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

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AES key/ciphertext space sizes

This is giving me a brain ache now... If I have AES-128, block is 128 bit, then every plaintext (128-bit) can be encrypted to some ciphertext that is also 128-bit. This is the block size. But: 128-bit ...
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Why does the recommended key size between symmetric and asymmetric encryption differ greatly?

In various articles it is mentioned that for secure communications, the recommended key sizes are 128-bit key size for symmetric encryption (which makes it $2^{128}$ possible keys?) and 2048-bit key ...
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How can encryption software accept password lengths which are not one of the AES key lengths?

AES comes with key sizes of 128, 192, and 256 bit. But in Truecrypt or other crypto software we can use passwords of different length, even less than 128 bit or more than 256 bit. How is this ...
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AES Key Length vs Block Length

This answer points out that certain key and block lengths were a requirement for the AES submissions: The candidate algorithm shall be capable of supporting key-block combinations with sizes of ...
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How much extra information is in an RSA public key?

I'm trying to calculate the size of an RSA public key in Ruby. I've retrieved the key in PEM format, and once I've decoded the base64 part from the PEM format, I get the size in bytes. What I find is ...
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Is 512-bit RSA still safe for signature generation?

The standard CSP on Windows XP only supports RSA up to 512-bit, which means that it's the maximum key size I can use for authenticity verification of updates. The public key is embedded in the ...
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SHA-256 and AES-128

Does it make an encrypted string more secure if I use SHA256(x) instead of x as the secret key for AES-128 encryption? I do know that SHA-256 produces 64 characters of hashed string regardless of what ...
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How many keys does the Playfair Cipher have?

I was just studying the Playfair cipher and from what I've understood, it is just a slightly better version of a Caesar cipher, in that it isn't actually mono-alphabetic but rather the 'digrams' are ...
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Can iterated key expansion in Blowfish slow down bruteforce attacks on small key sizes?

Suppose I have to use 64-bit keys for encryption (e.g. to comply with export restrictions). For this question, assume this key is truly random, and the encryption algorithm is Blowfish. Blowfish key ...
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RC4 Keylength Limits

While reading the Wiki page on RC4 I noticed that the key size must be in the range of 40–2,048 bits. Why is that? Is there a reason it can't have a lower or higher length?
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Padding for the TEA

Sorry if this is a noob questions, but I finally figured out how to implement the Tiny Encryption Algorithm in C++. My question is what to do about padding the key and the plaintext? I know that ...
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How were the AES key and block length subsets of Rijndael selected?

My intuition tells me it's a trade off between speed and security, but how did the standardisation process select these three seemingly arbitrary key lengths (namely, AES-128, AES-192, AES-256).
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Digital signature for an expiring password

I would like to create a publicly available tool that is used to generate a password that gives a limited time access to a resource. My idea is to digitally sign the current date with a private key ...
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Comparison: complexity measures vs. security

Assume that you want to compare several cryptographic primitives (say, encryption schemes), and choose one. You need to consider several complexity measures, such as the key length, encryption time, ...
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How strong is the ECDSA algorithm?

Some cryptographic algorithms are as strong as the size of their key is, while other have some weaknesses that limit their strength (such as SHA-1). How strong is the ECDSA algorithm, and does that ...
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Which encodings have |encoding key| >> |decoding key|?

I'm looking for an encoding scheme that requires a very large encoding key E (>10MB) and suffices with a relatively small decoding key ...
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How big an RSA key is considered secure today?

I think 1024 bit RSA keys were considered secure ~5 years ago, but I assume that's not true anymore. Can 2048 or 4096 keys still be relied upon, or have we gained too much computing power in the ...
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What should be the size of a Diffie-Hellman private key?

I'm implementing the SRP-6 protocol, which relies on discrete logarithms for it's security (essentially Diffie-Hellman). The RFC documents state: The private values $a$ and $b$ SHOULD be at least ...
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How much can we compress RSA public keys?

I am wondering to what degree we can define an RSA variant, with a security argument that it is as safe as regular RSA with a given modulus size $m$ (e.g. $m=2048$), in which the public key has a ...
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Are there practical upper limits of RSA key lengths?

Suppose one wanted to use RSA encryption for the sole purpose of sending key bits for use in symmetric crypto systems, a dedicated key exchange system so to speak. And say you didn't think that the ...
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What are the practical differences between 256-bit, 192-bit, and 128-bit AES encryption?

AES has several different variants: AES-128 AES-192 AES-256 But why would someone prefer use one over another?