HMAC is a method for constructing a message authentication code based on a cryptographic hash function.

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Does adding a salt to the message before HMAC processing add any security?

An HMAC function is designed to verify message integrity, i.e., that the message has not been tampered with. It is generally (always?) implemented by using a hashing function ...
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Is there a standard way to use a nonce with HMAC?

Many protocols use HMAC on messages that include a nonce, but they don't seem to do it in a consistent way. For example, in OAuth the nonce is in the middle of an URL-encoded key-value string, like ...
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Encrypt-then-MAC: full random keys or keys derived from master key?

I have this scenario where I use Encrypt-then-MAC (AES256-CBC and HMAC-SHA256) with keys generated by a CSPRNG (specifically, SecureRandom in Java). I'd like to know which is better: Use the CSPRNG ...
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key-exchange with websockets in node.js

I do not see how someone would distribute a “key/key agreement” without exposing it to a MITM! I would consider it to be strange if the answer is “via a HTTPS or TLS connection” because – if this is ...
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Is HMAC padding the same as bcrypt?

I have been watching Christof Paar on his YouTube lectures also I used bcrypt to store two passwords with salts and I find that I have a few questions. I am interested in what bcrypt does to the ...
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Is HMAC needed for a SHA-3 based MAC?

HMAC does nested hashing in order to prevent Length Extension Attacks. Given that you use the SHA-3 hash (which is resistant against length extension attacks), would you still need to go through that ...
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What are the consequences of not checking the server mac in a TLS connection?

The context for this question (it's quite involved) can be found in this document: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B15itpMWb2ztWTJrYTgzX204OVU However, I want to make it clear that you don't have to ...
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AES-128-CTR message integrity: Construction of HMAC

(Note: This post is not about "rolling my own", but rather trying to deepen my understanding of the underlying structures.) I'm having difficulties finding clear answers to some questions about the ...
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Why would splitting a password output be better than separate HMACs for encryption/authentication key derivation?

In a recent question I asked here on crypto.se, an answer was given that surprised me a bit. As mentioned in the referenced question, I'm looking to derive encryption and authentication keys from ...
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Encryption and HMAC key derivation

I'm deriving keys from a user-supplied passphrase for symmetric encryption using AES-256 in CBC mode with a HMAC for authenticity/integrity. My key derivation function currently looks like this: ...
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HMAC-SHA1 vs HMAC-SHA256 for data storage

Reading the question “HMAC-SHA1 vs HMAC-SHA256”, I figured out that the known attacks on SHA1 don't apply to its HMAC version. So, HMAC-SHA1 is quite strong right now. In a protocol like SSL, if it ...
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Can Skein be used as a secure MAC in format H(k || m)?

Can Skein be used as a secure MAC in format H(k || m)? I understand it can work with HMAC, but it is fine as a one-pass MAC in the format above and resists length extension attacks. Is this ...
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How secure would HMAC-SHA3 be?

It would be possible to implement the HMAC construction with (draft) SHA-3, leading to HMAC-SHA3-224, HMAC-SHA3-256, HMAC-SHA3-384, HMAC-SHA3-512 (the last 3 digits are the output size $\ell$, where ...
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Is HMAC necessary if the AES ciphertext of a message includes the CRC of the message?

I've seen that encrypting an image with AES-CBC then calculating the HMAC-MD5 value for authentication is a somewhat common and sound way to secure data. Alternatively, can I just calculate the CRC of ...
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Should HMAC or NMAC or plain Keccak be used for a secure MAC?

After some digging around in the HMAC spec I found this (paraphrased): Step 1: If the length of Key equals the block size of the hash function (512 bits/64 Bytes for SHA-256), set the key equal ...
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HMAC definition by using only one key

Suppose $H$ is a hash function; why is $H(k||H(k||m))$ not secure? See this HMAC definition. In there, indeed two keys are used and the mac algorithm is $H(k_1 ||H(k_2 ||m))$ . Why don't we use ...
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Use cases for CMAC vs. HMAC?

Both can be used to verify the integrity of a message. Assuming you have the needed primitives available to you (i.e. the code space of needing both a cipher and a hash function isn't prohibitive), is ...
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Why does HMAC need a fixed length padding?

As everybody knows in order to calculate HMAC we have to concatenate padding to the message. I am just curious why the padding needs to be fixed-length. Why do we need the blocksize parameter here? ...
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Security of this deterministic encryption scheme

I recently came across a library that promises to do deterministic encryption with the following scheme: AES with 256 bit key in CBC mode with PKCS7 padding and Synthetic Initialization vector ...
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Does displaying HMAC hashes of user inputs compromise the HMAC validation?

Here is the scenario: "SECRET" is a secret key that is kept private and only used in this one application. The application allows users to enter in any "VALUE" (within various open-ended limits such ...
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For a one-time pad, which MAC method is information-theoretically secure?

In the the main post about MAC methods it mentions a few methods: Authenticate And Encrypt: The sender computes a MAC of the plaintext, encrypts the plaintext, and then appends the MAC to the ...
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HMAC-SHA1 vs HMAC-SHA256

I have three questions: Would you use HMAC-SHA1 or HMAC-SHA256 for message authentication? How much HMAC-SHA256 is slower than HMAC-SHA1? Are the security improvements of SHA256 (over SHA1) enough ...
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Private RSA key for HMAC key

I am creating software tokens for future request authentication, and I want to use an HMAC for the token to make them tamper-resistant. To ensure I can check the HMAC later I need a secret, persistent ...