box implementation of a cryptographic algorithm?" and it led to this short article / Q&A which states in question 2: Q2: What is the ...
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Can one generalize the Diffie-Hellman key exchange to three or more parties?

Does anyone know how to do a Diffie-Hellman or ECDH key exchange with more than two parties? I know how to do a key exchange between 2 parties, but I need to be able to have a key agreement between 3 ...
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2answers
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How can I calculate the SHA-256 “midstate”?

Recently I've been trying to implement some Bitcoin-related code, and I've stumbled upon a weird concept, a SHA-256 "midstate". Some explanation is given here. The general concept is that Bitcoin ...
10
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3answers
629 views

What is the best way to put a backdoor in an encryption system?

How can you put a backdoor into an encryption algorithm? Are there any techniques that can be used to reduce the time it takes to break a key? I am looking for practical examples encryption schemes ...
9
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7answers
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Where can I begin to study the math behind modern cryptography?

Why do I start the word buffers in MD5 with those values specifically? What in the world motivated the decision to use the numbers 1, 1, 2, 3 for the mix columns stagein AES? And what kind of ...
9
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3answers
577 views

Counter mode secure hash algorithm

Ever since the SHA-3 competition, I've been wondering if it is possible to create a hash algorithm that is easier to parallelize. The current algorithms all seem to require building a tree of hashes. ...
9
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1answer
383 views

How to choose constants in a cryptographic function?

A number of cryptographic functions have constants built in. For example, the constants used in RFC 2104 for HMAC, or the constants used in s-boxes (e.g., DES and AES), or MD5. In general, how are ...
9
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2answers
346 views

How exactly does key whitening manage to increase security?

Wikipedia states that key whitening increases security: In cryptography, key whitening is a technique intended to increase the security of an iterated block cipher. It consists of steps that ...
8
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7answers
676 views

Turning a cipher into a hashing function

This is theoretical question. I'd like to know if it's possible (and what are eventually the consequences), not that I'm going to do it in one of my projects. ;) The first hashing functions created ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Why do block ciphers need a non-linear component (like an S-box)?

Why is there a requirement of "Non-Linear functions" as a component of many popular block ciphers (e.g. the S-box in DES or 3DES)? How does it make the cipher more secure? The only intuition I have ...
8
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5answers
348 views

Choose a random number that is different from a bunch of other secret numbers

I'm looking for an algorithm where n participants each have a different secret number between $[0..x]$ (and where $x$ is known) and where the participants then select randomly another, non-secret, ...
8
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1answer
147 views

Proof of Communication

I desire an algorithm in which Alice sends a block of data $X$ to Bob, with proof that the data was both sent and received. Ideally this would take the form of a public-key signature of the block $X$ ...
8
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1answer
311 views

Understanding how SHA-512 achieves its design goals

The Wikipedia entry on SHA-2 contains a usable pseudocode recipe. In the hope of some deeper understanding, I implemented SHA-256 and SHA-512 from it. This was helpful, but I still don't think I have ...
7
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3answers
637 views

Is this encryption algorithm build from MD5 secure?

I'm being asked to use an encryption algorithm in my code, and besides the fact that I'm sure there will be implementation faults that lead to vulnerabilities, I also have concerns about the algorithm ...
7
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5answers
3k views

Are there any simple and yet secure encryption algorithms?

Being very new to C++ and cryptography, I finally managed to implement a version of the Vinegere algorithm. I would like to try something a bit more complicated. I have looked at AES and DES and ...
7
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1answer
639 views

What's wrong with MARS?

Why did the MARS cipher receive such a high number of negative votes in the AES competition? As I understand only MARS and Serpent implement measures to counter future cryptoanalytic attacks, so it ...
7
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1answer
921 views

Why Addition Mod 32?

I was looking at the algorithm for Twofish, and I noticed that in some places a XOR is used, but in others, they use "addition modulo-32." What makes modulo-32 special? Why not always use XOR? Why not ...
7
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1answer
163 views

Are more complex algorithms easier to break with timing attacks?

Is there a point where increasing the complexity of an encryption algorithm will make it easier to break using a timing attack? Or is there no connection here at all?
7
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1answer
181 views

How many degrees of freedom up my sleeve?

Now that we know how the MD2 S-box was constructed, I find myself wondering how good a nothing up my sleeve number it really is. It is derived from $\pi$, but not in a very obvious way, even in ...
7
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4answers
173 views

Is deniable error-correction possible?

This question came up as I tried to answer an earlier question I asked: cryptographic data structure wanted: sparse array without membership test. I still have not resolved that question to my ...
7
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1answer
133 views

Implementation and Testing of SRP-6a

I have been wracking my brain trying to develop a functioning implementation of SRP-6a in Python to use with a 3rd-party API that claims to use SRP-6a with $N=$ 2048-bit prime and generator of $2$. ...
6
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3answers
697 views

Can I safely replace XOR with ADD in a stream cipher?

In a stream cipher, the bytes of the plaintext are usually XORed with the keystream to produce the ciphertext. Would there be anything wrong with adding the bytes instead (with overflow), if adding ...
6
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2answers
439 views

Is it possible to create an easy to use encryption/decryption method that will never be comprimised?

In the comments of the question "Why programming languages don't provide simple encryption methods?" the following statement was made: A well thought out, tested and understood standard that has ...
6
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3answers
272 views

Can nesting different ciphers with different keys ever decrease security?

