# Tagged Questions

An asymmetric cipher is an encryption scheme using a pair of keys, one to encrypt and a second to decrypt a message. A special class of asymmetric ciphers are public-key ciphers, in which the encrypting key need not be kept secret to ensure a private communication.

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### Why is elliptic curve cryptography not widely used, compared to RSA?

I recently ran across elliptic curve crypto-systems: An Introduction to the Theory of Elliptic Curves (Brown University) Elliptic Curve Cryptography (Wikipedia) Performance analysis of identity ...
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### How big an RSA key is considered secure today?

I think 1024 bit RSA keys were considered secure ~5 years ago, but I assume that's not true anymore. Can 2048 or 4096 keys still be relied upon, or have we gained too much computing power in the ...
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### How can I use asymmetric encryption, such as RSA, to encrypt an arbitrary length of plaintext?

RSA is not designed to be used on long blocks of plaintext like a block cipher, but I need to use it to send a large (encrypted) message. How can I do this?
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### Why does my SSH private key still work after changing some bytes in the file?

I (for a test) just randomly altered a private RSA key by opening it up in Vim and changing a few bytes. It is the private part of an SSH key pair used for logging in on a remote system. Puzzlingly, ...
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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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### How does RSA compute such enormous numbers?

So I have been reading and learning a lot about cryptography lately and in particular asymmetric ciphers such as RSA. One thing that I am curious about but never seems to be mentioned is how the ...
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### Why is public-key encryption so much less efficient than secret-key encryption?

I'm currently reading Cryptography Engineering. After giving a high level explanation of the difference between secret-key encryption and public-key encryption, the book says: So why do we bother ...
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### How does asymmetric encryption work?

I've always been interested in encryption but I have never found a good explanation (beginners explanation) of how encryption with public key and decryption with private key works. How does it ...
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### Basic explanation of Elliptic Curve Cryptography?

I have been studying Elliptic Curve Cryptography as part of a course based on the book Cryptography and Network Security. The text for provides an excellent theoretical definition of the algorithm but ...
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### Impacts of not using RSA exponent of 65537

This RFC says the RSA Exponent should be 65537. Why is that number recommended and what are the theoretical and practical impacts & risks of making that number higher or lower? What are the ...
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### RSA encryption with private key and decryption with a public key

When using the RSA cryptosystem, does it still work if you instead encrypt with the private key and decrypt with the public key? What about in the case of using RSA for sender authentication?
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### Why is PuTTYgen-created RSA public exponent(e) not in {3,17,65537}?

As far as I know, RSA public exponent(e) should be one of {3,17,65537}. However, I found PuTTYgen-created RSA public exponent(e) is 0x25(37) by default,as follows, (PuTTYgen version: 0.66) I am ...
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### Definition of Textbook RSA

What is the definition of Textbook RSA? What are some of the properties of textbook RSA? How does it differ from other RSAs?
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### Can you explain Bleichenbacher's CCA attack on PKCS#1 v1.5?

I've studied that the Bleichenbacher's CCA attack on PKCS#1 v1.5. is a base to many versions of attacks in the area. I'm trying to understand that attack, but every explanation I saw starts with the ...
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### 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 ...
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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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### Does RSA work for any message M?

I decided to read the original RSA paper A Method for Obtaining Digital Signatures and Public-Key Cryptosystem because of a question I had about RSA (which is not the question I'm about to ask, but ...
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### ECDSA vs ECIES vs ECDH

Recently I started studying Elliptic Curve Cryptography and I just loved it. I want to transfer some big data (like 3KB), What is the best method, ECDSA, ECIES, or ECDH (and why)? I am confused, how ...
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### RSA with small exponents?

Just to establish notation with respect to the RSA protocol, let $n = pq$ be the product of two large primes and let $e$ and $d$ be the public and private exponents, respectively ($e$ is the inverse ...
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### Types of Cryptography for a 4-8 bit microcontroller

This is more of a research question. I was wondering what types of crypto algorithms would work best on a small 4-8 bit micro controller. I recently read a paper called Security Considerations for ...
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### How can one securely generate an asymmetric key pair from a short passphrase?

Background info: I am planning on making a filehost with which one can encrypt and upload files. To protect the data against any form of hacking, I'd like not to know the encryption key ($K$) used for ...
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### What's the fundamental difference between Diffie-Hellman and RSA?

What is the difference in the purpose of DH and RSA? Aren't they both public-key encryption?
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### GPG/PGP Verification of Revocation

How does one verify a key revocation? After revoking a key and sending the revocation to MIT's keyserver, I noticed that the key is listed as such: ...
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### When to use RSA and when ElGamal asymmetric encryption

If i am not wrong in cryptography there are 2 basic cryptographic schemes for public key cryptography. RSA encryption whose security is based on the infeasibility of solving the factoring of big ...
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### Does NTRU decrypt correctly now?

