# Tagged Questions

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

1answer
2k 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 ...
3answers
26k 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, ...
2answers
9k 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 ...
2answers
2k 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. ...
3answers
1k views

### 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 uncrackable,...
1answer
301 views

### 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 \left\{0,...
1answer
415 views

### Entropy calculation

I calculated the entropy for "variable", "property" and their concatenation "variableproperty" (with e.g. the Shannon Entropy) and got $2.75, 2.5$ and $3.33$ respectively. These are all entropy per ...
4answers
387 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 ...
2answers
1k 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 ...
3answers
2k views

### 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 ...
1answer
1k 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?
3answers
573 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 ...
1answer
741 views

### 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 ...
1answer
507 views

### How to calculate entropy of a combined key

I know how to calculate the entropy of a key that relates to its selection process. For example if the key space is $1000$, entropy of a randomly chosen key is $1000$. Suppose now you have two keys $X$...
2answers
412 views

### The effect of truncated hash on entropy

Suppose I have a 128-bit 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 ...
2answers
2k 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 passwords....
2answers
381 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 ...
0answers
66 views

### Detecting steganography by analysing non-significant data entropy?

I am not thinking only steganography in images, I think it is also possible to encode data for example into the length of spaces of a clear html text. I suspect, the steganography changes (elevates) ...
3answers
1k views

### 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 ...
3answers
561 views

### 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 ...
1answer
264 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 ...
2answers
160 views

### CSPRNG that cannot be used as random extractor

Are there any specific CSPRNG's that cannot be used as randomness extractor within a TRNG? In other words, can you simply provide enough entropy gathered from a good entropy source as seed in any ...
2answers
549 views

### Whitening and randomness extraction

The Von Neumann randomness extractor is explicitly mentioned in the randomness extractor page of Wikipedia, but strangely enough that page does not contain any reference to whitening the results of an ...
2answers
190 views

### Meaning of entropy of a bitstring in NIST SP 800 - 90A

From NIST SP 800 - 90A from January 2012 (see http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-90A/SP800-90A.pdf), page 6: For the purposes of this Recommendation, an n-bit string is said to have ...
1answer
1k views

### 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 ...
5answers
235 views

### 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, donâ€™t use this command unless you know what you are ...
1answer
247 views

### Will hashing over and over eventually give the same hash?

There are many cases in maths where doing the same thing over and over again will bring you closer to a value. Derivation of polynomials is the striking example: no matter what you start with, you end ...
1answer
375 views

### How to crack SHA256 only letters

I recently created a program that hashes a password using SHA256 and potentially using salt. How can I crack that if I know that the password only contains lowercase letters?