Encryption is the process of transforming plaintext using a cipher to make it unreadable to anyone except those possessing the key.

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What is the difference between a stream cipher and a one-time-pad?

A (synchronous) stream cipher is an algorithm which maps some fixed-length key to an arbitrary-length key-stream (i.e. a sequence of bits): $C : \{0,1\}^k \to \{0,1\}^{\infty}$. This key-stream is ...
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What's is the main difference between a key, an IV and a nonce?

What are the main differences between a nonce, a key and an IV. Without any doubt the key should be kept secret. But what about the nonce and the IV. What's the main difference between them and their ...
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Why do we need special key-wrap algorithms?

Wikipedia says: Key Wrap constructions are a class of symmetric encryption algorithms designed to encapsulate (encrypt) cryptographic key material. We are using these algorithms to encrypt ...
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AES and perfect ciphers

I'm taking a crypto class this semester and after learning the definition of a perfect cipher. I started wondering how this definition applies to AES. Obviously AES isn't a perfect cipher, since the ...
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How would one crack a weak but unknown encryption protocol?

I asked a question on security.stackexchange, but was told it would be a better fit here: http://security.stackexchange.com/questions/32779/how-would-one-crack-a-weak-but-unknown-encryption-protocol ...
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What's the fundamental difference between Diffie-Hellman and RSA?

What is the difference in the purpose of DH and RSA? Aren't they both public-key encryption?
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Is the Couvreur et al. polynomial time attack on McEliece practical?

There's a new e-print out on arXiv titled "A Polynomial Time Attack against Algebraic Geometry Code Based Public Key Cryptosystems" by Alain Couvreur, Irene Márquez-Corbella and Ruud Pellikaan: ...
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Voting scheme where the votes become public when a threshold is reached

Does there exist a voting scheme where voters cast private encrypted votes that automatically become public only after the threshold number of votes is cast? It needs to be done without a central ...
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How can I make my cipher show the avalanche effect?

I am a beginner in cryptography. I designed an password based encryption-decryption algorithm, which uses a random salt and a password to encrypt a message. I'm using SHA-512 for hashing, matrix ...
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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 ...
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Why programming languages don't provide simple encryption methods?

In c#, there is a namespace called System.Security.Cryptography and there are many classes in this namespace, which help developers encrypt and decrypt data. ...
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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 ...
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Using a Non-Random IV with modes other than CBC

The weakness CWE-329 is an interesting problem with CBC mode. However, does this same weakness affect the other modes of operation that rely upon an IV such as: PCBC, CFB and OFB? My gut feeling is, ...
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AES CTR with similar IVs and same key

Lets say there is a piece of software that uses AES CTR to encrypt different messages using the same key but with slightly different IVs So for example, a 16 byte IV, the 2nd 8 bytes are always the ...
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Encrypting files with known headers

If I encrypt a file of a known format that has a lengthy header (e.g. an XML Excel file), does that render the encrypted file susceptible to a "known plain text" attack? In other words, if the first ...
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What is the purpose of four different secrets shared by client and server in SSL/TLS?

I was looking through the working of SSL V3, and found that a connection state is defined by a set of things, including client write mac secret, server write mac secret, server write key, client ...
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What advantage does facebook's new encrypted access_token have?

When a user on facebook grants an app access to their account, an API key is issued to the app. This key is app and user-specific. This process is described in Facebook's developer documentation. ...
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365 views

Why are cryptography algorithms not exported to certain countries?

There have been strict laws about the export of crypto software to certain countries. I can understand the intent, but never gauged the fact that there is nothing stopping these countries from ...
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Encrypting 8 times with 8-bit key beneficial?

I was trying to understand cryptography from the book Information Security by Mark Stamp and I am confused by something. Suppose that Alice has a secure block cipher, but the cipher only uses an ...
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Compare Blockmode CBC (with diffuser) against XTS

I have some problems in understanding the "advantage" of AES-XTS compared to CBC with diffuser. I read something about FileVault, in this paper they mention the two modes of operations XTS and CBC ...
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How does order-preserving encryption work?

Order-preserving encryption (OPE) is, apparently, a method of encrypting data so that it's possible to make efficient inequality comparisons on the encrypted items without decrypting them. I've been ...
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What does “running in polynomial time” really mean?

I'm currently learning private-key cryptography. I've been able to see that perfect secrecy is achievable if no assumption is made about the computational power of the attacker. However, perfect ...
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K out of N encryption

A friend just showed me how to combine padlocks to achieve a lock that opens when k out of n people turn their keys. I was ...
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How will Cryptography be changed by Quantum Computing?

I realise this isn't a 'yes or no' question, and I apologise for asking something that could be seen as a discussion thread, but I had to ask. I'm currently doing an EPQ in CS (specifically how QC ...
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Encrypting or HMACing password digests

Assuming I'm using bcrypt to digest passwords, is any additional security gained by either encrypting or HMACing the resulting digests? By requiring a key to compare password hashes, I would expect ...
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Is it feasible to build a stream cipher from a cryptographic hash function?

A few years ago I devised a symmetric-key system that worked like so: ...
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Is there a way to make RC4 (ARCFOUR) secure, or is it completely broken?

