A brute-force attack is attempting to find a secret value by trying all possible values until the correct one is found.

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How much would it cost in U.S. dollars to brute force a 256 bit key in a year?

I am often told that any key can be broken and that it is only a matter of time and resources for any key to be broken. I know that this it technically true. However, I think that there is probably a ...
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How exactly would someone attempt to analyse ciphertext produced by popular encryption products such as Truecrypt/PGP?

I am interested in understanding what the process would be if an attacker wished to attempt to decrypt data secured by common tools such as OpenPGP, Truecrypt or the like. Are there any documented ...
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Can a computationally unbounded adversary break any public-key encryption scheme?

Assume there is a public-key encryption scheme $(KeyGen, Enc, Dec)$ with perfect correctness (i.e., for all messages M and valid key-pairs (PK,SK), we have $Dec_{SK}(Enc_{PK}(M))=M$). Will there ...
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How long does it take to crack DES and AES?

Suppose that a single evaluation of a block-cipher (DES or AES) takes 10 operations, and the computer can do $10^{15}$ such operations per second. How long would it take for to recover a DES key, ...
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Measuring entropy for a ciphertext only attack

When bruteforcing a password (e.g. the common attacks on DES), where you have ciphertext only, you need a way to assess whether a decrypted plaintext is the right one. I believe the EFF DES machine ...
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Brute forcing CRC-32

I'm working on a cryptosystem which uses IDEA. The designer made the mistake of including a CRC-32B hash of the password unencrypted in the header, so that the system can quickly reject bad ...
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Dictionary attack on pass-phrases on common algorithms

I don't yet perfectly understand the difference between brute-force and dictionary attack since this differentiates one attacking the key and another attacking password: apparently attacking passwords ...