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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18
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
678 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
992 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
577 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
737 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Encrypt a file once with 50 characters password or twice with 25 characters?

What better Encrypt the file once with 50 characters password or encrypt it twice each time with 25 characters password.
8
votes
2answers
754 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
3k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
602 views

Is it secure to derive an AES key from a MAC?

I'm working on a project where we need to encrypt a large number of files and store them on the cloud. And I'm wondering if the following process would be secure (we have a “Hardware Security Module” ...
7
votes
2answers
538 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
627 views

Order of cascaded ciphers

Does the order of a block cipher cascade (e.g. in TrueCrypt) make a difference to the security provided, assuming independant keys? For example: ...
6
votes
3answers
407 views

1 Billion Bit Encryption?

So, browsing through YouTube, I stumbled on this video interview of John Draper (Captain Crunch), one of the first "hackers". He talks for about 3 minutes (until 27:48) about his home rolled ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
6
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

If PGP and GPG both follow the OpenPGP standard, are they 100% compatible in all use cases?

If someone gives me their PGP key, can I use it with GPG, and vice versa, all the time (100% interchangeable)? Or are there times when they are not compatible, when only PGP can be used with a PGP ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How key materials are generated in SSL V3 from master secret

The generation of key materials is given by ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

AES key expansion: 256bit key

In AES algorithm, in the key schedule, Why does the expansion of a 256 bit key need an extra application of the S-box, unlike the expansion of 128 bit and 192 bit keys ? (The obvious answer would be ...
6
votes
2answers
840 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Is a private RSA key vulnerable to a chosen plaintext encrypted with that private key?

I grasp that having known plaintext encrypted with the public key doesn't provide a means of discovering the private key (that being the whole point...). But if one were in a situation where they ...
5
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
297 views

Using multiple secret keys

I have two secret keys. One is a secret key generated by OpenSSL (primary secret key). Second key is generated by performing one way hash operation to GPS co ordinates and time parameters (geo secret ...
5
votes
3answers
12k views

AES 256 Encryption - Is it really easy to decrypt if you have the key?

So this might sound like a crazy question but bear with me for a minute. I can't find any info on the internet and so am here, although this might have been a good place to start. I've recently ...
5
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
425 views

Dan Boneh's Cryptography lecture - problem with 802.11b

I am going through Dan Boneh's Cyprography lectures on Coursera. In Lecture 6 https://class.coursera.org/crypto-010/lecture/6 At 7:30 minutes, he discusses the problems with 802.11b design. I ...
5
votes
1answer
500 views

Secure AES Key Generation via Salsa20?

I am not creating my own cryptography or anything, but to learn about the Dos and Donts of cryptography, I am looking into AES encryption and ways to generate keys for that. As far as I've ...
5
votes
1answer
578 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
343 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
748 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
237 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 ...
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. ...
4
votes
3answers
557 views

Why does an algorithm need a keyspace?

Why does an algorithm need a keyspace? I thought the person encrypting would define his/her own key.
4
votes
2answers
881 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
181 views

Can a 1 byte difference in AES 128 bit keys make huge difference in output?

If we take some randomly generated key of AES-128 and we change any random 1 byte of that 16 byte key, will this make huge difference in the AES cipher text generated over same input string? Does ...
4
votes
3answers
295 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
1k views

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. ...
4
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
197 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

The modulus of RSA public key

I am studying the RSA cryptosystem. The public key consists of $(n, e)$, the modulus (product of two large primes), and the encryption exponent. I want to separate the modulus $n$ and exponent $e$. A ...
4
votes
1answer
169 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
161 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
959 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
220 views

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, ...
4
votes
1answer
529 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...