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

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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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2answers
205 views

Is entropy affected by time?

I'm quite new to cryptographic systems, and today we discussed entropy at work. Since entropy is used to ensure the difficulty for an attacker to break in, I was wondering if the more time the high ...
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0answers
113 views

Perfect secrecy and change of plaintext probability distributions

How to prove that if a cryptosystem has perfect secrecy for a given plaintext probability distribution then it will have perfect secrecy for all other possible plaintext probability distributions? Do ...
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1answer
139 views

Given a certain entrophy per character, how long should a passphrase be to guarantee key strength?

Given an entrophy of 1.5 bits per character, how long does a passphrase have the be to guarantee a key strength of a 128 bit random key? Assuming an alphabet of 26, one character takes log2(26)=4.7 ...
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1answer
260 views

Measuring Shannon's diffusion

Shannon's idea of diffusion is fundamental to cryptography. Besides being a descriptive idea, is there any work on measuring or expressing it? Saying something like "System A has more diffusion than ...
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1answer
128 views

Entropy in natural language texts

I have a couple of related questions: I read about an estimate, ascribed to Turing, of the entropy of English text to be between 0.6 and 1.3 bits per letter. The modern day corpus, including the huge ...
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1answer
372 views

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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1answer
193 views

Does a playlist of songs or movies mixed together contain enough random enough for OTP key material?

Ok hypothetical scenario. Lets say I want to generate a lot of key material quickly for a one-time pad. This key material will be divided up and used for many different messages in the future. I ...
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1answer
195 views

Seed a PRNG with random data and a password

I'd like to combine a random key file with a password to generate a secure seed for a CSPRNG. The key file is assumed to have very high entropy, but the password will be whatever the user provides. ...
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1answer
95 views

Conditional entropy

Suppose I have a file with random binary strings of the same length in each line. If I'm computing the conditional entropy $H(Y|X)$ where $Y$ is the variable string of fixed length $l$ which is ...
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1answer
296 views

password entropy calculation

I have the following password with a prescribed format: it starts with a fixed value of 111, followed by 2 random lower case letters and then lastly a random digit: "111""2 Random lowercase ...
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1answer
564 views

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?
2
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1answer
168 views

How could block encryption in counter mode be secure from viewpoint of entropy?

A good block cipher e.g. AES running in counter mode is commonly considered to be secure. Assuming a perfectly random key, one could in this case from $128$ bits generate up to $2^{128}·128$ bits for ...
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5answers
489 views

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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1answer
217 views

Using chi square for distinguishing between compressed and random data

I am trying to find some measurement for identifying and distinguishing between compressed and random data. I tried this first by computing the entropy of such data, the entropy value is extremely ...
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2answers
244 views

Is just a bit of random, “fully random”?

I understand that hashing a datetime is a pseudo-random number, and not good in a security context. But what about hashing a datetime plus a truly-random but constant string (just a string that an ...
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3answers
363 views

Entropy of system data - use all and hash, or trim least significant bits?

I'm working on a background entropy collector for key generation that monitors hardware and produces an entropy pool. Here's my list of sources: Mouse position Keyboard timings (i.e. time between ...
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2answers
906 views

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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1answer
429 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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1answer
207 views

Shannon entropy calculation: is $H(A|R·A) = H(A)$?

Suppose I generate a random $m×m$ matrix $R$, where each of its elements belongs to $\mathbb Z_n$. I ensure that $R$ is invertible in $\mathbb Z_n^{m×m}$. Now I take a non-random $m×m$ ...
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2answers
235 views

Seeking special-use fingerprinting/hashing algorithm

For a project I wonder if there exists some kind of fixed-size checksumming/fingerprinting function in which based on this fingerprint given data block 1, it is easy to generate more data blocks that ...
4
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4answers
766 views

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, ...
4
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2answers
281 views

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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2answers
782 views

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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2answers
1k views

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 ...
3
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2answers
673 views

Using an RSA private key simultanously as an AES encryption key to generate random numbers?

Currently I'm implementing a PRNG for an embedded system. Using the RFC 4086 I've decided to use the X9.17 - to be more specific the successor X9.31- standard to implement my PRNG. X9.17 uses DES, but ...
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3k views

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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10k views

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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5answers
326 views

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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1answer
843 views

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 ...