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

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What is the security strength of an n-bit HMAC?

HMACs depend on preimage resistance, or so I have read. The security strength of hash function with an $n$-bit output against collision attacks is $2^{\frac{n}{2}}$. Against preimage attacks, it is ...
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264 views

Is this streamable combination of encryption and MAC secure?

I want to combine encryption and MAC. For encryption I use AES-256 with CBC and PKCS5Padding. For MAC I use HmacSHA512. I use the Encrypt-then-Mac approach (calculate MAC over the ciphertext and ...
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295 views

Regular MACs vs Carter-Wegman MAC

Carter-Wegman MAC variants (VMAC, UMAC etc) are known to be very fast and efficient when compared to MAC algorithms that are based on block ciphers and compression functions (like HMAC, CMAC etc). ...
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408 views

Memory-hard operations in work-factor hash functions

I'm playing around with work-factor hash functions, and I'm looking for a memory-hard operation to make it resistant to GPU / parallel hardware attacks. I considered a very large (i.e. 64K) s-box that ...
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335 views

Is my HMAC secure if I have a complete series of HMAC'd prefix strings

Let's say I have a long sentence, like "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog." Let's further say that I need to keep this string encrypted, so I use an HMAC. Let's further further say I want ...
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265 views

HMAC construction based on the combination of two hash functions

I would like an $\operatorname{HMAC}$ that's based on two different hash functions ($H_1$ and $H_2$), so that a break of the combined $\operatorname{HMAC}$ would imply a break of ...
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Why is HMAC-SHA1 still considered secure?

This Q & A http://security.stackexchange.com/questions/33123/hotp-with-as-hmac-hashing-algoritme-a-hash-from-the-sha-2-family says that the security of HMAC-SHA1 does not depend on resistance to ...
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Is it okay to use an HMAC of the plaintext and a (possibly distinct) key as the IV for symmetric cryptography?

I was thinking of how to create an IV for a block cipher that doesn't require stored state, and I came up with the idea of using an HMAC of the (padded) plaintext and a (possibly distinct) key as the ...
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HMAC-SHA1 input size

I know that the HMAC is a message authentication code that uses a cryptographic key in conjunction with a hash function (SHA1 , MD5, etc.). The HMAC output is 160 bits for HMAC-SHA160 and 256 bits for ...
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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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Using HMAC as a nonce with AES-CTR encrypt-and-MAC

Suppose I use the following encrypt-and-MAC construction: $E(k_1, k_2, n, m) = E_\text{AES256-CTR}(k_1, n, m) \| \text{HMAC-SHA256}(k_2, m)$, where: $k_1$ and $k_2$ are 256-bit keys $n$ ...
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Combining two keys

What is the most secure way to combine two "random" keys X of size k (k ≤ 512 bits) and Y of size 512 bits in one key Z of size k? Result Z will be used for encryption/decryption with various ...
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214 views

Securely generating passwords based on a secret and a public identifier

I'm trying to create a good scheme for generating passwords in my systems management scripts. What I'd like to do is have a secret key (let's say hello123), which I ...
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578 views

Alternatives to HMAC + CBC?

I'm looking at using HMAC + CBC. The combination looks like this: ciphertext = AES256(text, k1) data = HMAC-SHA256(iv | ciphertext, k2) | iv | ciphertext Where: ...
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231 views

Future-Proof Versioning and Validation

I am working on a library (using standard primitives: AES256 CTR; HMAC with SHA256; PBKDF2 with SHA256, 128 bit salt, and 10000 rounds) to encrypt and decrypt data, given a password. The encrypted ...
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151 views

Yubico's take on U2F key wrapping

I've been reading up on Yubico's implementation of U2F. What I understand so far is that two things are calculated. So upon registration first you calculate a private key by $PrivateKey = ...
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108 views

Encrypt-then-HMAC implementation - am I doing it right?

I want to implement authenticated encryption using C#. There is a dot net class called encryptAndAuthenticate, but it is only supported on windows 8 or later, and I need the code to also work on ...
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66 views

How to change the master password in a password manager

For a personal project, I'm building a password manager, based off the project in this syllabus from Stanford http://crypto.stanford.edu/~dabo/cs255/hw_and_proj/proj1.pdf Since I don't exactly have ...
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64 views

Compromise between HMAC and Digital Signature, by encrypting and sending secret key?

For achieving stateless authentication tokens (like JWT), is there a compromise between the performance of HMAC, and public key distribution of Digital Signature? Scenario: Sender is a centralized ...
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106 views

Why does HKDF use HMAC(salt, key) instead of HMAC(key, salt)?

I've been looking over the HKDF specs (RFC 5869), and something I noticed is that in the key and salt are reversed: ...
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A periodic PRNG based on hash function?

I need a PRNG which provides 128 bytes numbers. Let's say that given a symmetric key $K$ and an internal state $s$ I use the PRF HMAC-SHA512 this way: The output is PRNG($K, s$) = ...
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Are HMACs based on hashes with larger bit-lengths also more secure?

When doing encrypt-then-mac, I can choose to use a hmac as the MAC. For example, I could use a hash like SHA-256 or SHA-512 (by using it as a keyed hash) to create that HMAC. Does it increase ...
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297 views

Undecrypt using the OpenSSL EVP API?