Very related to this question but not addressed there. Does the following construction risk introducing any vulnerabilities that render it less secure than using either of its individual components ...
6
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2answers
1k views

New PRG from old

Is the following statement true: If $G: \{0,1\}^k \to \{0,1\}^n$ is a PRG, then so is $G':\{0,1\}^{k+l} \to \{0,1\}^{n+l}$ defined by $$G'(x||x')=G(x)||x'$$ where $x \in \{0,1\}^k$ and $x' \in ...
6
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3answers
235 views

Is there a string that's hash is equal to itself?

I was wondering if there's any string that has a hash equal to itself, so that – when using any (none specific) hash function – the hash would be equal to that string? so that: ...
6
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2answers
7k views

Difference between “Signature Algorithm” and “Signature Hash Algorithm” in X.509

What's the difference between the "Signature Algorithm" and the "Signature Hash Algorithm" found in an X.509 certificate? Why does it need a "Signature Hash Algorithm"? Edit: I'm creating the ...
6
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1answer
420 views

Is the first version of the Message-Digest algorithm by Ronald Rivest publically available?

Diving into the history and evolution of the Message-Digest algorithm by Ronald Rivest, I have been able to track back papers from MD6 down to MD2. Yet, somehow I can not seem to be able to find any ...
6
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1answer
116 views

Abstracting primitives and modes of operation

I am developing a symmetric crypto library and have reached a roadblock. Looking at block ciphers, it is quite obvious that all block ciphers are trivially abstractable as a simple primitive ...
5
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1answer
462 views

Where could I submit my algorithm?

I have come up with an encryption algorithm and I am looking for a place to possibly publish it. Any ideas?
5
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1answer
975 views

How do I calculate CRC32 mathematically?

I want to calcuate the CRC32 algorithm using polynomials directly but I don't know how. I found the generating polynomial listed here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclic_redundancy_check. This ...
5
votes
2answers
472 views

Are there any secure commutative ciphers?

This answer lists two commutative cipher algorithms - Pohlig-Hellman and SRA. However, they don't appear to be too secure. My question is, here there any commutative ciphers out there that are secure ...
5
votes
3answers
311 views

Designing a key expander out of ciphers

Is it possible to compose or combine $n$ ciphers ($cipher_0, cipher_1, ... cipher_n$) in such a way that they generate $n$ ciphertexts from the same key, $k$, and that recovering the key, $k$, from ...
5
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1answer
208 views

Questions on rank-attacks in Multivariate Cryptography

While reading this article on rank attacks on STS (a public-key scheme based on Multivariate Quadratic (MQ) equations), I stumbled upon some claims that I've also seen in other presentations on ...
5
votes
1answer
77 views

Length-preserving all-or-nothing transform

Is there any known way to construct a length-preserving all-or-nothing transform? In other words, a secure all-or-nothing transform where the length of the output is the same as the length of the ...
4
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5answers
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Are there hash algorithms with variable length output?

I understand that for example MD5 produces a 128 bit hash value from a given text of variable size. My question is if there is a hash-like algorithm that will produce a hash value where one can ...
4
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6answers
423 views

A block cipher with independent keys for each round

I want to modify a standard block cipher in the following way. I replace each round key by a key picked at random. Is this block cipher as secure as the original one ? Thank you. EDIT Some missing ...
4
votes
3answers
497 views

Why is “mod(n)” so central to most aspects of cryptography?

When I first started learning cryptography, I had my first a-ha moment when I fully appreciated the value of a One Time Pad and XOR and all the functions that attempt to emulate that OTP's randomness ...
4
votes
3answers
232 views

Can insecure algorithms be combined to form a secure algorithm?

This is hypothetical as I can't think of any reason to do this, but out of curiosity... Could I, for example, take the MD5 digest of a message and concatenate it with the SHA-1 digest (not quite ...
4
votes
2answers
266 views

What (precisely) is a block cipher?

If I follow the wikipedia or crypto.stackexchange definition, any simple XOR encryption where the key is as long as the plain text should qualify as a secure block cipher. Now I thought what would ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I create a fixed length output in my hash function?

I've been recently looking into the creation (and theory) of hash functions, however I just can't figure out how to turn a message into something of a fixed length. At the moment, my theory of a hash ...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

Dancing confusion with Daniel J. Bernstein's stream ciphers

I know of Salsa20 which won the ESTREAM competition. This is dated of 25 Dec 2007. There is also the ChaCha20 stream cipher (cr.yp.to/chacha.html). This claims to increase the amount of diffusion ...
4
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3answers
207 views

Cryptographic data structure: sparse array without membership test

I would like a data structure supporting two operations: $\mathsf{set}(k,v)$ and $\mathsf{get}(k)$, with the following properties: $k$ can be any number between $0$ and something impressively large, ...
4
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2answers
93 views

Advantages of making streamcipher stream depend on plaintext?

Most descriptions that explain how streamciphers work (like the one on Wikipedia), tend to describe a model that boils down to a simple “$ciphertext = plaintext \oplus stream$”, where the stream is ...
4
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2answers
281 views

Is there any research about cryptography on nondeterministic Turing machines?

I know it's a highly theoretical topic, but I was wondering if there was any research out there about what cryptography would be like assuming that we had access to nondeterministic Turing machines. ...
4
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2answers
256 views

Advantages of combined PRNGs

This question is related to this one in intention, and this one in scope. Would I be guarding myself against future attacks on a single PRNG if I combine two (or more) together? I am thinking of ...