I need a method to authenticate a process with another in order to establish interprocess communication between them, to prevent malicious processes from trying to hook onto the system. Currently I ...
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How can one securely generate an asymmetric key pair from a short passphrase?

Background info: I am planning on making a filehost with which one can encrypt and upload files. To protect the data against any form of hacking, I'd like not to know the encryption key ($K$) used for ...
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How to attack a classical cipher using known partial plaintext?

I have a ciphertext generated by a classical cipher. I do not know what was cipher used to generate it. I do however have the beginning of the plaintext. What are the cryptanalysis approaches for ...
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Any practical uses of machine learning for cryptography?

I am about to go study for my masters in machine learning, data mining and high performance computing, but have recently become very interested in cryptography after taking Dan Boneh's Cryptography ...
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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 ...
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Encryption/ciphers/codes in Chinese

I am quite curious as to how you can perform simple encryption for the Chinese language. Saw a similar question related to encryption/Chinese here: About cryptography in a character language, ...
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Will varying plaintext compensate for a fixed initialisation vector?

This is a follow-up question to Relative merits of AES ECB and CBC modes for securing data at rest. I need to store encrypted Personal Account Numbers (PANs) in a database. The only encryption option ...
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Is the encryption of a hash a good MAC?

At university we were told that it is a bad idea to implement a MAC by simply concatenating a key with the data to sign and to run it through a hash function (e.g. $s = ...
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Why is ciphertext from low entropy plaintext not compressible?

This comes following a discussion with a colleague. My plaintext file plain consists of a about 100,000 lines of "all work and no play...". It's size is: 2.2 MB. ...
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Difference between encrypting something and hashing something

What is the difference between encrypting something and hashing something? in what situations would I want one or the other?
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Is the logic for how the enigma machine worked documented somewhere?

I know that there is a formula to calculate the result of any input but is the logic of how the machine actually worked documented? I have seen schematics for the circuitry and even a how to make ...
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How exactly was the finalist chosen in the NIST AES competition?

I was just reading the Stick Figure Guide to AES and came across an interesting table explaining how the winner was chosen: Unfortunately the NIST site is down so I can't gain further information ...
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What does a “cycle” mean in cryptography benchmarks?

In this table of the "Crypto++ 5.6.0 Benchmarks", for example, cryptographic algorithm performance is measured in cycles per byte for symmetric ciphers, and in cycles per operation for asymmetric ...
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How does Clifford Cocks 'Non-Secret Encryption' work?

I have read Clifford Cocks "A Note on 'Non-secret Encryption'" and thought I would try to implement this, but I don't seem to be able to get it to work. I'm obviously missing something. From the ...
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Is AES-256 a post-quantum secure cipher or not?

We know Grover's algorithm speedup brute-force attacks two time faster in block ciphers (e.g brute-forcing 128 bit keys take $2^{64}$ operations not $2^{128}$). That explains why we are using 256 bit ...
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How do I correctly derive a Key and IV?

Mainly I'm trying to understand how to correctly create the Key and IV for use with the .NET Implementation of AES (AesManaged class). This encryption code will be used in conjunction with existing ...
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How do other, non-RSA algorithms, compare to the PKCS #1 standard?

Arguably the PKCS suite of standards have a profit-oriented bias as they are promoted by RSA and promote their algorithms over others in the form of RFCs and other means. I'm considering the ...
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What causes first block of AES decryption to be garbled, even with correct IV?

I am attempting to duplicate wireshark's packet capture decryption for a TLS HTTP session, where I control the private key of the server. The cipher suite number is 0x00002f, TLS_RSA_AES_128_CBC_SHA ...
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GPG symmetric encryption and javascript

I have a use case where I need to encrypt some text in the browser using javascript. Only the encrypted text will be stored on the server. The user should then be able to take the encrypted result and ...
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Knowing pre-encryption data, can we find the private key CryptoLocker used?

One of our users seems to have been hit by CryptoLocker. As a result, he has a hard drive full of encrypted files. The ransom-ware claims to have used public key encryption on the files. If we know ...
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Creating an encryption key from several other keys and using hash functions

I want to combine two or more keys to create a single encryption key that relies on all of them. What is the proper method for doing that? Simple XOR? Using hash functions? Something else? I ...
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Deniable Encryption from simple primitives

Is there a deniable encryption scheme $M = E(p_1,k_1,p_2,k_2,...,p_n,k_n), p_j = D(M,k_j)$ of $n$ plaintexts $p_1,p_2,...,p_n$ and $n$ keys $k_1,k_2,...,k_n$, such that we can fix $D$ to be a known ...
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How to turn adversary against encryption of zeroes into adversary against random bits?

I recently read the article Nonce-Based Symmetric Encryption by Rogaway, where he presents two different notions of indistinguishability, which he calls ind$ and ind, respectively. Here's the ...
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Hash decrypts key, key decrypts cipher… why?

I noticed recently that a couple of pieces of encryption software (TrueCrypt being one of them) don't directly use a hash of the password as the key for the block cipher. Instead, they generate a ...