Encryption is the process of transforming plaintext using a cipher into ciphertext to make it unreadable to anyone except those possessing the key. Decryption is the process of transforming that ciphertext back into plaintext, using the key.

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Should we MAC-then-encrypt or encrypt-then-MAC?

Most of the time, when some data must be encrypted, it must also be protected with a MAC, because encryption protects only against passive attackers. There are some nifty encryption modes which ...
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20answers
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Time Capsule cryptography?

Does there exist any cryptographic algorithm which encrypts data in such a way that it can only be decrypted after a certain period of time? The only idea that I can think of, is something like this: ...
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11answers
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Is modern encryption needlessly complicated?

RSA, DES, AES, etc. all use (relatively) complicated mathematics to encrypt some message with some key. For each of these methods, there have been several documented vulnerabilities found over the ...
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Is AES-256 weaker than 192 and 128 bit versions?

From a paper via Schneier on Security's Another AES Attack (emphasis mine): In the case of AES-128, there is no known attack which is faster than the 2128 complexity of exhaustive search. However, ...
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4answers
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What are the practical differences between 256-bit, 192-bit, and 128-bit AES encryption?

AES has several different variants: AES-128 AES-192 AES-256 But why would someone prefer use one over another?
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3answers
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How can I use asymmetric encryption, such as RSA, to encrypt an arbitrary length of plaintext?

RSA is not designed to be used on long blocks of plaintext like a block cipher, but I need to use it to send a large message. How can I do this?
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6answers
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Is there a secure cryptosystem that can be performed mentally?

I, myself, do not plan on getting into a situation where I would be unable to use a computer in order to communicate securely. However, I can think of many practical situations in which mental ...
26
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4answers
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Should I use ECB or CBC encryption mode for my block cipher?

Can someone tell me which mode out of ECB and CBC is better, and how to decide which mode to use? Are there any other modes which are better?
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Is Convergent Encryption really secure?

Recently a company called Bitcasa demonstrated a product of cloud storage. they indicated that they would use "Convergent Encryption" to secure your data and de-duplicate, essentially one copy of the ...
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How were the DES S-box values determined?

It seems like the S-boxes in DES have essentially random values. How were these chosen?
18
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3answers
5k views

Is it possible to derive the encryption method from encrypted text?

Is it possible to identify the encryption method, or at least rule out some of them, by looking at the encrypted text? For example, if you have 3 encrypted strings where the first 10 characters are ...
18
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1answer
809 views

Selective format-compliant JPEG encryption?

I am working towards building a format-compliant encryption system for pictures. The aim of it is to be able to obscure specific areas of a picture (i.e. faces, car license numbers...) while keeping ...
16
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1answer
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What is the difference between PKCS#5 padding and PKCS#7 padding

One runtime platform provides an API that supplies PKCS#5 padding for block cipher modes such as ECB and CBC. These modes have been defined for the triple DES, AES and Blowfish block ciphers. The ...
16
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Hashing or encrypting twice to increase security?

Over on the bitcoin forums I asked why the bitcoin client computes SHA-256(SHA-256(x)) as its cryptographic hash for a variety of purposes. The leading theory--since the bitcoin author has ...
15
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6answers
564 views

Can I encrypt user input in a way I can't decrypt it for a certain period of time?

I run a baseball league and would like to do silent auctions for free agents. This would require teams to enter their highest bid and the highest bidder at the end of the auction period would win. ...
15
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7answers
3k views

How can SSL secure a two-way communication with only one key-pair?

As I understand it, SSL involved the use of a public-private key pair. How does this enable two-way communication? Suppose I have some server with which I wish to communicate securely. I connect to ...
15
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1answer
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Why do we use encrypt-decrypt-encrypt (EDE) in 3DES, rather than encrypting three times?

I'm wondering why we use encrypt-decrypt-encrypt sequence in 3DES with three keys instead of three times encryption with three different keys?
14
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3answers
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Is the CBC weakness in XML Encryption a new discovery? Are other applications vulnerable?

The RUB in Germany reports that XML encryption is broken. This is essentially the W3C standard for protecting XML documents from prying eyes. Does this mean that an attacker can only see a single ...
14
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3answers
840 views

Is CBC really dead?

I developed a p2p-app in C# which sends and receives encrypted text messages (50KB). For encryption, my app uses AES 128 bit in CBC cipher mode. For each message it uses a new randomly-generated IV. ...
13
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3answers
8k views

Can you help me understand what a cryptographic “salt” is?

I'm a beginner to cryptography and looking to understand in very simple terms what a cryptographic "salt" is, when I might need to use it, and why I should or should not use it. Can anyone offer me a ...
13
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2answers
850 views

Why should I use an Initialization Vector (IV) when I have unique keys?

I took a look at this question. My question is not the same. I've unique keys encrypting (in CBC mode, AES-256) each plaintext, i.e. I do not use a key to encrypt more than one plaintext. Is it ...
12
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2answers
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AES in ECB mode weakness

In a project that I'm currently working on, we are encrypting some data using AES with ECB mode in a database. Each piece of data being encrypted is very small, no more than 10 characters long. Very ...
11
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4answers
2k views

Why RSA encryption key is based on modulo $\varphi(n)$ rather than modulo $n$

While calculating RSA encryption key we take modulo $\varphi(n)$ rather that modulo $n$. I couldn't understand why its so?
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3answers
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How long will my encryption remain private?

