# Tagged Questions

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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### Why does the FBI ask Apple for help to decrypt an iPhone?

The current debate of the FBI trying to get Apple to assist in decrypting an iPhone made me wonder: Normally, upon turning on an iPhone, everything is decrypted using a 4-digit pin (or actually, a ...
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### How to check that you got the right key when brute forcing an encryption?

How do you know when you have the right key when brute-forcing? Let's say that they test the right key. They then have to check that the decrypted text makes sense. To do so, they can test whether ...
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### Why is OTP not vulnerable to brute-force attacks?

I saw this question on the book Understanding Cryptography. At first glance it seems as though an exhaustive key search is possible against an OTP system. Given is a short message, let’s say 5 ...
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### How Brittle Are LCG-Cracking Techniques?

There are published techniques for cracking LCGs, but to my eye those techniques seem very brittle — very minor changes can add nonlinearity that renders techniques like the LLL algorithm unusable. ...
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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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### Is 80 bits of key size considered safe against brute force attacks?

I came across KATAN Family of Ciphers for small domain input blocks . They cipher arbitrary block lengths 32,48,64 but their key size 80 bits only. Is 80 bits of key size considered safe with ...
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### In what way is XXTEA really vulnerable?

I'm looking at using the XXTEA algorithm to encrypt a small amount of data (say, less than 32KB) in the context of a software licensing algorithm. That is, we wish to make it difficult (not impossible)...
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### SHA-256 exhaustive search

How do I calculate the number of computations needed to break SHA256 in case we are using it for safely storing passwords (together with a salt)? Are there any formulas that can be employed? For ...
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### Decrypting files with an unknown method but a known result

I am assuming there is a very simple way of working this out by brute force, but I am not sure if there is a better way. I have a file of data that I wish to get (my data, generated by a machine). ...
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### Clarification of the terms “brute force” and “guess”

In the answer to the question “What exactly is a negligible (and non-negligible) function?” There is a part in the explanation that – as far as my knowledge goes – is conflicting: But instead of ...
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### Is prime regeneration necessary for every new session using a Diffie-Hellman key exchange?

As I understand it, bruteforcing a Diffie-Hellman generated secret key takes $P-1$ attempts to crack the shared secret, where $P$ is a very large prime used for modulus. If your $P$ is quite large, ...
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### Is AES solvable by reducing to SAT?

Consider a known plaintext attack on AES — just so we have an actual system of equalities that we can feed to a SAT solver. Is AES solvable in this way? In other words, will the algorithm eventually ...
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### SRP-6 vulnerabilities when N is small

I'm one of the developers of an application which uses SRP-6 as the authentication mechanism. The authentication part of the code is very old and uses N with only 256 bits (all arithmetic is done in ...
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### Key space size when either of two public keys are valid for authentication?

If for authentication a user can own either A OR B public key instead of just one specific key is that equivalent to halving the key space. i.e. it it theoretically twice as easy to brute force and ...
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### Textbook-RSA meet-in-the-middle attack against other RSA based schemes?

A “meet-in-the-middle” (not “man-in-the-middle”!) attack on textbook-RSA was presented to me. The only requirements for it was that the attacker gets the output of RSA and the public key, and that the ...