A function which is easy to compute but hard to invert (i.e. find preimages for). The existence of one-way functions implies the possibility of many useful cryptographic schemes. No one-way functions have so far been proven to exist, but many likely candidates exist.

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Lamport signature: How many signatures are needed to forge a signature?

Lamport signature: Signing the message Note that now Alice's private key is used and should never be used again. The other 256 random numbers that she did not use for the signature she must never ...
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Is there a hash algorithm that is slow to calculate but relatively fast to check?

Or more generally, is there a function or algorithm that is slow to calculate/execute, has a reliable execution time, and has a result that can be tested much more quickly than the calculation took?
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Is the AES Key Schedule weak?

After reading this paper entitled Key Recovery Attacks of Practical Complexity on AES Variants With Up To 10 Rounds I was left wondering why the key schedule of AES is invertable. In the paper the ...
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What other one-way functions are used in cryptosystems?

For RSA and El Gamal (and most other public key cryptosystems), one of the key ideas is that factoring and finding discrete logarithms are hard. There are other systems that rely on certain properties ...
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What is a hard-core predicate?

I read this article on Wikipedia: Hard-core predicate. Still I don't understand what exactly is a hard-core predicate. Is it possible to put this in simple English terminology, and perhaps with a ...