usually secret information used as input to various kinds of cryptographic algorithms, like encryption, signature, MAC, to select the concrete transformation done by the algorithm.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

4
votes
2answers
271 views

Can a 1 byte difference in AES 128 bit keys make huge difference in output?

If we take some randomly generated key of AES-128 and we change any random 1 byte of that 16 byte key, will this make huge difference in the AES cipher text generated over same input string? Does ...
4
votes
3answers
321 views

Derived Shared Key vs Distinct Keys?

I've seen a lot of 2-party applications that derive a shared key from distinct keys created by each party. Why is this technique employed? Would it not be better to use those two distinct keys for ...
4
votes
2answers
386 views

Secure method for encrypting 32 byte private keys

I am using 32 byte EC private keys on the client side of a web application. These keys should be securely stored on a server database. The keys should be encrypted (AES) before being sent to the ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

RSA example-calculation: Public Key = Private Key (e = d)

I am a bit confused. I just calculated manually the single steps of RSA for an implementation with small numbers and suddenly $d$ was equal $e$. Please help me understand what I am doing wrong. ...
4
votes
1answer
176 views

Understanding hash entropy

I have been told that one advantage of using a hash function is that it spreads entropy over all input bits. But it also seems to be true that a bad hash algorithm can make things less random. But how ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Secure private key storage

I'm developing application in Java that has to store RSA keys in software for foreseeable future (that is, at least 10 years). The two most common standards of storing private keys are PKCS12 and JKS ...
4
votes
3answers
123 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
340 views

Combining two keys

What is the most secure way to combine two "random" keys X of size k (k ≤ 512 bits) and Y of size 512 bits in one key Z of size k? Result Z will be used for encryption/decryption with various ...
4
votes
1answer
241 views

Swapping Key and IV in AES? Safe?

I have an application where I want to be able to send an encrypted file, and then mete out "keys" that allow the receipient to decrypt the file from a certain point to the end of the file. Actually, ...
4
votes
1answer
188 views

Does EAX use the same keys for encryption and authentication?

I am actually checking use of EAX AEAD mode, and following EAX spec review (scheme definition for my part), my question is: what about the derivation of the authentication and encryption keys? In the ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How does a key wrapping like RFC 3394 secure my cryptographic keys?

So I'm messing around in the BouncyCastle library with the RFC 3394 AES Key Wrap engine and I'm trying to understand the benefit of it. The problem I'm running into is how to store keys securely on a ...
4
votes
1answer
87 views

How does a company like Apple keep its keys safe? [closed]

Whatever key is used to sign new iOS updates (for example) must be incredibly well-protected. How does a huge corporation like Apple keep those 4096 bits safe?! Same goes for SSL keys for websites ...
4
votes
3answers
80 views

Choosing which is public vs private key

When I calculate two RSA keys, what if anything, would make any difference which I call the public vs which I call the private key?
4
votes
1answer
708 views

Client and server using same SSL certificate - any issues?

I'm working on software where multiple components will communicate with each other using SSL. There would be one central component acting as a server, which would also require the clients to present ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Figuring out key in hill cipher (chosen-plaintext attack)

I have been wondering what approach to take in order to figure out what key was used to encrypt a message using the hill cipher. I know it is possible to obtain it even if it were just a ...
4
votes
1answer
136 views

Private and Public Keys

I have a very basic understanding of encryption and the encapsulation process, but for the life of me I can't grasp how public keys and private keys work, how they're made, and how they're exchanged. ...
4
votes
1answer
183 views

Session-specific Symmetric Key Derivation Using SHA256

I was wondering if there were any security implications of deriving session keys from a symmetric key using SHA256 in the following manner: $Ks = SHA256(Nonce||K)$, where $Nonce$ is the session ...
4
votes
0answers
97 views

Anonymisation resilient to key leak

Problem statement Elbonian citizens have been issued a card holding a random $B_j\in\{0,1\}^b$, $0\le j<2^n$, $b\ge n+20$ (representative example $b=64$, $n=28$). The habit has grown to use this ...
3
votes
2answers
442 views

Is prime regeneration necessary for every new session using a Diffie-Hellman key exchange?

As I understand it, bruteforcing a Diffie-Hellman generated secret key takes $P-1$ attempts to crack the shared secret, where $P$ is a very large prime used for modulus. If your $P$ is quite large, ...
3
votes
2answers
359 views

Key space vs Cardinality of 1024-bit RSA

I have been trying to figure out the encryption key space, and cardinality of 1024-bit RSA. From my understanding, the key generated from 1024-bit will be primes greater than $2^{1023}$ but less than ...
3
votes
1answer
307 views

Can all asymmetric key pairs be reversed?

After reading about public/private key cryptography, there are still a few points I don't really understand. Based on the way (I understand) challenges work, the public key is used to encrypt a ...
3
votes
4answers
738 views

Is there a symmetric-key cryptography based on key establishment techniques?

Most of the current key exchange techniques are based on public-key cryptography. Are there any key exchange/establishment techniques based on symmetric-key cryptography too? In my setup primary ...
3
votes
2answers
59 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
111 views

Is it safe to initialize secret keys by just reading /dev/random on Linux?

For a software, I don't want the user to choose weak keys, so I plan to just read the needed number of bytes from /dev/random to create the needed secret keys. Is it safe to do so?
3
votes
2answers
933 views

Reason(s) for using a KDF for encryption keys

Assuming I already have a 256-key (32 char password) for AES encryption, comprised of random alpha-numeric characters and punctuation (95 possible ascii chars), generated by a decent PRNG, is there ...
3
votes
1answer
386 views

ECC keys vulnerable to brute force attack?

