# Tagged Questions

Authentication is successfully validating that an entity you are communicating with is actually who they claim to be. The entity typically demonstrates who they are by showing they possess a secret that only they could know.

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### Message authentication codes construction

I was reading the paper $[1]$ and came across the scheme that I show below. While I understand the scheme well, I don't understand why they prepend a 0 to the block containing $r$ and a 1 to all other ...
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### Why does TLS do Authenticate-then-Encrypt instead of Encrypt-then-Authenticate?

Encrypt-then-Authenticate (EtA) seems to generally be considered the better option, compared to Authenticate-then-Encrypt (AtE) (see this Crypto.SE question, for example). The people writing the RFC ...
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### How can we sign a contract digitally between two parties?

I'm trying to sign a contract with another party, without using handwritten signatures. I've just read through Applied Cryptography, but there doesn't seem to be a protocol that can solve this ...
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### Please punch holes in this authentication scheme

Folks, I am undertaking a crypto course in Uni. Our professor asked us to try and design some authentication schemes which are resistant to active attacks. This was just a in class exercise to get us ...
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### AES Message Authentication Vulnerability

My securities instructor recently posed this question to the class and I am bending my brain in half trying to figure it out. Suppose $y_1 = AES(K, x_1)$ and $y_2 = AES(K,x_2)$, and suppose you ...
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### Definition of authenticity

I came across various definitions of what authenticity means in cryptography. I would like to know which one is correct. The first definition - the one I always used - is the following: Data ...
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### Skein or Keccak stream cipher construction

I am wondering if using Skein or the Keccak hash algorithm in this construction (as a stream cipher) is secure: $H$ = Keccak or Skein hash with a 256 bit output $K$ = The main 256 bit random key, ...
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### Is this algorithm demonstrating “proof of work”

Is this algorithm demonstrating proof of work? This is a algorithm where a "token" is combined with a time stamp and then a cryptographic hash is generated from the combination, next the objective is ...
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### When is each key used when encrypting an email using OpenPGP?

When you send an email using PGP to encrypt emails, is the recipients public key used to encrypt the email, or is your private key used? Are they both used? At what points do each of the four keys ...
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### KDF with low-entropy salts

I need to derive a key from a username and a password. These are the only two things I have access to. What I thought is using PBKDF2 with username as the salt and password as the master password. ...
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### How to generate successive stream-cipher keys?

I've identified a weakness in a distributed simulation system I'm looking at, and I'm looking for some advice on how to fix it. Clients initially negotiate an authentication token with a login server ...
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### How to collect, process, and transmit data securely?

In my question "Authenticating data generated by a particular build of an open source program", Dave Cary requested that I post a question stating my real problem on a high level rather than the ...
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### Re-sending captured encrypted data

Let’s assume Bob is some algorithmic stock trading machine. Bob takes commands from Alice, who sends messages to Bob. For example: Alice could be sending a message to Bob to stop trading. But if ...
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### Is it safe to use single-block AES for mutual authentication?

I read the question Symmetric mutual authentication with client using a derived secret and its answer which, if I'm not mistaken, assert that it should be safe to use the proposed protocol for mutual ...
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### Authenticating code securely and generating a certificate

I'm working on a product with strong security. Essentially there is an App, downloaded from the iTunes App Store. When the App starts up, it generates a strong RSA keypair and stores it in the ...
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### Offline app authentication - embedding hashed password inside an encrypted file

I am working on an occasionally connected app. To allow the users to authenticate I created a profile which is encrypted and placed on the users machine. The first byte of the file contains the IV ...
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I read that the Encrypt-then-MAC paradigm is provably secure. From what I understand, when using for example AES for encryption and HMAC_SHA256 for MAC generation (and the keys $K_1 \neq K_2$), this ...
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### Signature scheme with two private keys, neither derivable from the other

Is there any scheme, ideally one widely used or at least widely available, where you can treat both the signing and verifying keys as secret? Basically, the functionality I'm looking for is this: ...
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### Authenticate ephemeral key exchange

At the moment I'm designing a crytosystem for a VPN server. One of the requirements is Perfect Forward Secrecy, but I'n not sure how to implement authentication on the ephemeral key exchange. If both ...
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### Can adding nonces make challenge response authentications weaker?

In a custom protocol we want to replace an aged tiger32 based challenge response authentication. I suggested that we use something existing, so threw HMAC into the room. As per wikipedia it works as: ...
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### Constant data as input to hash

I want to use hash function on some data, and part of this data, might be constant for a certain period. The output of the hash function is used as authentication data (MAC). I want to know if there ...
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### Proof of shared secret through key derivation

Alice gives a random key $K$ (e.g. 32 bytes long) to Bob through a secure channel. Bob want to prove to Alice through an unsecured channel that he knows the key. Is it secure for Bob to send ...
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### Genuine encryption from only one source?

Is there any technique so that if I encrypt data, the ciphertext would be genuine and if someone else tries to encrypt the same data the ciphertext could be determined as fake or just invalid? I want ...
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### TLS Handshake : Server authentication or only Server ‘s Certificate authentication?

