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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10
votes
6answers
860 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What's 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
983 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
764 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
370 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
194 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
449 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, ...
6
votes
2answers
637 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
2answers
444 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? ...
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
3answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
189 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How key materials are generated in SSL V3 from master secret

The generation of key materials is given by ...
8
votes
1answer
928 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
135 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
votes
1answer
748 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
269 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?
2
votes
1answer
139 views

Do any one-key-of-many cryptographic schemes exist?

I'm pretty sure I understand how public/private key cryptography works. Anybody can encrypt a message using a well-known public key, but only the person who holds the private key can decrypt it. My ...
2
votes
1answer
145 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
437 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
128 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?
1
vote
1answer
176 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 ...