Usage of randomness (i.e. non-predictable data, usually in the form of bits or numbers) for cryptographic purposes.

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57
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10answers
4k views

Is modern encryption needlessly complicated?

RSA, DES, AES, etc. all use (relatively) complicated mathematics to encrypt some message with some key. For each of these methods, there have been several documented vulnerabilities found over the ...
50
votes
5answers
24k views

Technical feasibility of decrypting https by replacing the computer's PRNG

Intel has an on-chip RdRand function which supposedly bypasses the normally used entropy pool for /dev/urandom and directly injects output. Now rumors are going on that Intel works together with the ...
19
votes
4answers
555 views

Necessity of Randomness of Salts?

Given the desire to have unique salts for each user of your system, is it actually necessary to create a cryptographically-random salt for each user? If your system already has some other unique user ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

What is entropy?

We discuss a lot of topics and use measures of entropy to determine how difficult it is for an attacker to be successful. What does entropy mean in the context of cryptography? How is entropy ...
10
votes
1answer
405 views

How random are commercial TRNGS

I'm thinking about buying a USB TRNG. How do I evaluate its randomness? I'm sure some are better than others but which is which? Are thermal-noise better than radio-noise TRNGs?
9
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the use of REAL random number generators in cryptography?

I understand the use of pseudo-random number generators. I am not getting mixed up between these and "real" random number generators. However, I don't understand for what a real random number ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

What to watch for with openssl generating weak keys? (low entropy)

(Disclaimer: I am regular software engineer with only basic crypto knowledge, so helpful if can be explained for a layman.) I am concerned about generating weak keys on a shared linux box with ...
7
votes
5answers
377 views

How exactly is “true randomness” defined in the realms of cryptography?

Especially in relation to stream ciphers, I frequently read about (sometimes theoretical, sometimes practical) attacks that are able to "distinguish a ciphertext from a truly random stream". What's ...
7
votes
6answers
324 views

Do ciphertexts leak information about their algorithmic creators?

If an adversary holds thousands of encrypted files that were encrypted with the same cipher, can he determine which cipher method had been used on the files? Assume that the adversary has no prior ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How to generate a list of unique random strings?

How would you generate a list of distinct random strings, where all strings are alphanumeric and have a fixed length?
6
votes
1answer
279 views

How to enhance randomness of AES?

I'm using PHP to encrypt a string and Java to decrypt it on a remote server. To perform the encryption, I'm using the strategy that can be found here. My problem is that the strings I encrypt are ...
6
votes
1answer
595 views

Quality of randomness on a Linux system with haveged

Has anyone checked if using haveged, a Linux daemon which uses the HAVEGE algorithm, changes the non-deterministic properties of the random data from ...
5
votes
9answers
838 views

Algorithm: How to use x and y mouse movement co-ordinates to generate random data?

Background: I'm making a program for fun as a learning exercise. I want to generate some actual random key material (not pseudorandom) from a JavaScript program. For my program is just for ...
5
votes
3answers
334 views

Is there some way to generate a non-predictable random number in a decentralised network?

Is there a way to generate a random number with given restrictions: It will be used in a decentralised network with a big number of peers (no central authority to generate it) Its generation should ...
5
votes
2answers
148 views

Fast post-processing for broken RDRAND

Let's assume that the Intel RDRAND instruction does not return fully random numbers, e.g. because it has been engineered with a backdoor for the NSA. If the Intel RDRAND instruction is used directly ...
5
votes
2answers
243 views

Why are HOTP and TOTP implementations all using 6 digits and not more?

I was checking the RFC's after wondering for some time. In RFC 4226 - HOTP: An HMAC-Based One-Time Password Algorithm, it states on the appendix: A simple enhancement in terms of security would be ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

ElGamal Signature Scheme: Recovering the key when reusing randomness

Show how if Alice uses the same value of $k$ to sign two different messages $m_1$ and $m_2$, using the ElGamal signature scheme, Eve can recover the value of $a$ from the corresponding signatures ...
5
votes
1answer
487 views

Why are MACs in general deterministic, whereas digital signature constructions are randomized?

The fact is I'm not quite sure if my question statement is true, however all the MAC constructions I know of (e.g. CBC-MAC, CMAC, HMAC) are deterministic, whereas many constructions for digital ...
5
votes
1answer
226 views

How random is the shared secret in the Diffie Hellman key agreement

Being triggered by this horrible implementation in I2P shown by Sergei at Stackoverflow, I would like to know how random the value ZZ in the DH protocol is. ...
4
votes
2answers
131 views

Randomness test question from FIPS 140-1 and comparison with 140-2

In FIPS 140-1 there are 4 statistical random number generator tests (The Monobit Test, The Poker Test, The Runs Test and The Long Runs Test. Then FIPS 140-2 came along and supposedly tightened the ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

Difference RSA keypair creation openSSL and openPGP?

