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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2
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4answers
518 views

What is the actual difference between security through obscurity and true encryption?

In an abstract sense, aren't both the same? Don't their definitions boil down to the following? security through obscurity: trying to make sure some information cannot be obtained without knowing ...
3
votes
3answers
274 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
2answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
292 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 ...
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. ...
5
votes
2answers
588 views

Using bad generator in ElGamal Encryption

Suppose Alice chooses a random Prime $p$ and a random private Key $a \in \mathbb{Z}^*_p$. By accident, she also chooses a random number $g \in \mathbb{Z}^*_p$, which is not a generator of ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

Separate Read and Write Keys in TLS Key Material

Why does the TLS protocol use different symmetric keys for receiving and sending data? Isn't it enough to have a single key used for both reading and writing?
4
votes
1answer
433 views

Is quantum key distribution safe against MITM attacks too?

i read this recently: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12786-quantum-cryptography-to-protect-swiss-election.html and some parts of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_key_distribution ...
6
votes
2answers
704 views

Hash decrypts key, key decrypts cipher… why?

I noticed recently that a couple of pieces of encryption software (TrueCrypt being one of them) don't directly use a hash of the password as the key for the block cipher. Instead, they generate a ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

Encrypting documents through a proxy key

Suppose I'm developing an app to secure a lot of documents. These documents were encrypted (say, using AES) with a key X. This key X is basically the password that the user enters before wanting to ...
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
284 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 ...
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
298 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
255 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
1answer
797 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
807 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
443 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
208 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
660 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 ...