Entropy is a measure of information content, which can be viewed as the uncertainty in a random selection.

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How should I calculate the entropy of a password?

If part of the password is a whole regular English word, does the entropy of that part depend on the number of English words in existence, the number of English words known by the choosing algorithm, ...
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What is entropy?

We discuss a lot of topics and use measures of entropy to determine how difficult it is for an attacker to be successful. What does entropy mean in the context of cryptography? How is entropy ...
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Could RDRAND (Intel) compromise entropy?

I was recently discussing the issue of RDRAND in Intel chips and the whole issue about how NSA could potentially be influencing Intel to weaken or create backdoors in their design. This petition was ...
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Should I use the first or last bits from a SHA-256 hash?

I have the need for a hexadecimal token that is smaller than the normal length of the hexadecimal representation of a SHA-256 hash. Should I take the first bits or the last bits? Which of them ...
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What to watch for with openssl generating weak keys? (low entropy)

(Disclaimer: I am regular software engineer with only basic crypto knowledge, so helpful if can be explained for a layman.) I am concerned about generating weak keys on a shared linux box with ...
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If you hashed a hash an infinite number of times would you end up with a unique hash?

If you took a hashing algorithm for example MD5 and repeatedly passed the output hash back into the algorithm an arbitrarily large number of times would you eventually end up with one unique hash? My ...
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Entropy of two concatenated random values

In this Intel blog posting, the author claims: The amount of work required to brute-force predict a random value that has n bits of entropy is $O(2^n)$. If you concatenate two values together, the ...
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Tactics available to help prove security of a new system?

I believe that the accepted tactic to "prove" a system as secure is to allow the crypto-community to review it and if no vulnerabilities are found over a long period of time (5 or 6 years), then a new ...
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What is the difference between Shannon entropy and saying that tossing a 6-sided die 100 times has more than 256-bit entropy?

I'm confused. I thought that tossing a 6-sided die 100 times had a greater than 256-bit entropy because $6^{99} < 2^{256} < 6^{100}$. (A similar concept appeared in this XKCD comic, where ...
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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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Why do “nothing up my sleeve numbers” have low entropy?

As a preface, forgive me for some of the links being from Wikipedia. I realize that academia frowns upon this. I came across this article about "nothing up my sleeve numbers". In it, it says: ...
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How is the One Time Pad (OTP) perfectly secure?

The Wikipedia entry on One Time Pads (OTPs) states that if this cipher is used properly; ie, the keys are truly random and each "part" of the key is independent of every other "part", it's ...
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How secure is a pronounceable password in terms of entropy?

There are some strong studies which support the use of pronounceable passwords and multiple tools which provide generation of such passwords. According to this question the entropy of a password ...
9
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How many bits of entropy does an elliptic curve key of length n provide?

A FAQ for an open source project makes the claim: Indeed, an elliptic curve key of length n provides $n/2$ bits of security. I have two questions: What is the practical difference between ...
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How feasible would it be to generate 300 million public key pairs in 8 hours?

Assume there is a hypothetical situation where one would need to generate hundreds of millions of public key pairs of reasonable strength in a limited time. What would be required in terms of ...
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646 views

Are there any authoritative definitions of “key stretching”?

This is mostly a terminology question, but I suppose that it is best asked and answered here. After browsing the Internet I have come across a fair number of completely different definitions of the ...
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Is CPU timing jitter a usable entropy source?

In some virtualized environments, the only source of entropy available is CPU timing jitter. Can one get enough entropy from this source for practical uses? Also, is this secure against local ...
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PAK Diffie-Hellman vs. sharing high-entropy key

In order to setup an authenticated shared secret key between two clients, I am faced with the choice between two possibilities: Let users set a (low-entropy) shared password and then perform some ...
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Turing's (still?) classified inference engine algorithm?

Does anyone know the algorithm used by Turing's Colossus inference engine, so highly classified that the Brits kept it secret for decades after WW II? Indeed, it may still be classified. Several ...
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Algorithm: How to use x and y mouse movement co-ordinates to generate random data?

Background: I'm making a program for fun as a learning exercise. I want to generate some actual random key material (not pseudorandom) from a JavaScript program. For my program is just for ...
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Has human-generated entropy ever been a real problem?

I know the topic of human brains generating random numbers has been discussed here and in Cognitive Sciences before, but I am interested in a particular part of it: In an introductory book to ...
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Generating Encryption Keys from Biometric Fingerprint Templates

How would one go about generating Encryption Keys from Biometric Fingerprint Templates extracted from a fingerprint using either Griaule SDK or DigitalPersona SDK or any other SDK that will return the ...
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Is there a cryptographic function or system in which it becomes HARDER to break as time passes?

Is there a function or system which is time depending in which the effort required to brute force the decryption increases with time? It is easy to break encryption from many years ago because ...
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How do you test randomness?

Suppose I receive a list of 1 million coinflips, and I want to know how likely it is that the list was randomly generated. My first thought would be to count the number of heads and tails, which ...
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Are picture files “random enough” to be usable as a one-time pad?

