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

31
votes
2answers
14k views

What is the main difference between a key, an IV and a nonce?

What are the main differences between a nonce, a key and an IV? Without any doubt the key should be kept secret. But what about the nonce and the IV? What's the main difference between them and their ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

How many RSA keys before a collision?

I was wondering how many possible private/public keys exist? If a million people – for whatever reason – would try to generate 5 keys each in the same minute (on the same date and time) is there a ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Using the same RSA keypair to sign and encrypt

The RSA signature operation is basically the same as encrypting with the private key. In particular, both operations use the same kind of keys. Is it safe to use the same RSA keypair both for ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

DES — Can I recover the key when I have both ciphertext and the plaintext?

Given a message and DES encrypted form of said message, is it possible to efficiently compute the key used to encrypt the data?
5
votes
1answer
341 views

For a given plaintext-ciphertext pair, how many valid AES keys are there?

For $PT\in \mathbb{M}$ and $CT\in \mathbb{C}$, let $\mathbb{F}=\{f|f:\mathbb{M}\rightarrow\mathbb{C}\}$ be the collection of all functions from $\mathbb{M}$ to $\mathbb{C}$. Then AES encryption under ...
3
votes
1answer
630 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
773 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
2k 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
268 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
659 views

Can we ensure the security of a crypto-algorithm and -implementaton against acoustic cryptanalysis?

Like people always say: “Attacks only get worse…” — which is why I'm asking early. I have been reading the paper “RSA Key Extraction via Low-Bandwidth Acoustic Cryptanalysis” published December 18, ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

When using Curve25519, why does the private key always have a fixed bit at 2^254?

When using Curve25519, the private key always seems to have a fixed bit set at position 2^254. Why is that? Is there any good reason to use a fixed positioned most-significant-bit in the private key?
12
votes
1answer
5k views

Why do all SSH-RSA Keys begin with “AAAAB3NzaC1yc”?

My Friend and I have been generating a few ssh2-rsa keys and noticed that all the public keys began with "AAAAB3NzaC1yc". The similarity extended to "AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAABIwAAAQEA" between two keys I ...
7
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
191 views

Choosing primes in the Paillier cryptosystem

In the first step of key generation phase in Paillier cryptosystem given here. It's given that $$\operatorname{length}(p) = \operatorname{length}(q) ) \implies \operatorname{gcd}(pq,(p-1)(q-1))=1$$ ...
7
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
438 views

What is 'key agility' in relation to symmetric-key encryption?

I sometimes see, in discussions of symmetric ciphers, reference to the 'key agility' of a particular algorithm. It seems to be related to the difficulty of switching encryption keys, but I don't ...
4
votes
4answers
982 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
4answers
894 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
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?
2
votes
0answers
321 views

Proper way to generate symmetric keys [duplicate]

I'm trying to educate my self in key management, how to store them, how to generate them, how to use them properly. I've been trying to find how you would generate a key for symmetric encryption (say ...
1
vote
0answers
73 views

Confidentiality then Integrity with different keys

Can anyone describe how we can do what is said in the below sentence which is in Mark Stamp crypto slides (PPTX) on slide number 101 : Can do a little better - about 1.5 “encryptions” The whole ...
7
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

How and why can a decryption program tell me that a key is incorrect?

I have noticed that some programs used for file encryption will tell you if an entered key is wrong when you try to decrypt. It seems (to me at least) that this would mean that the key somehow is ...
4
votes
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. ...
3
votes
1answer
502 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 $X$...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How key materials are generated in SSL V3 from master secret

The generation of key materials is given by ...
3
votes
1answer
2k 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?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How exactly does key whitening manage to increase security?

Wikipedia states that key whitening increases security: In cryptography, key whitening is a technique intended to increase the security of an iterated block cipher. It consists of steps that ...
2
votes
1answer
233 views

Having 4096 bit keys and short (< 256 byte) messages, can I simply use the key as OTP?

Assumptions: Alice and Bob use (cryptographically secure, hardware-rng generated) 4096 bit keys. Each message is encrypted using a new key; meaning: once a key is used, it's destroyed. Alice and Bob ...
1
vote
3answers
708 views

Brute-force attacking One Time Pads feasible?

I have a ciphertext encoded with One Time Pad. I do not know the key. How can I find the possible keys which when decoded, will result in a meaningful plain text?
5
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
191 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
196 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
53 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Can the key-complement property of DES be used against 3DES?

The comments in this recent question about the security of 3DES made me wonder if the key complement property of DES (which reduces its security by ~1 bit) can be used in the meet-in-the-middle attack ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Key Derivation Function (KDF): Can a key derived from KDF be considered as a secure key?

Consider a case where we have a master key MS that is used in pseudo-random function to generate a set of pseudo-random values. Then we use key derivation function to derive a key from each of pseudo-...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Compression in key generation of DES algorithm

Does anyone have a pseudo-code or an algorithm or even a diagram of the compression (pc2) of the DES algorithm? I can't find a relation between the bits that are dropped, even when I do it manually ...
1
vote
0answers
725 views

Hill cipher key space

Key space is the set of all possible keys that can be used to generate a key. We using the number of valid key to describe it. I've given a hill cipher of block size $k$ over alphabet of size $p$, ...
1
vote
2answers
133 views

Determine if a public key point y is negative or positive, odd or even?

Take an elliptic curve cryptography public key (x, y) and its additive inverse (x, -y). How do you identify which is the positive point and which is the negative point? Examples: Private key 1 -> (x,...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Hash functions vs. keyed hash functions in the context of private key generation

I'm designing a key distribution mechanism and have thought of using a securely generated/acquired private key as a seed for a sequence of private keys to be distributed to a number of users using a ...
1
vote
1answer
211 views

Equal length of primes in paillier cryptosystem

In the key generation step of paillier cryptosystem , In order to satisfy $\gcd(pq,(p-1)(q-1))=1$ , we can take equal length primes. Instead of taking(length as parameter to generate $p,q$) equal ...
1
vote
1answer
127 views

Algorithm to transform plaintext to a key of desired keysize, when using input plaintext as key for FPE?

Using a format preserving encryption scheme that uses AES internally as its block cipher, for a plaintext that I encrypt I want to use that input plaintext as the key. However using AES-128, my ...
1
vote
1answer
258 views

Scrypt as a KDF with one-time high-entropy input

I'm looking at using Scrypt as a KDF. Assume the following: the input will always be high-entropy random bytes generated by a CSPRNG the length of the input can vary from between 8 to 32 bytes the ...