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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6
votes
4answers
982 views

Creating an encryption key from several other keys and using hash functions

I want to combine two or more keys to create a single encryption key that relies on all of them. What is the proper method for doing that? Simple XOR? Using hash functions? Something else? I ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the largest performed/possible bruteforce attack to date?

I've read that cracking 128-bit key is currently out of reach of all humanity. However, I can't seem to find any information on what scope of brute force attacks have been performed or are possible at ...
1
vote
1answer
280 views

Which encodings have |encoding key| >> |decoding key|?

I'm looking for an encoding scheme that requires a very large encoding key E (>10MB) and suffices with a relatively small decoding key ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How to calculate an IV when I have a shared private key?

I'm working with a server/client system that has securely negotiated a private key. I need to encrypt/decrypt messages passing in both directions which are typically between 100 bytes to 100 KB. I'm ...
4
votes
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. ...
3
votes
2answers
189 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Related-key attacks on AES

According to Wikipedia: Related-key attacks can break AES-192 and AES-256 with complexities $2^{176}$ and $2^{99.5}$, respectively. What are the requirements for these attacks (i.e how many ...
5
votes
1answer
842 views

How does GPG verify succesful decryption?

How does GPG (or other programs using the OpenPGP file format) verify that it has succeeded with decryption (for symmetrically encrypted data)? Is something appended to the clear text so there exist ...
5
votes
1answer
295 views

Why are the random exponents so much bigger in the Socialist Millionaire protocol versus Diffie-Hellman key exchange?

Section 8, Security considerations, of RFC3526, which defines groups used for Diffie-Hellman has a table recommending some random exponent sizes. In particular, it says: The strength of a key ...
4
votes
3answers
250 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How key materials are generated in SSL V3 from master secret

The generation of key materials is given by ...
4
votes
1answer
788 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
787 views

How to require two keyholders to decrypt a document?

I want to create a system to encrypt a document and store it with a 3rd party, but not have the 3rd party be able to decrypt it until some unspecified later date. It seems like the solution would be ...
7
votes
2answers
430 views

Key Length & Hashing

I need to use a hash function to generate a 128-bit key for a symmetric cipher. The specific cipher is from the eStream portofolio, called Rabbit. I am using the SRP protocol for authentication (a ...
3
votes
1answer
207 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
510 views

Is there an effective way for public key generation in homomorphic encryption schemes?

Is there any way to effectively generate valid distributed public key in schemes like ElGamal or Benaloh for a number of participants? There's no need in private keys since there's no intent to ...
11
votes
3answers
657 views

Where do I securely store the key for a system where the source is visible?

I have a customer with an Access database (ugh!) in which credit cards are stored in plaintext (yikes!), so amongst other changes I'm doing in the app, I'm applying some encryption in there. I've ...
10
votes
6answers
887 views

Why does PBKDF2 xor the iterations of the hash function together?

The definition of PBKDF2 states that I obtain a derived key (1) by calling a pseudorandom function a bunch of times recursively: $U_1 = PRF(password, salt)$ $U_2 = PRF(password, U_1)$ … $U_n ...
16
votes
7answers
3k views

How can SSL secure a two-way communication with only one key-pair?

As I understand it, SSL involved the use of a public-private key pair. How does this enable two-way communication? Suppose I have some server with which I wish to communicate securely. I connect to ...