# Tagged Questions

A prime number is an integer greater than 1 with no divisors other than itself and 1. Primes and prime products play an important role in public key cryptography.

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### How can I generate large prime numbers for RSA?

What is the currently industry-standard algorithm used to generate large prime numbers to be used in RSA encryption? I'm aware that I can find any number of articles on the Internet that explain how ...
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### How are primes generated for RSA?

As I understand it, the RSA algorithm is based on finding two large primes (p and q) and multiplying them. The security aspect is based on the fact that it's difficult to factor it back into p and q. ...
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### Is it feasible to build an index of prime factors?

Would it be possible to break an RSA key, in for example 1 week of time, if the cracker have already spent X number of years building an index of primes by performing every permutation of existing ...
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### Why does RSA need p and q to be prime numbers?

This is a clarifying thread after finding: What makes RSA secure by using prime numbers?. Despite the fact that this question was answered already, I am still struggling to really grasp the ...
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### Why are primes important for encryption

Why are primes so important? Why can't we just use a random number? My guess is that it's because finding a random prime require more computing power, than finding a random number. Can anybody confirm ...
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### Is Wiener's attack on RSA extendable to larger keys with low hamming weight?

Using small private exponents with RSA improves performance. However, it has been shown (Wiener, 1990) that if $\log d \leq \frac14 \log N$, the private exponent $d$ can be reconstructed from the ...
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### Are safe primes $p=2^k \pm s$ with $s$ small less recommandable than others as a discrete log modulus?

I take the definition of safe prime as: a prime $p$ is safe when $(p-1)/2$ is prime. Safe primes of appropriate size are the standard choice for the modulus of cryptosystems related to the discrete ...
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### NIST Diffie-Hellman prime: how was it picked? Where did it come from?

According to this Matasano Crypto challenge, the NIST "likes" the following prime modulus, which appears to be expressed in hexadecimal: ...
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### Is it possible to validate a Public Key in RSA?

If I have a 1024-bit number, and someone is telling me that it is in fact a valid RSA public key, is there any way I can quickly validate that it is indeed so (without cracking RSA)? (I suppose I am ...
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### RSA with probable primes

I am a bit of a newbie to RSA encryption, so please be patient. I understand that for a 4096 bit RSA, the numbers p and q should be prime. And to have the best security, the p and q should both be ...
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### How does one calculate a primitive root for Diffie-Hellman?

In the Diffie-Hellman key exchange, one of the steps involves calculating a primitive root of a prime number $p$. How would one go about doing so, considering that $p$ could be very large? Is there ...
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### Can I select a large random prime using this procedure?

Say I want a random 1024-bit prime $p$. The obviously-correct way to do this is select a random 1024-bit number and test its primality with the usual well-known tests. But suppose instead that I do ...
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### Is it safer to generate your own Diffie-Hellman primes or to use those defined in RFC 3526?

I was wondering if the prime numbers defined for use with Diffie-Hellman in RFC 3526 are more trustworthy than generating one's own, especially considering the recent Arjen Lenstra paper (Ron was ...
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### Is it reasonable to assure that p-1 and q-1 aren't smooth?

I came across the requirement that, in RSA, $p-1$ and $q-1$ shouldn't be smooth, shouldn't consist of lots of small factors. Therefore my question: How complicated is it to check whether $p-1$ is ...
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### Why does the PKCS1 RSA private key structure contain more than just exponent and modulus?

The ASN.1 spec for the PKCS1 RSA private key format is as follows: ...
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### What makes RSA secure by using prime numbers?

I am just learning about the RSA algorithm. Looking at the first two steps: Choose two distinct prime numbers $p$ and $q$. Compute $n = pq$. I have some probably stupid questions: Why do $p$ ...
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### In layman's terms, how does Shor's algorithm work?

I've just been reading up on Shor's algorithm, and I find it both fascinating and baffling. I don't really understand much about it, other than that it can factor semiprimes in polynomial time. Could ...
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### Trial divisions before Miller-Rabin checks?

I'm trying to understand prime number generation (more correctly, the primality checking) as described in Handbook of Applied Cryptography. The context is circa pages 145 - 150, and specifically ...
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### Necessity for finite field arithmetic and the prime number p in Shamir's Secret Sharing Scheme

Shamir's original paper (PDF, 197kb) describing a threshold secret sharing scheme states: To make this claim more precise, we use modular arithmetic instead of real arithmetic. The set of ...
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### Solving hard problems in $\mathbb Z_{p}^{*}$ when $\mathbb p$ is close to $\mathbb 2^{n}$

Suppose, for some security parameter $n$ you choose a prime $p$ such that $p = 2^n+c$ for some relatively small $|c| < 2^m << 2^n$. I have seen such primes being called Pseudo-Mersenne Primes ...
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### Generating Random Primes

Although this has been extensively discussed around here, I'm curious whether my approach makes sense, or I should just stick to "the standard version". I'm implementing some homomorphic encryption ...
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### How to better generate large primes: sieving and then random picking or random picking and then checking?

