# Tagged Questions

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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### 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. ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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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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### 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 ...
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### 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, ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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. ...
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### 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 ...
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### Does key renewal increase complexity of MAC forgery?

Suppose I have encrypted messages sent to a device authenticated with a MAC keyed with a strong shared cryptographic key. This device can only process so many messages per unit of time. This ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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, ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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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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### 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?
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### Why do 1st and 3rd key have to be the same in 2 key 3DES?

From this answer: However, that wasn't the only situation they had in mind; they also considered the case where someone implemented 2 key 3DES in hardware (which the first and last subkeys ...
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### 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? ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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.
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Requiring a “supervisor” key pair and a “user” key pair to decrypt multiple-recipient messages

I've been toying with some encryption scenarios recently. One of the hard ones I came across is a multi-party system. So we have Bob -- The person who sends the message (and knows it's recipients) ...
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### Can you use the same key to provide a signature and a MAC?

Apologies if this is a stupid question, but I'd be grateful if someone could provide an answer. I'm assuming that you need to use different keys to provide these functions, is that correct?
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Number of keys when using symmetric and asymmetric encryption?

Quoting part of my homework/assignment: How many keys are required for secure communication among 1000 person if: Symmetric key encryption algorithm is used? Asymmetric key encryption ...