Passwords are secret keys which human beings can memorize.

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What makes a hash function good for password hashing?

Using a cryptographic hash to store e.g. passwords in a database is considered good practice (as opposed to storing them plaintext), but is subject to attacks on said cryptographic hash, assuming the ...
27
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6answers
3k views

Is there a secure cryptosystem that can be performed mentally?

I, myself, do not plan on getting into a situation where I would be unable to use a computer in order to communicate securely. However, I can think of many practical situations in which mental ...
16
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3answers
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Is using slow password hashing on the client side easier attackable than on the server side?

As we know, one should use a slow password hashing algorithm instead of a fast one for storing passwords, to hinder brute force attacks when the database is compromised. The problem with this is that ...
13
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3answers
8k views

Can you help me understand what a cryptographic “salt” is?

I'm a beginner to cryptography and looking to understand in very simple terms what a cryptographic "salt" is, when I might need to use it, and why I should or should not use it. Can anyone offer me a ...
22
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3answers
1k views

Is this password migration strategy secure?

I want to upgrade the security of some existing databases of users' authentication tokens strictly for the purpose of making sure that if the database is stolen, attackers will not be able to guess ...
10
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6answers
857 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 ...
7
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2answers
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Use of salt to hash a password

In a few implementations of hashed passwords, I have seen that the length of the random salt is chosen to be, say, 10 or "some constant". Is there any specific reason why the salt is chosen to have a ...
8
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6answers
770 views

How can I improve a password generation scheme based on a shared secret and URL?

I currently use the following method to generate a different password on every website I have to login: password = SHA1 ( mainPassword . domainName . number ) ...
4
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1answer
560 views

What happens to the entropy of a password when you hash it?

For example, if the entropy of a password is 30 bits, what is the entropy of the password when you hash it with MD5?
4
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1answer
173 views

Why are there $ signs in my passwd file?

I am trying to get access to my eReader and I managed to get the passwd file. ...
4
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2answers
514 views

How did LinkedIn “salt” all their passwords?

First, just to make sure I understand "salting" correctly: You randomly generate a string to append to the password before hashing it, so as to increase its length and make precomputed tables much ...
3
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4answers
957 views

Webapp password storage: Salting a hash vs multiple hashes?

For security's sake, of course it's blasphemous to store passwords in plain-text; using a hash function and then doing a re-hash and comparison is considered much better. But, if bad guys steal your ...
6
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2answers
631 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 ...
17
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3answers
349 views

What differentiates a password hash from a cryptographic hash besides speed?

I understand that password hashes like bcrypt have the principal property of taking a long time to run, but I'm wondering what if anything about password hashes make them superior to merely running a ...
10
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4answers
2k views

How can rainbow tables be used for a dictionary attack?

I'm putting together a password policy for my company. I very much want to avoid requiring complex passwords, and would much rather require length. The maximum length I can enforce is 14 characters. ...
4
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3answers
2k views

Do I have to recompute all hashes if I change the work factor in bcrypt?

The well-known article about why we should use bcrypt for hashing passwords mentions the work factor - some parameter to the algorithm that determines how long one hashing should be in terms of number ...
11
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2answers
523 views

Do I have to have a different salt for each password?

Should I use a different salt for each password? In my system, there are no user names, only passwords. When a user logins in, he types in one or more passwords and the server compares the results ...
5
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1answer
129 views

How to generate a key using any m passwords out of total n?

My application requires an AES-256 key K for some secure operation. In order to avoid saving this key in application, I have implemented following scheme: There ...
3
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1answer
432 views

Recommended way of adding a pepper/secret key to password before hashing?

There have been several questions regarding password hashing here and on Security.SE. A "pepper" is sometimes mentioned – an application-specific secret key. The canonical answer on password hashing ...
0
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2answers
258 views

Can a salt for a password hash be public?

For my understanding salts in password hashes are used to prevent the precompuation of plaintext$\to$hashvalues (rainbow tables). I know from different threads, it is not necessary to keep the salt ...
6
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1answer
363 views

Why does SRP-6a use k = H(N, g) instead of the k = 3 in SRP-6?

I've been reading up on the Secure Remote Pasword protocol (SRP). There are a couple different versions of the protocol (the original published version being designated SRP-3, with two subsequent ...
4
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1answer
326 views

What's the reason for applying the hash twice when hashing with salt?

One of the typical approaches to computing a salted hash is this: hash(salt+hash(secret)) where hash is something like SHA-256 hash function - taking any size ...
4
votes
1answer
311 views

How can one share information using the 'host-proof' paradigm?

I am attempting to make a web-based secure password management and sharing utility, both as an academic exercise and to fully understand and feel safe about using it. I really like the idea of a ...
3
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2answers
271 views

If Bob steals Alice's private key, how exactly would he read her encrypted documents?

So Bob grabs Alice's secret key when she isn't looking and her encrypted files, doesn't he need to know her passphrase to read her files? What I am reading is that no he does not need it but as far ...
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2answers
231 views

Could completely public passphrase hashes ever be reliably secure?

This is a hypothetical question and I only have a basic understanding of Cryptography. If one were to follow the very best cryptographic practices for storing passphrases, could it ever be possible ...
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How exactly would someone crack a private key passphrase? [closed]

Lets say for a PGP/GPG pair with a passphrase.
0
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2answers
558 views

Deriving HMAC key and cipher key from passphrase? [duplicate]

I'm encrypting a file with AES-256 in CBC mode. I needed to add an HMAC for authentication and validation of the file contents and passphrase, so I used a SHA-256 HMAC over chunks of my file ...