# Tagged Questions

Key size is the size measured in bits of the key used in a cryptographic algorithm.

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### Getting a key size of DSA/Elgamal certificate

I've tried to get a public key size of DSA/Elgamal PGP certificate. Using the Cleopatra I find out that there is actually two public keys - one with DSA with key ...
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### Computing cost for a trillionaire to compute GNFS in RFC 3766

RFC 3766, Section 4.1 discusses picking $n$ to achieve some target cost for employing the GNFS, i.e., $T$ is known and $N$ is unknown in the below equation: T = \kappa \cdot \exp{\left(c \cdot (\ln{...
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### Older key as PGP subkey?

Currently I have a 2048-bit PGP key. Suppose I create a new 4096-bit key. Can I add that old key as a subkey of this new one?
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### How can I determine key length for message encrypted by many-time-pad?

For message $m$ and key $k$ I get encrypted message $c$ ($m \oplus k = c$) where $length(k) < length(m)$. Additionally I know that message $m$ is English text. Instead of using pure ...
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### How does the key size in supersingular isogeny schemes relate to their security level?

I'm looking at the De Feo, Jao, and Plût 2014 paper: Towards quantum-resistant cryptosystems from supersingular elliptic curve isogenies. My understanding of section 3.2 Key Exchange, is that Alice'...
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### Password entropy much lower than entropy of encryption keys. Why is this acceptable?

When talking symmetric encryption, a 56 bit key is known to be so weak. If you use it for your encryption, you are considered a goner. When talking passwords however, the standard these days is ...
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### How secure is AES-256, but with an effective key length of 56-bits?

I need to encrypt a few drives using Kaspersky Total Security. I however noted something peculiar, Kaspersky's description of their cipher is: Data will be protected using AES-256 encryption ...
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### Master keys' strengh

If I am going to use a master key to generate a session key, why the master key must be "stronger" than the session key? Like should not be distributing 128-bit AES keys derived from a 56-bit DES key....
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### How long should a HMAC cryptographic key be?

In the top answer to this question the answerer says 'with a sufficently long key'. I am using a SHA1-HMAC (may switch to SHA256-HMAC) algorithm to verify cookies sent to clients as authentication ...
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### Is it safe to use fast/small hash for key identity?

I have to roll database access keys often, but it's important to know which key each system is using in order to avoid unavailability. I want the systems to report that without exposing the key itself,...
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### Why are the bit lengths of keys and digests equal in Lamport signatures?

In Lamport's one time signature scheme: One way function to convert a pseudo random number private key to a public key takes $\{0,1\}^n$ and returns $\{0,1\}^n$. Cryptographic hash function to ...
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### Block cipher block and key sizes

Is there any point in making block size less than key size in block cipher? For example, Russian GOST symmetric cipher uses 256-bit keys to encrypt 64-bit blocks. That means there are many keys which ...
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### Key size limitations due to software compatibility?

At the moment, much popular encryption-based software routinely handles up to 4096 bit keys and standard usage is broadly migrating from 1024 to 2048 bit keys. Hashes widely used are MD5/SHA1/SHA256 (...
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### Diffie-Hellman key size to symmetric formula?

I've noticed that on every site I checked I kept finding the relationship between D-H key size and symmetric encryption equivalent as a table, like: 384 - 56 768 - 80 1792 - 112 2304 - 128 10753 -...
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### How to calculate key size of a security algorithm?

There are lots of security algorithms. One of the way to measure security of a cryptography algorithm is to find out its key size. There are many key size of a single algorithm. ECC (Elliptic ...
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### NIST HMAC Test vectors

I am searching test vectors of the HMAC-SHA256 primitive to verify the correctness of an implementation. Without hesitation I go on the NIST website to see what they offer. While reading the ...
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### Should the most significant byte of a cryptograhic key be nonzero?

Is it safer to give a non zero value to the most significant byte (MSB) of a cryptographic key to ensure its length (not 31 instead of 32 for an EC private key on a 256-bit curve for example)? Or is ...
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### Why are there $2^{56}$ possible DES keys when there are 64 key bits?

On forums I read DES has $2^{56}$ possible keys so it takes x times to brute force it with hardware x. But there are 64 total bits of which are 8 parity bits. But those parity bits are a ...
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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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### How do I get the equivalent strength of an ECC key?

I know how to calculate the comparable symmetric strength of an RSA modulus: calculate the running time for a field sieve. This is how NIST gives approximate symmetric sizes for asymmetric algos in ...
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### RSA incorrectly translates for small keys [duplicate]

I've been learning about RSA and wrote my own implementation. I don't pretend to have intuitive understanding of RSA or that I understand why it works, but I believe to have some basic understanding ...
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### Probability of guessing random 128-bit AES key [closed]

Consider the following five events: Correctly guessing a random 128-bit AES key on the first try Winning a lottery with 1 million contestants Winning a lottery with 1 million contestants 5 times in ...
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### What part of an RSA key is referred to by the number of bits? [duplicate]

When we speak about 4096- or 2048-bit RSA keys, what part of the key is this number of bits? The public key comprises both the modulus and the public exponent, and the strength of the key can also be ...
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### Are private and public key sizes of Elliptic curve related?

I'm new to elliptic curve cryptography. I just want to know in the case where I take a random number (private key) and find its associated public key, does the size of the public key depends upon ...
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### The benefit of PBKDF2 for big keyfile?

The man page of cryptsetup says: Whenever a passphrase is added to a LUKS header (luksAddKey, luksFormat), the user may specify how much the time the passphrase processing should consume. The ...
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### Calculating the average key search time of DES

I am trying to understand how to calculate the average key search time given a specific scenario: Suppose we have a program that uses standard DES with 56 key bits, and we can test 10^6 keys per ...
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### Does the length of the keyword used for keytable for Playfair matter?

So for Playfair, we choose a keyword and put that in the keytable with no duplicates. Then, we fill the rest of the table with alphabets in order that are not in the keyword without 'J'. Does the ...
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### How to generate backup key for PBKD functions?

I would like to encrypt some files using AES, Ill derive key from password using some standard PBKD function and use that as AES encryption key. My question is, if user forgets the main password, ...
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### Is there a standard format for compact 56-bit DES keys?

DES keys are traditionally stored as 8-byte blobs, with only the high 7 bits of each byte being meaningful to the algorithm; the low bit of each byte is set so that the population count of the byte is ...
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### Subkey generation in OMAC1/CMAC with XTEA?

All implementations of CMAC that I have found so far use a block cipher with the same key and block size. However, XTEA enciphers a 64 bit block by using a 128 bit key. If ...
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### How to determine the RSA Private key size from the Public.key file?

Question: How to determine the RSA Private key size from the Public.key file? Just roughly, how big it could be? ...
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### Compacting a substitution cipher key

In a substitution cipher, I recieve 3 bits and than I return another 3 bits. The key of this cipher could be a matrix represented as: ...
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### Why exactly Blowfish max key length is 448

Could anyone, please, tell me history of birth of Blowfish algorithm? Specifically, what is substantiation of Blowfish key length to be in range from 32 till 448 bits? Why, for example, it wasn't 64-...
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### Recovering key length from transposition block cipher ciphertext

First of all I would like to say hello to all StackExchange users. So far I've been stalking the forum for some time, now it's time to leave the shadows. In my master thesis I'm writing about ...
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### ECC vs RSA: how to compare key sizes?

I know and I have understood the details of RSA, elliptic curve cryptography, (EC)DH and (EC)DSA. I keep reading everywhere that (if we don't consider non-deterministic computers) "ECC can achieve ...