I'm writing a client-server encryption scheme for homework, and I've stumbled upon what might be a fatal blow to my current implementation. When using AES-256-CBC on the two sides, it's important ...
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66 views

Is it wise to use HOTP (raw bytes) as a key for HMAC?

Assume I have client and server applications with a shared master secret KEY_SECRET already in place. Also assume that the client and server have an implicit shared ...
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Key Derivation from random salted seed, HMAC and HMAC based KDF

I would like to generate a key which would be good enough to be used for encryption with AES in a mobile environment. My idea is to use as a seed ''random attributes'' from a mobile device. Is hashing ...
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How to use HMAC-SHA1, HMAC-SHA2 in conjunction with AES

I understand how to compute HMAC-SHA1, HMAC-SHA2 etcetera. Please explain why/how is the resulting HMAC value is used in conjunction with AES for encryption/decryption and signing/verifying. In ...
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Case insensitive verification of HMAC / Base64 signature

I am signing a short message using the base64 of an HMAC, like this (python): ...
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HMAC SHA256 vs RSA SHA256 - which one to use

Salesforce recently announced they are moving away from HMAC SHA256 to RSA SHA256. Why did they make that move?. Any technical factors? Is HMAC really easy to break? ...
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HMAC-SHA256 on large data files

I currently need to encrypt large files (video, over 6 Gbytes) for our customers. To ensure authenticity and integrity, we chose HMAC-256 as we already use it in our internal messaging system. But ...
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How does SafeNet MobilePASS generate passwords?

We use MobilePASS at work but the latest version of the android client seems to be buggy so I wanted to have a go at implementing the algorithm myself. You can download the client to play with here: ...
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SHA256 HMAC brute force with chosen plaintext attacks

This is a follow up to Is It Possible To Reconstruct a Cryptographic Hash's Key I am using a SHA-256 HMAC function on a single-word input: sha256hmac(privatekey,word) = output. The private key length ...
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Brute forcing an HMAC

Given current technology such as GPUs and GPU cracking software I was wondering if anyone has an idea on how long it would take to brute force the key used to derive an HMAC?
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Breaking a PRNG Scheme

Assume the following scheme for a PRNG generating decimals in [0,100) Given a message and a key, compute tag := HMAC512(message, key). Take the first 5 hexadecimal characters of the tag. If the ...
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RSA digital signature vs authenticated cipher

I want to provide both confidentiality and integrity for data at rest (many large files stored on disk). I plan to encrypt the data using AES, which will cover the confidentiality requirement. So ...
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Deriving a key for HMAC, using PBKDF2

What is the recommended way to derive a key for an HMAC-SHA256, from a passphrase and salt? I'd like to compute an HMAC-SHA256. I have a passphrase, and a message. I note that RFC-7518 (JWA) ...
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What are the implications of a birthday attack on a HMAC?

After collecting approximately $2^{n/2}$ message-tag pairs a collision can be observed. So two different messages (m1 and m2) will have the same tag. This paper states: Then, for any string x, ...
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436 views

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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DIfferent inner and outer hash functions for NIST Recommended HMAC?

The NIST recommended HMAC uses $$\operatorname{HMAC}_k(text) = H_\mathrm{out}( (k \oplus \mathrm{opad}) \operatorname\| H_\mathrm{in}((k \oplus \mathrm{ipad}) \operatorname\| text) )$$ Is it ...
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Do you need a HMAC if decryption attempts are severely limited?

I am considering an application where data bandwidth is extremely limited, and considering removing message authentication codes from encrypted transmissions. The encryption method is currently ...
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58 views

Deriving AES key and HMAC key from shorter master key

I am working in .NET and as far as I can tell the only choice for key derivation is PBKDF2-HMAC-SHA1. SHA1's output size is only 160 bits. But I am implementing authenticated encryption and thus ...
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Question about HMAC with SHA1

I would like to make sure I understood HMAC. Wikipedia declares it like: $$\operatorname{HMAC}(K,m)=H((K\oplus\text{opad})||H((K\oplus\text{ipad})||m))$$ If I want to use HMAC-SHA1, am I correct to ...
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Is there any good reason to chain HMACs in this manner?

I am looking at some decompiled Java code from an Android app. As a security measure, a signature is passed as a parameter to a number of JSON requests. The method that generates the signature is as ...
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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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132 views

Is the mod_auth_tkt scheme secure?

The third-party Apache plugin mod_auth_tkt uses a tragically-not-HMAC construction: ...
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Is this session start protocol secure?

I am working on a password manager application that saves the user's passwords in a remote server. I need to use AES in CTR mode to encrypt the passwords before sending them to the server. The client ...
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167 views

HMAC key storage for a web app?

If one is going to use an HMAC, I.E: http://php.net/manual/en/function.hash-hmac.php, where exactly are they storing the key? Without some sort of secure storage (i.e not in a local file or code), I ...
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Is this a proper PBKDF2 key derivation function algorithm?

I've started implementing PBKDF2 algorithm recently and since I'm new in crypto, I would like to ask if my implementation is good. I looked up some documentations and I tried to follow many of them ...
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How many times can a key be used for HMAC-SHA256 before it needs to be rotated?

If I wanted to use hmac for proving that a value hadn't been tampered with, how many times can I use a key before it needs to be rotated?
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PBKDF2 Salt and Password Ordering

I am currently reading about PBKDF2, and understand that the salt is used only once, while the password is used multiple times in the computation of the final key (see this question). How would the ...
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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 ...