I have started learning about Elliptic curve cryptography. Since the key size required in ECC is relatively lesser than the key size in RSA to provide the same amount of strong encryptions, I wonder ...
3
votes
1answer
588 views

Generating a cryptographically secure, many-time use, symmetric encryption key

I need to generate a 256 bit encryption key described by the adjectives in the title. Currently I intend to create the key using this RNG. Is this a secure manner of creating the key, given that it ...
3
votes
2answers
216 views

Helper data authentication in PUFs

As I understand, PUFs work by using two procedures: generation and reproduction. Generation reads a value $w$ from a fuzzy source and generates a key $R$ and helper data $P$. Then, in the reproduction ...
3
votes
2answers
183 views

What exactly does a key do?

I am getting to grips with cryptography as a total newbie, and am struggling with encryption "keys" and how to visualize them. From http://computer.howstuffworks.com/encryption.htm/printable: ...
3
votes
1answer
488 views

How to calculate entropy of a combined key

I know how to calculate the entropy of a key that relates to its selection process. For example if the key space is $1000$, entropy of a randomly chosen key is $1000$. Suppose now you have two keys ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How to generate a public key from a private ECDSA key?

Having some specific ECDSA curve and a private key, how does one calculate the public key? I am having a hard time finding the algorithm and equations for it.
3
votes
2answers
172 views

Is there an advantage to storing keys split between several hashes?

I have a question about the way to store a key or password that was used for encryption, so that the application can check if the user put in the right key for decryption. If I make a mistake, please ...
3
votes
1answer
220 views

A set of key pairs and one hash to secure them

I have a simple problem: I have a set of users' ECDSA key pairs, and say I want to encrypt them with a simple algorithm. I have access to one variable that uniquely identifies the user, so I hash it ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Question on 3DES keys

The official NIST publication I saw says for federal applications 3DES with three keys should be used. I have such questions: what does it mean federal? Does it mean for industrial applications that ...
3
votes
1answer
120 views

Does re-iterate AES128 with different keys gives any benefict?

I'm not cryptography expert (well, I'm here after all!) but I have this doubt… Suppose I have 2 different keys: secretkey1 secretkey2 And a plain text: myReallySecretPlainText If I use AES128 ...
3
votes
1answer
140 views

Calculate entropy of key derived from PBKF2 function

I am using PBKF2 to derive a encryption key from a password. suppose entropy of my password is y and my PBKF2 function has x number of iterations. So how to calculate the entropy of finale key derived ...
3
votes
1answer
464 views

Which PRNG security requirements do I need for key generation

Do I need to worry about "predictability" an an allegedly secure CSPRNG if I am just using it to generate key material from time to time? Suppose that for some odd reason, I am less trustful today ...
3
votes
1answer
605 views

What's the most secure way to derive a key from a password repeatably?

I'm trying to write a cloud storage application where everything the user uploads is unreadable by the server, encrypted client-side before being sent. Currently, the flow looks like this: User ...
3
votes
3answers
300 views

Existing works on pre-computing ElGamal ephermal keys

I was playing around with a problem in e-voting schemes that use additive homomorphic encryption to tally votes, namely that at the end of the day somebody (or somebodies, if the secret material has ...
3
votes
1answer
42 views

Updating the seed key of a PRNG while maintaining initial entropy?

Consider a seed key ($n$-bit long) is completely random and entropy of random variable is $n$ and PRNG is using deterministic algorithm and that that deterministic algorithm does not add any entropy ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Can a billion elliptic curve keys be generated on a laptop in less than an hour?

I want my application to generate an EC key pair. The first four bytes of the sha256 hash of the public key should contain a known IP address. As hashes are one-way functions, I need to brute force ...
3
votes
2answers
253 views

Block size vs key size confusion

I understand that if a block cipher has $k$-bit keys and $n$-bit input/output blocks, then if $k>n$, we can expect one message-ciphertext pair to narrow us down (I think?) to $2^{k-n}$ possible ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Determine the Key given ciphertexts and plaintexts?

Given two sets of plaintexts and their corresponding ciphertexts, how does one determine the key $K$? The ciphertexts are: $$C_1= (P_1 \oplus K_0) + K_1$$ and $$C_2= (P_2 \oplus K_0) + K_1$$ $K = ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the difference between the long term key and the session keys?

I'm currently studying secret key cryptography, and I've come across the terms "long-term key" and "session key". What's the difference between these two kinds of keys?
3
votes
1answer
986 views

Difference entity authentication and implicit key authentication

From the Handbook of Applied Cryptography, in discussions of key sharing algorithms, I see definitions: Implicit key authentication is when one party is assured that no other aside from a ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

Can a book cipher be cracked without key?

Book cipher works this way : Choose a reference book. For each word find its position in the book. replace each word by its coordinates (ie: 2,3,4 = page 2, 3rd line, 4th word). How would ...
3
votes
1answer
168 views

RSA: Most significant key bit always 1?

Is it possible to say that the most significant bit of an RSA private exponent is always 1? Wouldn't that weaken the key strength by exactly that one bit? I refer to the paper "Timing Attack: What ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Can Pseudorandom values be used as secure keys?

I want to derive $n$ keys from a master key. I pick a master key $mk$ and use pseudo-random function (PRF) to generate $n$ pseudo-random values, $v_i=PRF(mk,i)$ where $1\leq i \leq n$. Next, I use ...
3
votes
2answers
167 views

HMAC key storage for a web app?

If one is going to use an HMAC, I.E: http://php.net/manual/en/function.hash-hmac.php, where exactly are they storing the key? Without some sort of secure storage (i.e not in a local file or code), I ...
3
votes
2answers
75 views

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 ...