The NTRU public-key cryptosystem has a lot of interesting properties (being resistant to quantum computer attacks, being standardized by several important bodies), but it also has a pretty unique ...
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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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Someone posted this on reddit a few days ago, and I haven't found much about it except for links back to the same page. Here's the article http://programmingpraxis.com/2016/01/19/rsa-encryption-...
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### Are there practical upper limits of RSA key lengths?

Suppose one wanted to use RSA encryption for the sole purpose of sending key bits for use in symmetric crypto systems, a dedicated key exchange system so to speak. And say you didn't think that the ...
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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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### Why is the P-521 elliptic curve not in Suite B if AES-256 is?

In the NSA's document, "The Case for Elliptic Curve Cryptography" (archived), we have ...
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### Why is asymmetric cryptography bad for huge data?

I've been told that asymmetric cryptography requires that the message to be encrypted be smaller than its key length. Why is this? I know about hybrid encryption, which uses symmetric encryption to ...
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### How do I get the equivalent strength of an ECC key?

I know how to calculate the comparable symmetric strength of an RSA modulus: calculate the running time for a field sieve. This is how NIST gives approximate symmetric sizes for asymmetric algos in ...
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### Why is Diffie-Hellman considered in the context of public key cryptography?

In all textbooks I used the Diffie-Hellman key exchange is under "public key cryptography". As far as I can see it is a method to exchange a key to be used with a symmetric cryptographic algorithm, ...
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### Are any of the major asymmetric ciphers distinguishable (EG, RSA, ECC)?

Related to "Is it possible to derive the encryption method from encrypted text?". Given ciphertexts generated by any of the major asymmetric ciphers (RSA, ElGamal, ECC, etc..) can these ciphertexts ...
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### Compressing EC private keys

For reasonable security, EC private keys are typically 256-bits. Shorter EC private keys are not sufficiently secure. However, shorter symmetric keys (128-bits, for example) are comparably secure. I ...
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### Perfect Forward Secrecy with NaCl

I would like to use the NaCl cryptography library (or TweetNaCl), but I would very much like to have perfect forward secrecy for my application. From what I understand, all Bob needs to to decrypt a ...
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### How to build an electro-mechanical public key cipher machine?

It is generally assumed that asymmetric encryption schemes were invented in 1973 at GCHQ in Britain and, independently, in 1976 at the MIT. Imagine, if the abstract idea of having a public key and a ...
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### Can two different pairs of RSA key have the same modulus?

Can $n=pq$ be part of two different pairs of RSA keys? If such keys exist, say $(e_1,n)$ and $(e_2,n)$, how are they related? What will be the security concerns for the two users?
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### What are the benefits of lattice based cryptography?

Previously we visited the benefits of elliptic curves for cryptography. Lattice based cryptography is starting to become quite popular in academia. The primary benefit of lattice based crypto is the ...
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### Is it possible to create an asymmetric cryptosystem where the private keys are not easily verifiable as such?

Plaintext that consists of an RSA key is easily recognizable as such, because it satisfies certain mathematical properties, in particular (See the answer for Why can an encrypted private key be brute ...
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### ElGamal: Multiplicative cyclic group and key generation

Here on the ElGamal wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ElGamal_encryption Alice generates an efficient description of a multiplicative cyclic group G, of order q, with generator g. How ...
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### Why is it important that phi(n) is kept a secret, in RSA?

Why is it important that $\phi(n)$ is kept a secret, in RSA?
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### What is the SSL private key file format?

I was researching about how to encrypt with RSA. I understood everything but not the format of the private keys. In the phpseclib (RSA in PHP), you can import your private key (private.key format) ...
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### Is key size the only barrier to the adoption of the McEliece cryptosystem, or is it considered broken/potentially vulnerable?

A recent paper showed that the McEliece cryptosystem is not, unlike RSA and other cryptosystems, weakened as drastically by quantum computing because strong Fourier sampling cannot solve the hidden ...
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### Are there asymmetric cryptographic algorithms that are not based on integer factorization and discrete logarithm?

In the computer security class (in which cryptography is a big chapter) that I took, I remembered the professor said about current asymmetric cryptography algorithms are based on integer factorization ...
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### Is there an intuitive explanation as to why only the private key can decrypt a message encrypted with the public key?

I have just learned about using PGP/GPG for email encryption and one thing has always bugged me: How is it possible that a message encrypted with somebody's public key can be decrypted only with that ...
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### How should one implement a delegated shared trust protocol?

Consider the following (probably naive) scenario. Alice, who is very limited in her knowledge of security in general (clueless about securing a private key for example), wishes to delegate certain ...
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### Security of RSA for paranoids with padding?

RSA for Paranoids (RSAP) (in cryptobytes v3n1), also known as Unbalanced RSA, is a variant of RSA proposed in 1995 by Adi Shamir, as a mean to increase the RSA public modulus size while keeping ...