This is a basic question in cryptography but I have not found a good, comprehensive answer. It is explained that our keys should expire and we should get new, stronger ones with time, reflecting more ...
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How secure is AES-256?

The cipher AES-256 is used among other places in TSL/SSL across the Internet. It's considered among the top ciphers. In theory it's not crackable since the combinations of keys are massive. Although ...
11
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1answer
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How to choose a padding mode with AES

Depending on the framework you are using, there are various padding modes that can be used with AES encryption. For example, with .NET we can choose PKCS7, ISO10126, ANSIX923, Zeros or None. I ...
11
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1answer
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How to break an arbitrary XOR and Rotation based encryption?

I heard encryption based purely on XOR and Rotation is inherently weak. The paper Rotational Cryptanalysis of ARX says: It is also easy to prove that omitting addition or rotation is devastating, ...
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Using CBC with a fixed IV and a random first plaintext block

What if, instead of using CBC mode in the normal way with a random IV, I used this approach: Use a fixed IV (like a block of 0's). Before encrypting, generate a random block and prepend it to the ...
10
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3answers
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MIT says: mathematical theory behind encryption is wrong. What are the consequences?

A friend shared with me the following link: Encryption is less secure than we thought I'm not a security expert and could understand great part the article, except the section about noise, but what I ...
10
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2answers
643 views

Why RSA can't handle numbers above 76?

I'm going to encrypt the characters Zhu, and decrypt them using RSA. I'm using the public key $\{e, n\}$ and private key $\{d, n\}$. The values of $e$, $d$ and $p$ ...
10
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4answers
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What is the effect of the different AES key lengths?

How does a changing key length affects the ciphertext, not only in case of AES, but in general? I know that the key spaces become much larger and the number of rounds in case of AES changes, but is ...
10
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3answers
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Is it possible to create an asymmetric cryptosystem where the private keys are not easily verifiable as such?

Plaintext that consists of an RSA key is easily recognizable as such, because it satisfies certain mathematical properties, in particular (See the answer for Why can an encrypted private key be brute ...
10
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4answers
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Is there an intuitive explanation as to why only the private key can decrypt a message encrypted with the public key?

I have just learned about using PGP/GPG for email encryption and one thing has always bugged me: How is it possible that a message encrypted with somebody's public key can be decrypted only with that ...
10
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3answers
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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 ...
10
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Encryption scheme for social-network-like data sharing data via untrusted server?

I am thinking quite a lot lately abut the problem of secure, privacy-preserving social networking. Distributing the network among trusted, preferably self-hosted servers (like Diaspora, GNU Social ...
10
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1answer
936 views

Windows 8/Server 2012: Passes FIPS-140-2 despite failing AES-GCM for IV != 96 bits long?

Background Microsoft certifies Windows 7/8 as well as Server 2008 R2 and 2012 to be FIPS-140-2 compliant. Actually they certify just a small crypto core, bcrypt.dll (the library, which is unrelated ...
10
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1answer
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What is the theoretical and practical status of mental poker?

I'm able to find a lot of scattered papers on the development of mental poker since RSA proposed the initial solution but no recent report (i.e. after 2005) on what is the status of the problem, eg: ...
10
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1answer
826 views

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 ...
9
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4answers
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Is compressing data prior to encryption necessary to reduce plaintext redundancy?

As explained in William Stallings' Book, in PGP encryption is done after compression, since it reduces redundancy. I couldn't relate encryption strength with redundancy. Could anyone explain more on ...
9
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3answers
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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 ...
9
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2answers
529 views

Can AES decryption be used as encryption?

Definition E: AES encryption D: AES decryption x: plain text y: encrypted text k: key In original AES cipher, encryption: y = E(x, k) decryption: x = D(y, k) Then I define the "reverse AES ...
9
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4answers
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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 ...
9
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1answer
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Can CBC ciphertext be decrypted if the key is known, but the IV not?

Let's say that there is a binary file encrypted with AES in CBC mode (i.e. using a key and initialization vector). If key is known, but IV is not, is it easy to fully decrypt the file? How hard is ...
9
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1answer
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Why is CAMELLIA suddenly so widely used?

When nowadays I point my browser to https sites, the cipher that is on most occasions used is Camellia. My browsers (Chrome and Firefox) seem to prefer it, even when AES is available. Is that not ...
9
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2answers
968 views

Salting when encrypting?

I was attending a database encryption session at a developers conference. The presenter (who was a published author on the subject) said that MS SQL Server did not support salted hashes in the ...
9
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1answer
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repeating-key xor and hamming distance

I read that to break repeating-key xor you can do the following: try a keysize $n$ and compute the hamming distance between the first $n$ bits of the encrypted string and the bits $n+1$ to $2n$ of the ...
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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 ...
9
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1answer
401 views

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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1answer
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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 ...
9
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1answer
741 views

Replacing the Rijndael S-Box?

The Rijndael S-Box design generates a permutation cycle of type $2+27+59+81+87$. What effect would replacing that permutation with a cycle of type $256$ have on the security of AES?