# Tagged Questions

Questions on the meaning, history, and usage of symbols and notation in cryptography. Please remember to mention where (book, paper, webpage, etc.) you encountered any notation you are asking about.

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### What exactly is a negligible (and non-negligible) function?

The mathematical definition of neglible and non-neglible functions is fairly clear-cut, but why they are important and how they are used in cryptography?
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### Why does key generation take an input $1^k$, and how do I represent it in practice?

In my lecture, the lecturer said: Let $K$ be the key generation algorithm. Given a security parameter represented in unary, $1^k$, $K(1^k)$ will output a keypair $(pk; sk)$, known as the public ...
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### Why is this the inverse of a Enigma Machine rotor?

I am learning about how the Enigma Machine works and I found this example of one letter being encrypted by an Enigma Machine. It shows the letter "G" going through three rotors and then it goes into ...
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### Confusing XOR notation in textbook sample solution

I am preparing for the midterm exam in my Data Security class so I am trying to read and understand the textbook's exercise questions. The sample solution at the end the textbook makes this problem ...
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### What does ⊕ mean in cryptography?

Can someone please help me with the question below? Explain why 0 ⊕ x ≠ 1 ⊕ x, whatever the value of the bit x. Hence, explain why flipping a bit in the plaintext produces a predictable ...
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### What do $0^n$ and $1^n$ mean in cryptography?

Let $f$ = $\{f_k\}$ be a pseudorandom function family. Let $G(x)$ be a pseudo-random generator such that: $G(x) = f_x(0^k)f_x(1^k)$ where $k=|x|$. I don't understand the meaning of $1^n$ and ...
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### What does this notation stand for when describing a code?

This code has appeared in some online course material. I understand the $(5, 4, 3)$ refers to (length, num codewords, distance) but no explanation of the $Z_2^5$ notation is given: One $(5,4,3)$ ...
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### What does 0…0 and 1…1 mean

I am very new to cryptography but can someone explain what exactly does 0...0 and 1...1 mean in general term. Is it that 1st and ...
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### How can I instantiate a generalized hash function?

I've come across a bunch of "strange" hash function notations, such as the following ones and now I don't know how to choose / instantiate them. Can you please explain me what this notation means and ...
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### Strange notation using dollar sign

In the paper Multi-Signatures in the Plain Public-Key Model and a General Forking Lemma, the authors Bellare and Neven use notation which looks like left arrow with dollar sign above it. Authors ...
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### What is meant by $\tilde\Omega(\lambda^4)$?

I'm currently reading the paper (Leveled) fully homomorphic encryption without bootstrapping , and the following paragraph was near the start: What is meant by the symbol used? Is it merely to ...
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### Ciphertext notation where the ciphertext consists of two parts

I've see in several places (here or there) the notation $c = (U, V)$ or $c =\langle U, V \rangle$, where $c$ is a ciphertext (to be transmitted). But as both $U$ and $V$ are "key-like". I can't find ...
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### What is the recommended format/notation for crypto design?

Is there a recommended format or formal notation for documenting the combination of symmetric and asymmetric encryption, key derivation and other algorithms (and their inputs and outputs) that I think ...
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### What does the probability subscript mean in Shannon's secrecy definition?

Shannon's secrecy can be defined as: $$P_M (M=m) = P_{SK,M}(M=m|E(SK,m)=c)$$ What does $P_M$ means? (same question for $P_{SK,M}$) I know that is the probability space M, M being the messages; I do ...
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### Unable to understand hash function representations

I have some hash function representations, which I find it hard to understand. I have searched a lot but didn't found anything helpful. Please help me understand the hash function representations ...
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### Is there a difference between $\mathbb{Z}_2^b$, $\text{GF}(2^b)$ and $\text{GF}(2)^b$?

I have read a lot about Galois Fields (GF). They are also presented in The Design of Rinjdael on page 13. In computer memory, the polynomials in $F[x]|_l$ with $F$ a finite field can be stored ...
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### Top notation as exponent

In cryptography, what does the Top notation mean? It resembles a capital T: T In particular, I saw it in the follwing context: $c = (c_1,c_2)^\top$ where $c_1$ and $c_2$ are homomorphic ciphertexts
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### Why is a non fixed-length encryption scheme worse than a fixed-length one?

