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

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 ...
12
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
663 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
901 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
533 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
341 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
937 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
1answer
1k 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
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
517 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
442 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
451 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
912 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

How key materials are generated in SSL V3 from master secret

The generation of key materials is given by ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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
926 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
707 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
808 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
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 ...
5
votes
4answers
834 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
224 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
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
6k 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
1answer
286 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
301 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
605 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
211 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
493 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: ...
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
2answers
574 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
257 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
2answers
108 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
1answer
160 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
144 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
438 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
807 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
189 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
406 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
858 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

Session-specific Symmetric Key Derivation Using SHA256

I was wondering if there were any security implications of deriving session keys from a symmetric key using SHA256 in the following manner: $Ks = SHA256(Nonce||K)$, where $Nonce$ is the session ...
3
votes
2answers
203 views

Is prime regeneration necessary for every new session using a Diffie-Hellman key exchange?

As I understand it, bruteforcing a Diffie-Hellman generated secret key takes $P-1$ attempts to crack the shared secret, where $P$ is a very large prime used for modulus. If your $P$ is quite large, ...
3
votes
1answer
245 views

Can all asymmetric key pairs be reversed?

After reading about public/private key cryptography, there are still a few points I don't really understand. Based on the way (I understand) challenges work, the public key is used to encrypt a ...
3
votes
2answers
340 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?
3
votes
4answers
472 views

Is there a symmetric-key cryptography based on key establishment techniques?

Most of the current key exchange techniques are based on public-key cryptography. Are there any key exchange/establishment techniques based on symmetric-key cryptography too? In my setup primary ...
3
votes
2answers
550 views

Reason(s) for using a KDF for encryption keys

Assuming I already have a 256-key (32 char password) for AES encryption, comprised of random alpha-numeric characters and punctuation (95 possible ascii chars), generated by a decent PRNG, is there ...
3
votes
1answer
810 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. ...
3
votes
2answers
534 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. ...