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

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What do the magic numbers 0x5c and 0x36 in the opad/ipad calc in HMAC do?

Wikipedia lists the following pseudocode for HMAC: ...
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Purpose of outer key in HMAC

From what I know, the HMAC constructions has two strength: It's resistant to length extensions Since the key is consumed before the message, the attacker does not know the initial state, preventing ...
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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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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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HMAC vs MAC functions

I've read definitions of MAC and HMAC, but can't say I've completely grasped the differences. What are principle differences? When to use one and when the other?(Typical Use Cases)
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Using the same secret key for encryption and authentication in a Encrypt-then-MAC scheme

Is it a weakness to use a single shared secret for protecting messages using a Encrypt-then-MAC scheme? Assuming a system is using AES-256-CBC and a SHA1-HMAC and the same secret key for both ...
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Is Encrypt+HMAC stronger than AEAD?

There are a few posts that I've come across that seem to infer that using regular encryption and a MAC might be better than using the newer AEAD (ie: AES/GCM) modes. http://www.daemonology.net/blog/...
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Is HMAC-MD5 considered secure for authenticating encrypted data?

I've read something to the effect that the HMAC construct is able to lessen the problem of collisions in the underlying hash. Does that mean that something like HMAC-MD5 still might be considered ...
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Security of N bit HMAC

Lets say that I am using 128 bit HMAC. How many operations are needed to find a "non secure" message. Is a birthday attack possible?
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Can I use HMAC-SHA1 in counter mode to make a stream cipher?

Say I have an embedded device which is only capable of doing HMAC-SHA1 transformations (that device is, in fact, a YubiKey). Would it be secure to feed it like a block cipher in counter mode to get a ...
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What is the difference between MAC and HMAC?

In reference to this question, what are the "stronger security properties" that HMAC provides over MAC. I got that MAC requires an IV whereas HMAC doesn't. I also understood that MAC may reveal ...
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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 is the salt used only once in PBKDF2, while the password is used often?

The purpose of PBKDF2 is to create a derived key (DK) from a master password (PW) and a salt, often using a function like HMAC-SHA256. I have read that the salt should be as random as possible. But ...
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Which MACs can be converted into a secure unkeyed hash function?

It is known that setting the secret key to a fixed, public value does not make MACs like CBC-MAC or GMAC into secure unkeyed cryptographic hash functions that could be used - for instance - for ...
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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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Can I determine if a user has the wrong symmetric encryption key?

We're using the Objectivity/DB object database with a custom encryption plugin that encrypts serialized objects on disk. Encryption uses AES with a shared secret key held by all users. I would like to ...
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Encrypt-then-MAC: Do I need to authenticate the IV?

In the setting of Encrypt-then-MAC, do I need to include the IV in what I'm HMACing, or is authenticating just the AES-encrypted data sufficient?
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Why does a broken hash function undermine an HMAC?

For instance, what makes MD4 a bad choice for an HMAC? In this case I am asking about MD4 because its less than ideal. I know that a preimage attack can be used to undermine the system, but why? ...
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What are advantages of using a HMAC over RSA with SHA-1 hashes?

I am currently studying for an exam and this was a previous question: Give one advantage of using HMACs over using RSA to sign SHA-1 hashes. My thoughts are that it has something to do with the ...
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GCM vs CTR+HMAC tradeoffs

So these days I see everyone using AES-GCM. What are its advantages over simple CTR+HMAC modes? Is it speed? Or ciphertext length? And what are the security tradeoffs, both in terms of practical ...
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Side channel security of HMAC in software

Assume we have a processor with a symmetric co-processor that supports AES. This processor does however not provide co-processor support for hash algorithms such as SHA-1 or SHA-256. I've got the ...
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What is the difference between a HMAC and a hash of data?

On a recent question it became apparent that there's a significant difference between an HMAC of input data and a hash of input data. What exactly is the difference between an HMAC and a hash of a ...
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Is there a null HMAC?

I came up with this question while unit testing a function that includes an HMAC. What is the expected behavior of an HMAC with a well-defined key and a set of data with no elements in it? Is there ...
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Is calculating HMAC from hashed input a good idea?

Original HMAC algorithm is as follows: H(K XOR opad || H(K XOR ipad || text)) What if text would replaced with H(text)? ...
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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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How to authenticate over open channel?

I am making an arduino project to open my garage door. I want to make it so users with the passphrase can open the door. Due to computational restrictions it is unlikely encryption is possible. ...
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Is it secure to derive an AES key from a MAC?