I have the following definition (highlights by me): An (efficient secret-key) encryption scheme $(Gen,Enc,Dec)$, where $Gen$ and $Enc$ are PPT algorithms and $Dec$ is a Deterministic Polytime ...
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### How do these figures represent a boolean function?

In the Wikipedia article "Bent functions", there are some figures representing those Bent functions: How do these figures represent a boolean function ?
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### What is the correct way to notate elliptic curve properties

When looking through elliptic curve and modulus posts i can see many examples of people referencing $p$ and $n$, in upper and lower case, and sometimes $Q$ is written instead of $p$ or $P$, and I ...
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### ECIES protocol - what does the || operation mean?

I am studying elliptic curves problems, which also includes study of related protocols such as ECIES. A there is a problem I don't understand operation $||$. What this operation mean? Some stuff is ...
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### SIMONs Cryptoanalysis

I'm reading Cryptanalysis of the SIMON Family of Block Ciphers. In Section 3.1, it says: For SIMON, consider an n-bit input difference $\alpha= x\oplus x'$ to $F$ of Hamming weight one. As the ...
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### Proof of IND-q-CCA security

I have some questions about the paper Bounded CCA2-Secure Encryption (pdf). On page eight "3.2 Construction", the authors have done a black-box construction of an IND-q-CCA security schema and then ...
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### What does the comma mean in m, c := E(K, m)

Disclaimer: I'm a beginner to cryptography. Background: I'm reading Cryptography Engineering by Ferguson, Schneier, and Kohno, where the authors use this image: Question: What do the commas mean ...
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### what is meaning of operator “ := ” in cryptography?

I've seen := used in several cryptography papers where the this symbol has been used instead of assignment operator ($\leftarrow$ ) or equal sign (=), but never with an accompanying explanation. It'...
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### Understanding Hash function notations

I am implementing a Certificateless Cryptography Algorithm by referencing the paper An Efficient Certificateless Encryption for Secure Data Sharing in Public Clouds. In this paper on page no. 4 during ...
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### What does $(\mathbb{Z}_n^*)^2$ mean?

In a paper they write once, $(\mathbb{Z}_n^*)^2$. Is this the group of quadratic residues or is it something else? Here the theorem: Under the strong RSA assumption, given a modulus $n$, along with ...
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### What does $\langle A, B\rangle$ mean?

I'm reading about CL-PKC and in Al-Riyami's FullIndent, I find some notations I must be sure to understand, to well explain it ...
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### What is the value of Q such that Q|P-1 where P is a prime number?

For my crypto assignment, I'm asked to enter a prime P and generate Q such that Q|P-1 Can anyone guide me what is Q|P-1?
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### Can you explain “k out of n” from the VCS paper by Naor and Shamir

I am new to visual cryptography. I’ve just read the paper “Visual Cryptography” by Moni Naor and Adi Shamir and I'm stuck on the chapter about the “$k$ out of $n$” construction. I am aware that, on ...
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### Where can I find names for cryptographic notation I don't recognize?

I'm new to this space and find myself stumbling over come cryptographic/mathematical notation. Search engines are not very helpful when copying and pasting Greek letters. Is there any reference that ...
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### Undefined $E_y(1,r_{i,j,1})$ notation in cryptography paper, suspect ElGamal-like

I'm trying to understand a paper that uses the notation $E_y(1,r_{i,j,1})$ (full text available in link, used just once on Page #35, 6th page of pdf, Section 3.3, Step 1c) in the context of an ...
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### What does the notation $1^n$ stand for? [duplicate]

I'm seeing this all over my Katz and Lindell book and I don't see where they introduced it.
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### Subscript R notation for the finite fields

I'm trying to understand the notation used in the literature for Pairing-based cryptography. I know (and I hope I've understood it well) from Wikipedia that $\mathbb{Z}_p$ is the finite field of ...
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### What does $\to$ mean in the following definition of a block cipher?

In the following picture $\kappa$ is the key length and $n$ is the block size. I understand that $\{0,1\}^\kappa$ means all possible combination of keys and $\{0,1\}^n$ means all possible combination ...
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### What is the meaning of h(r) in this protocol?

Could somebody tell me what the meaning is of $h(r)$ in the protocol below? ‎‎$A‎\leftarrow‎{B}\quad:{h(r)‎‎}{,B}{,P{_A(r,B)}}‎ \\A‎\rightarrow‎{B}\quad:r$
What does $Z_q^n$ mean in this notation?      References: on the 2nd paragraph of page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_with_errors