# Tagged Questions

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

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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 ...
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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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### Interpreting a set S subset of {1,2,3,…,N} to a N-bits String

If I have a set S which is a subset of {1, 2, . . ., N} and I want to interpret S as a N- bits string. Is it possible to do so? If possible then how?
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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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### 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 many bits of symmetric security does RSA-3072 actually provide? [duplicate]

I know that the sizes are standardized to $1024$, $2048$ etc. but they actually provide different security than $128$, $256$... for example $\texttt{RSA-}2048$ is actually $112$ bits of security and ...
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### For RSA keys, is the safety of a given key-length different for signing vs encryption?

I'm wondering if considerations of key-length are different when thinking about signing vs encryption. If for some reason, it was safter to use smaller keys for signing that would be interesting.
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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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### 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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### PyCrypto and AES: can i use a longer key than the block size (16byte)?

I see that in many scripts are used keys of 16 characters for a block of 16 byte, but can I use key of 40 (for example)? And then why in some scripts with aes module the block size is set to 32 byte ...
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### Does encrypting with MGF1/SHA-512/1024-bit seed equal to a 1024-bit key block cipher?

Suppose: Alice uses SHA-512 with MGF1(as in PKCS#1 V2) and a 1024-bit random seed to generate a mask, XORs the mask with a message(M), gets a cipher text (CT), and sends the CT to her old friend ...
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### Do 2DES and 3DES2 have the same effective key length?

I am following the notes "Introduction to Modern Cryptography" by Bellare and Rogaway, and on the chapter about blockciphers there is the following claim (page 11 of ...
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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 secret key size of a CP-ABE scheme

How can I calculate the real size of key in a CP-ABE scheme. For example, I have this GSWV scheme: Fuchun Guo, Willy Susilo, Duncan Wong, Vijay Varadharajan: CP-ABE with constant-size keys for ...
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### Why are recomended RSA key lengths so high? [duplicate]

I was checking for authoritative sources to back up my recommendation of a minimum RSA key length of 1024 and was shocked to find that NIST 800-56Br1 and FIPS 186-4 both recommend at least 2048 bits ...
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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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### Is a 4DES or 5DES system possible?

We know that 3DES is created with $E_{K_3}(D_{K_2}(E_{K_1}(m)))$ to extend DES's key length. Is it possible to extend it further by repeating this pattern? Perhaps using ...
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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 ...
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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? ...
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### Extending key sizes in Salsa20 and ChaCha?

I've written implementations of Salsa20 and ChaCha that accept 384 and 448 bit keys. It was fairly trivial to implement, the 'sigma' constant is replaced with key material, and the counter, (which was ...
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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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### Key Size for Symmetric Homomorphic Encryption Over the Integers

In the paper Fully Homomorphic Encryption over the Integers, it mentions a symmetric key scheme on page 1 and 2. Key Generation: Pick a random odd number $p \epsilon [2^{N-1},2^N)$ Encrypt A Bit m: ...
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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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### ElGamal and Paillier key sizes for short messages

I am using ElGamal and Paillier schemes to encrypt a large number of short messages: typical 4-byte integers. I do this for the homomorphic properties of these schemes. However, the way the ...
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### 1 Billion Bit Encryption?

So, browsing through YouTube, I stumbled on this video interview of John Draper (Captain Crunch), one of the first "hackers". He talks for about 3 minutes (until 27:48) about his home rolled ...
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### Can there be a need for 1024-bit (symmetric) encryption?

I think we are all aware of the CAESAR-competition. Now the aim of this competition is to select a (portfolio of) winner(s) which provide authenticated encryption. I'll now assume that the results ...
### Cardinality of the key space $\{0,1\}^\ell$
Imagine we have a scheme whose key is chosen from the set $\{0,1\}^\ell$. My question is: What is the size of key space for this scheme?