I have some difficulty understanding the way in which the Server is really authenticated by Client in TLS handshake (in case of using RSA key exchange). When Client receives Server ‘s Certificate and ...
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I would love to have a system where the password is never send in plaintext (even with TLS) to authenticate a user. I've come up with this protocol, but I'd rather use something proven. Registration: ...
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### How does the small n attack work?

I'm studying the Lamport's Hash one-time password scheme. This is the scheme: Alice wants to authenticate herself to Bob from a workstation that knows nothing about her. Alice only knows her ...
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### N users must approve a request

I have a locked-down production system that we'd like to process specific requests, picked-up (poll) from a less-secure location. For security and "go slow, this is production" reasons, a request ...
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### Security of MSS

I have started reading about the Merkle Signature Scheme. I am a little confused about why it is believed to be secure against quantum attacks, couldn't the hash function be attacked? What would make ...
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### Is there an existing authorative definition of the cryptographic term 'pepper'

I can attempt to define the term 'pepper' as: In cryptography, a pepper is a something that is added to another value (for example a password) prior to a the value being hashed using a ...
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### What is the advantage of using the socialist millionaire protocol to authenticate vs HMACing some random number?

Say Alice and Bob have a shared secret $s$. Alice and Bob establish an encrypted channel and verify that it hasn't been MitM'ed by exchanging $r_1$ and $r_2$, where $r_1$ and $r_2$ are randomly ...
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### Secure way to store fixed size string of digits

I need to store a string of digits (0-9) of a fixed size in my database securely. I've already performed a rainbow table attack on a plain hash, and it broke it in a matter of seconds. One option I ...
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### Digital Signature using symmetric key cryptography

Generally digital signature is a public key cryptography concept.But it needs high overhead. So is there any publication or link available where 'digital signature using symmetric key' has been ...
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### With Encrypt-then-MAC, and flexible protocols, do I need to authenticate the authentication?

Sorry, the question is not easy to state (or wasn't for me, anyhow). So I'm writing a very flexible format for security. It allows for full choice of cipher, key size, and so on, along with key ...
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### Storing Credentials for a Third Party

(Originally posted to SOF, but I got no answers) I am designing a small application for use inside my company. My application needs to connect to a third party website on behalf of my application ...
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### Can an encrypted nonce be used for authentication?

Would a scheme like the following work to allow authentication of a sender: A nonce is appended to data, and the result is encrypted. The encrypted pack is sent to the other party. The sender then ...
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### implications of SSH server key compromission when authenticating users against a public key

Friday we had a disagreement with a colleague of mine about the implications of SSH server key compromission The question was stated as this : What could a hacker do while provided with the SSH ...
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### Should I authenticate memory data which was loaded from authenticated disk file?

Encrypted fields are loaded from disk file to process memory only after file's HMAC validation is successful. Data is still encrypted in memory and will be decrypted later, on demand, when it needs to ...
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### Can we use the authentication tag as Nonce / IV for the next message?

Let's assume we're in some scenario requiring transfer of large amounts of data. This means we can only use AES-GCM chunk-for-chunk as its maximal size is restricted to a few GiBs. This means we have ...
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### Authenticate a short message with redundant encryption instead of using a MAC?

I have a short message that’s exactly 128 bits of length. The message serves as a time-limited authorization token for a database. It contains a permission profile ID (64 bits) and an issue timestamp ...
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### Is this a valid scheme to authenticate through a 'human-readable' certificate?

Let's say Alice wants to talk securely to Bob over the internet, and Eve is not only eavesdropping, but has managed to get into a MITM position. In this scheme Alice and Bob exchange $n$ (example \$n ...
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### Key derivation of public key without knowledge of private key

I'm looking for a convenient way to share a set of public keys across multiple services, while preserving privacy by preventing these services from tying the identity of these public key sets together ...
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I'm trying to analyze a login protocol based on symmetric key cryptography. I'm just starting out, so this may very likely be a very bad idea, but nonetheless I'd like to hear your thoughts on it. ...
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### ECDH anonymous key exchange to avoid PKI

I want to use TLS to encrypt the communication between peers in a P2P network. Each peer has a well known 256bit peer identifier (the public key of a 256bit elliptic curve keypair). Both peers need ...
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### Why would splitting a password output be better than separate HMACs for encryption/authentication key derivation?

In a recent question I asked here on crypto.se, an answer was given that surprised me a bit. As mentioned in the referenced question, I'm looking to derive encryption and authentication keys from ...
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### Is there need for message authentication if a public key is transmitted and then used to encrypt a symmetric key?

First I'd like to note that I'm really a beginner at cryptography, and while this interests me and while I have researched it in the past few months, there is still a lot of things that simply aren't ...
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### Off-the-record communication

Is my protocol correct? For fun, I tried to design a protocol that would allow off-the-record communication. I'm not sure it works, I have a feeling there might be a problem with it that I'm not ...
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### Is this new server API authentication protocol secure?

I need a secure protocol to authenticate client side users with my server which has an API. I am devising something more secure particularly to resist active MITM attacks where an attacker may modify ...
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### Authentication of machine before installation (to stop piracy) [closed]

I have a web-software project which needs a bit of protection in form of authencitation… This web based software runs on an intranet. There is no access to the internet from these terminal machines. ...