Say you have a picture with 1 megapixels taken at random and with $2^{24}$ possible colours per pixel (RGB-24). That image would be unique and the possible combinations $(2^{24})^{10^6}$ immense. ...
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Are there any practical ways to transfer random data securely?

The owner of the random.org service recommends that you do not use randomly generated numbers from their website in cryptographic keys. This makes sense, but it got me wondering. Is it possible to ...
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How much entropy is lost via hashing when you add known or low entropy data?

(I updated the title, as I think there was some confusion as to the question) Here's the question: For example, if I have a bit stream that is 64K bytes long and there is about 16 *8 bits worth of ...
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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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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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The effect of truncated hash on entropy

Suppose i have a 128 bits random binary string (128 bits of entropy), then i hash it using SHA-256, then i take the first 128 bits of the output hash. Does the taken bit string still have (almost) 128 ...
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Deterministically combine more than one source of entropy

What is the proper/canonical way to do this? For example, $0 < r1 < 1$ and $0 < r2 < 1$. Presuming uniformly distributed probabilities for the two, combining/averaging them is going to ...
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Is this a good entropy collector and whitening technique?

I'm just reviewing a program someone wrote to provide high quality random data using an entropy collector and a hash based whitening technique. I'll try summarize the process: Collect entropy from ...
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Can hash functions improve a lousy PRNG?

If I have a poor PRNG, could a cryptographically secure hash function make a better output? Say the PRNG can produce as much numbers as you wish, reasonably random, but not good enough to be used in ...
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When using HMAC, does key encoding matter?

Given: H is a good hash function with block size L. K is a key of length >= L (recommended by RFC 2104). Khex and Kbase64 are ASCII encodings of K. In the HMAC algorithm, is there a good reason to ...
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Entropy when iterating cryptographic hash functions

Consider a cryptographic hash function that maps $n$-bit strings to $n$-bit strings: $$ \DeclareMathOperator{\H}{H} \DeclareMathOperator{\SHA}{SHA-256} \H(x) : \left\{0,1\right\}^{n} \mapsto ...
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How much entropy is generated by 'random' human keystrokes?

I'm wondering about using human input as an entropy generator. We all know humans are terrible at making up random numbers or keys or passwords. But what if we let a user 'randomly' type in some ...
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What happens to entropy after hashing?

What happens to entropy after hashing? Suppose you have a key with entropy $k$. Can entropy $k$ be increased by hashing the key?
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Estimating bits of entropy

Best ways to estimate average bits of entropy in a byte stream. I know there are different statistical tests out there (NIST, Dieharder, etc), which all do different ways of analyzing entropy. What ...
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Mixing Entropy Sources by XOR?

Assume that I have two sources of entropy (say, a hardware RNG and a CSPRNG) and that the two sources are independent (do not know anything about the internal state of the other RNG). Can I mix them ...
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Stretching a random seed to maximize entropy

I'm using a random number generator that requires me to pass it a big (several kilobytes) pool of random data for initialization. I've gathered entropy from various system metrics (free memory, ...
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What happens to the entropy of a password when you hash it?

For example, if the entropy of a password is 30 bits, what is the entropy of the password when you hash it with MD5?
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Is the concept of provably secure hash the same as entropy smoothing hash functions?

Is the concept of provably secure hash the same as entropy smoothing hash functions? In the tutorial Sequences of Games: A Tool for Taming Complexity in Security Proofs V. Shoup shows us a proof of ...
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Good entropy source for generating openssl keys

I need to generate a CA (4096-bit RSA) and server keys for openvpn and I want them to be "top quality". Here is my plan: gather entropy from multiple sources (saving individual files): FreeBSD ...
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estimating entropy/randomness as fail-safe mechanism

Real-world encryption systems are often not broken algorithmically but because the implementation has a bug. Sometimes the bug only happens in circumstances that could not have been foreseen, such as ...
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Is there a way to generate sound one-time pads out of public information?

Is there a way to 'mangle' a public data-source (for example, the current date in YYYYMMDD or the top New York Times headline) to form a one-time pad that will sufficiently hide the pad's source? ...
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Feedback on rolling my own entropy gatherer

First of all, I don't recommend doing this. This was something I created when I didn't know better and didn't have a solution available to me. Long ago I created my own entropy gather for a ...
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Is it secure to concatenate two 16-bit random numbers into a 32-bit one?

I'm working on a security application for RF modules aimed to protect a communication between an autarkic sensor and a line-powered receiver against MITM (man-in-the-middle attacks). I decided to use ...
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Using SHA3 as an entropy pool

Has any work been done on analyzing the SHA3 sponge construction for use as an entropy pool (e.g. /dev/random)? All the use cases I've heard of consts of a ...
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Exhausting the entropy of a hash function

In the case of password storage, consider the following: I have an idea that one can exhaust the entropy of input to the MD5 function by using a 128 bit random value as the password (indeed, any hash ...
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How does generating random numbers “remove entropy from your system”?

In a previous question, I quoted the --gen-random entry in the GPG Man Pages. At the end it says: PLEASE, don’t use this command unless you know what you are ...