# Tagged Questions

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

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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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### 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 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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### 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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### Mathematical formula for switching the key for OTP?

Instead of generating the random key for the one time pad cipher over and over again, is there a mathematical formula that allows you to switch the key to a new key? The new key must be as random and ...
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### Does a key derivation function always generate an even distribution of bits in the resulting key?

I am a student of crypto. During our study course, we went into the AES-128 algorithm. All the examples given used an initial key k, 128 bits and we only briefly touched on the key derivation of ...
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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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### Security strength of RSA in relation with the modulus size

NIST SP 800-57 §5.6.1 p.62–64 specifies a correspondence between RSA modulus size $n$ and expected security strength $s$ in bits: ...
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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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### 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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### Choosing primes in the Paillier cryptosystem

In the first step of key generation phase in Paillier cryptosystem given here. It's given that $$\operatorname{length}(p) = \operatorname{length}(q) ) \implies \operatorname{gcd}(pq,(p-1)(q-1))=1$$ ...
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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 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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### 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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### 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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### 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 updater,...
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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 is Rijndael key length restricted?

Why is Rijndael restricted to key length in $\lbrace 128, 160, 192, 224, 256\rbrace$ bits (and not larger)? The algorithm looks to me like it would support an arbitrary-sized key (multiple of $32$). ...
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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 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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### 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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### Does it make sense to have a 4000 bit long key?

My question is about the key length of a asymetric algorithm. How is it possible to memorize or remember a key that is about 4000 bits long?
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### When NIST disallows the use of 1024-bit keys, what effect will that have on SHA-3 (with max. 512 bits)?

Quoting the article Gone in 60 Months or Less: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has disallowed the use of 1024-bit keys after 31 December 2013 because they are insecure. ...
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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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### Is there a public key encryption scheme with optimal key size?

Symmetric encryption schemes such as AES have known security levels equal to their key sizes (i.e. breaking an encryption with an $n$ bit key needs about $2^n$ work steps). Elliptic curve encryption ...
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### Is RSA key size the size of private key exponent?

I have implemented a key pair generation scheme for RSA algorithm. I have taken the length of private key exponent as RSA key size, but then I've got to know that RSA key size is the size of the ...
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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? ...