I'm writing an RSA algorithm, and am wondering what is the best and/or usual way to choose the initial prime numbers (p and q). I know of two methods to achieve this, one based on a prime number ...
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### In RSA, rationale for prime $p$ with $p-1$ having prime factor $u$ with $u-1$ having large prime factor?

In the 1978 RSA paper, it is recommended, among other things, to choose primes $p$ such that $(p-1)$ has a large prime factor $u$. This was motivated by Pollard's p-1 algorithm. Further, the authors ...
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### State of the art RSA key generation

I would like to know if there is an algorithm to generate a RSA key at the state of the art of the present cryptanalysis. Beside the key lenght I know there are some weakness in the choice of prime ...
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### What is the use of Mersenne Primes in cryptography

There is an international search for Mersenne Primes. The project is huge. But what is the use of Mersenne Primes in cryptography? Do they have any other properties other than the $2^n-1$ form?
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### What place do prime numbers have in cryptography?

My understanding of hashing and encryption is rather limited. I certainly do not understand the mathematical formulas at play in these algorithms. With that said, what part do prime numbers play in ...
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### How to test implementation of primality tests like Miller–Rabin?

The Miller-Rabin primality test is an algorithm for checking if number is a prime. What would be best way to test implementation of such algorithm (or any primality test in general)?
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### What if the p and q used in keys generation of Pailler cryptosystem are composite?

I've seen a few implementations of Paillier cryptosystem that uses probable primes to choose $p$ and $q$. Assuming that a keypair is generated with $p$ and $q$ that are coprime and that $pq$ is ...
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### Why does GnuPG save an array of remainders when generating prime numbers?

In looking at GPG's gen_prime() function, found within the cyphers/primegen.c file of ...
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### How large should a Diffie-Hellman p be?

In a Diffie-Hellman exchange, the parties need to agree on a prime p and a base g in order to continue. Assuming some ...
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### Finding strong primes

Wikipedia lists the following conditions for a prime to be strong: $p-1$ has large prime factors. That is, $p = a_1 q_1 + 1$ for some integer $a_1$ and large prime $q_1$. $q_1-1$ has large prime ...
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### 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. Here’...
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### Is it possible to fool Miller-Rabin test?

It is well known that it's possible to fool Fermat test with Carmichael numbers. But, is it possible to deliberately fool many-rounded Miller-Rabin test by constructing some special number without ...
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### How are trapdoor functions developed/found and where can I find existing ones?

Trapdoor functions are a fundamental part of public key cryptography. An example of the most common trapdoor is Prime Factorization, used in cryptosystems such as RSA How are these trapdoor ...
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### Why does Schnorr's Digital Signature scheme necessitate two prime numbers?

One of the necessary components to the Schnorr Digital Signature scheme is a pair of prime numbers $p$ and $q$ such that $q$ divides $p-1.$ However, there is never a modular inverse taken of q so why ...
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### Is there a group of prime order which could fit the CT-Computational Diffie-Hellman assumption?

I'm trying to choose a group that is hard under the Chosen-Target Computational Diffie-Hellman assumption, according to the definition in this paper, in order to implement the oblivious transfer ...
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### RSA primes vs. largest known primes

In the context of a new largest (mersenne) prime number being found this week - The largest known prime number is now 2^57,885,161 − 1, and it took 5 years to find ...
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### Is the strength of RSA over quadratic or other cyclotomic fields as strong as over the integers?

If we assume the strength of RSA is based on the difficulty of factoring (which I know we can't guarantee) and we compose the modulus of some other quadratic ring that is a unique factorization domain ...
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### Visualization of cryptography

I think CrypTool is great software. And what I find most useful in it is visualization of algorithms such as Caesar, Vigenere, AES, DES. And my question is: does anyone know other tools which are ...
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### Why does the modulus of Diffie–Hellman need to be a prime?

I read a lot about Diffie-Hellman, but there is one thing I dont understand: why does the modulus p need to be a prime? What if it would not be a prime?
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### Security of Pohlig-Hellman exponentation cipher?

I am looking into implementing Pohlig-Hellman exponentation cipher and I would like to know how secure that algorithm is? I am guessing it's security relates greatly to the prime number used in it. ...
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### How to calculate y value from ((y*y) mod prime) efficiently

i am working ECC-224 bit. can any one tell me, how to calculate y value from ((y*y) mod prime) efficiently for large bit numbers.
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### How to construct a zero-knowledge proof of a number of the form $n=p^a q^b$

Let $n = p^a$$q^b$ where p and q are distinct primes and a and b are positive integers. How to construct a zero knowledge proof that n is of such form? This is actually a homework problem with a ...
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### Cryptographic random numbers for key generation

I am trying to understand how a cryptographic library works (for example, one that provides assymetric encryption such as RSA), but I'm running into a few problems about the key-generation. There are ...