I'm working on a project where we need to encrypt a large number of files and store them on the cloud. And I'm wondering if the following process would be secure (we have a “Hardware Security Module” ...
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Why are HOTP and TOTP implementations all using 6 digits and not more?

I was checking the RFC's after wondering for some time. In RFC 4226 - HOTP: An HMAC-Based One-Time Password Algorithm, it states on the appendix: A simple enhancement in terms of security would be ...
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Should HMAC-SHA3 be preferred over H(C(k,M))?

If I understand correctly SHA-3 (Keccak) is resistant against more attacks than SHA-2. This would make it possible - again if I understand correctly - to use SHA-3 with a simpler scheme than HMAC. ...
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What size should the HMAC key be with SHA-256?

I'm trying to generate a secret key to be used for HMAC SHA-256 signature processing. I've seen many sample of keys with variable length from 32 characters to 96 characters. What is the ironclad rule ...
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Is the HMAC construction really neccessary for a fixed length message?

The HMAC Construction is defined as: Hash( (Key XOR opad) || Hash((Key XOR ipad) || Message) ) This was designed because a simpler construction such as: ...
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Is HMAC-MD5 still secure for commitment or other common uses?

MD5 collisions have been out for some time. In spite of this, HMAC-MD5 is still secure for authenticating data1. This illustrates a strength of the HMAC construction, it does not require that the hash ...
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Which risks are associated with deriving multiple keys from the same DH secret Z?

NIST recommends Krawczyk's HMAC-based key derivation function (HKDF) in SP-800-56C (PDF). HKDF shall e.g. be used to create keys from shared secrets after Diffie Hellman key establishment. NIST ...
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Could an HMAC be used as a hash?

MD5 is considered broken and SHA-1 is closely following, but HMACs built around either are still considered relatively secure. It makes me wonder if MD5 and SHA-1 HMACs can be used as secure hashes. ...
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Which of these 3 AES 128 symmetric encrypt/decrypt routines is most secure?

I am developing a symmetric en-/decryption routine written in c# for a database containing user-specific, sensitive information. I have narrowed down the implementation to 3 different approaches, ...
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HMAC vs ECDSA for JWT

I will be implementing JSON web tokens into my website and have a question about implementing them. I have a choice of using two algorithms, HMAC-SHA256 and ECDSA-SHA256. I have used HMAC-SHA256 in ...
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Is PBKDF2-HMAC-SHA1 really broken?

I just read through this article which demonstrates practical (and seemingly trivial) collisions in PBKDF2-HMAC-SHA1, and provides a few examples of collisions. Am I missing something here? Is PBKDF2-...
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HMAC for short messages

I am using HMAC (hmac-sha256 to be precise) message authentication without encryption. My question is, is having a short message make it easy to determine what my secret key is? My C# code is as ...
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Block-cipher based vs Hash based MAC

When it comes to MAC algorithms one can have many choices. CBC-MAC, CMAC, PMAC etc are some MAC algorithms that rely on block ciphers (ex AES) to generate a MAC. On the other hand HMAC is very popular ...
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Is there any benefit to verifying PKCS#7 padding when using AES CBC and HMAC?

As I'm using HMAC to ensure integrity and authenticity of the ciphertext, is there any additional security benefit to verifying PKCS#7 padding when decrypting using AES CBC? A previous question asked ...
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Is HMAC-SHA-1 secure?

Although SHA-1 theoretically has collisions, HMAC-SHA-1 which is based on SHA-1 is still widely used (in TLS for example) and is considered to be secure. How is that possible?
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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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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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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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How does the secret key in an HMAC prevent modification of the HMAC?

Just as a preface: I'm not implementing a HMAC - I just want to understand it, as it is part of of my Computer Science course. When using Hash-based message authentication codes, I understand that ...
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Single-purpose symmetric encryption scheme for single files

I'm writing a simple password manager program that will encrypt/decrypt a single file (it's size will most likely stay under a few K). This is my initial file format design: ...
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Why do cryptographic hashes need to be fixed length?

Why do cryptographic hashes need to have a fixed length output? I know that the shallow answer is that an output that varies by key size or file size can leak information somehow, leading to ...
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Keys in HMAC and NMAC

I'm quite new to this topic and have several questions concerning HMAC and NMAC: Why does NMAC need two keys? How can it be attacked if we just used some sort of initialization vector instead of the ...
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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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How is HMAC(message,key) more secure than Hash(key1+message+key2)

I understand how for hash functions which are vulnerable to length extension attacks (such as SHA1 and SHA2) it is safer to use a HMAC construction. What I don't understand is, how or why is ...