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.

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1answer
270 views

Is it possible to weaken a bitcoin private key by “using” it elsewhere?

What are the increased possibilities (if any) of being able to crack a private key given the following: The associated bitcoin (ECDSA Secp256k1-based) public key is known. The private key has been ...
4
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4answers
1k views

What is an efficient random number generation algorithm

I have been looking for the algorithm that generates random number and this algorithm has to be more secure. I am going to use this algorithm to generate the salt that will be used in PBKDF2. ...
4
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3answers
633 views

Why does an algorithm need a keyspace?

Why does an algorithm need a keyspace? I thought the person encrypting would define his/her own key.
4
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4answers
1k views

Two different keys decrypting same content

is there some generally available algorithm which will encrypt a short string and generate two unique keys so that any of the two can be used to decrypt the message again? It doesn't has to be "super ...
4
votes
1answer
393 views

Do all ciphers have equivalent decryption keys?

Do all ciphers suffer from the problem of multiple equivalent decryption keys? Is the existence of equivalent keys an essential property for the security of a cipher? If you could prove that a cipher ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Can curve25519 keys be used with ed25519 keys?

Can curve25519 keys be used with ed25519? I'd prefer to use ed25519, but there isn't a fast java version. For my application, I'd like to use curve25519 until I can get a faster ed25519 for java. ...
4
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2answers
750 views

Does AES-128 have the same strength as AES-256 with a padded key?

When I use the same 128-bit key for AES-128 and AES-256 with a known/public padding for the latter, is there some weakness in AES-256 that is not present in AES-128 with essentially the same key? ...
4
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1answer
361 views

What is considered a “weak key” in AES?

I need to construct an AES key from an array of bytes (in Java), but I first I have to check if the key created from these bytes would be weak. Java can check for weakness for DES, but not for AES. ...
4
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2answers
311 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
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2answers
1k 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 ...
4
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3answers
332 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
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2answers
429 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
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1answer
179 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
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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
2answers
73 views

Chance of finding the right key by exhaustively searching on half of the key space

An exhaustive search of half the key space requires $2^{n-1}$ work and provides the right answer 75% of the time. If the attacker finds the key, he knows the answer. If he doesn't find the key, he ...
4
votes
1answer
47 views

Can you decrypt with 1 round key?

If one has the last round key in an SP or Feistel network (the 16th round key in DES for example), would that someone be able to decrypt the rest of the encryption?
4
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3answers
146 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
408 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
244 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
192 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
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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.
4
votes
1answer
98 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
114 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
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2answers
85 views

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 ...
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 known-...
4
votes
2answers
75 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
142 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
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1answer
197 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
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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
466 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
394 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
316 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
781 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
61 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
116 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
1k views

Does the secret key used in AES have to prime?

I’ve looked around this site and the web quite a bit, but can’t find a definitive answer on whether or not the secret key $k$ used in the AES crypto-system has to be a prime number? Or can you just ...
3
votes
1answer
422 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
2answers
2k views

Key Length vs KeySpace

I am a newbie here, this is my first post. I have searched the forum but I haven't found a clear answer to this. In general. What is the relationship between key length and the keyspace? (if there ...
3
votes
1answer
645 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
219 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
1answer
78 views

Highest prime factor that is Safe for a particular scheme

My question is how many bits of prime number is secure so that it cannot be factored from very large number? Until today how large prime factor is found in large number? Quantum computing find ...
3
votes
2answers
276 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
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
507 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 $X$...
3
votes
2answers
175 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
222 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
54 views

Need help understanding this exercise's solution

We were given this exercise, which asks us to identify the types of keys used on this diagram: The solution was Kxa -> A's private key Kya -> A's public key KxB -> B's private key My question ...
3
votes
2answers
93 views

Can CMAC be used as a 128bit Key Derivation Function?

I want to derive a key a number of times for a deterministic scenario, where I can get n keys from a single one. The logic looks something like this: ...
3
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1answer
108 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
122 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 ...