Creating a 2048bits RSA keypair I figured that doing this using openssl takes as an input 32bytes of "randomness" from /dev/urandom gpg (openGPG) takes as input ...
3
votes
3answers
138 views

How useful is NIST's Randomness Beacon for cryptographic use?

NIST have just launched a new service called the NSANIST Randomness Beacon. It has been met with some initial skepticism. Perhaps the cryptography community would have used it before June 2013 when ...
3
votes
2answers
318 views

Why is sharing the seed and using SecureRandom “deterministically” so bad?

I've recently been reading an article about "using cryptography to store credentials", and I would love it someone explained this in more detail… Up until Android 4.1, Android used a SecureRandom ...
3
votes
3answers
187 views

Construct a random permutation from a random function?

How can we construct a (pseudo) random permutation from a (pseudo) random function ? I've seen a method from Luby-Rackoff which allows to construct a PRP of length $2N$ from a PRF of input/output ...
3
votes
1answer
185 views

Is a subset of a random set still random?

Suppose you have an infinite list of random bytes, and you select the first N bytes that correspond to printable ASCII characters. Is this list of N bytes still as secure (e.g. for the purpose of a ...
3
votes
1answer
116 views

How can two (or more) parties share and agree upon a common random seed?

I really don't know how to call this simple problem: Two (or more) parties need to establish a common (non-secret) value to be used as a seed for a deterministic RNG. The only requirement is that each ...
3
votes
4answers
719 views

Stretching a random seed to maximize entropy

I'm using a random number generator that requires me to pass it a big (several kilobytes) pool of random data for initialization. I've gathered entropy from various system metrics (free memory, ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

How does redundancy in a file effects performance and security of encryption?

Does redundancy in a file or data effect performance and security of encryption? (for example for AES, if not for general case) Is it easier to encrypt something that has high redundancy or something ...
3
votes
1answer
210 views

Using chi square for distinguishing between compressed and random data

I am trying to find some measurement for identifying and distinguishing between compressed and random data. I tried this first by computing the entropy of such data, the entropy value is extremely ...
2
votes
4answers
566 views

random number generator 10-side dice alternative

A lot of sites (e.g. Dirk Rijmenants') refer to 10-side dice to generate random number for one-time-pad. I was thinking about new ways to generate random numbers, letters and passwords. here what I ...
2
votes
1answer
171 views

Crypto puzzle as proof of randomness?

I need an untrusted client to generate a random public/private keypair (in particular, an Ed25519 keypair, which can be generated really fast), but I'm only allowed to see the public key. The ...
2
votes
2answers
904 views

How to decrypt this RSA-like cipher

Suppose we have a RSA-type Modulus $n = pq$ with $p,q$ prime. We also pick a random public exponent $e$ with $\gcd(e,\varphi(n)) = 1$ and compute the private exponent $d$ with $de \equiv 1 ...
2
votes
2answers
203 views

How to efficiently generate a stream of independent, but biased random bits?

Usually, in cryptography, one is interested in debiasing a stream of independent (true) random bits, and several algorithms exist to do this. What about the converse? Let's assume I have a stream of ...
2
votes
2answers
233 views

Is just a bit of random, “fully random”?

I understand that hashing a datetime is a pseudo-random number, and not good in a security context. But what about hashing a datetime plus a truly-random but constant string (just a string that an ...
2
votes
2answers
287 views

How can encryption involve randomness?

If an encryption algorithm is meant to convert a string to another string which can then be decrypted back to the original, how could this process involve any randomness? Surely it has to be ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

password generation: random length or max length

In short: Is it cryptographically stronger to have a known length password of the maximum length allowed, or a random length password somewhere in the range of the longest length possible? Does the ...
2
votes
4answers
412 views

Randomized algorithms and the one time pad

The way I understand it, an algorithm is said to be randomized if it uses randomness as part of its logic (quoting Wikipedia). Now, in the case of encryption algorithms, I assume this means that for ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

Proving a decision was randomly made [duplicate]

Alice and Bob want to agree on a bit $0$ or $1$. Both know it would be fair to pick that at random, but there's no way they could meet to throw a dice and no third party they could trust. Are there ...
2
votes
1answer
223 views

Conforming Randomness To An Alphabet

Imagine that we're trying to create a function to generate a random string conforming to a user-supplied alphabet. That way, users can generate random strings with given characters. Something like: ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Reseeding a PRNG with the generated PRN

Would reseeding a PRNG with the PRN from the previous generation have any effects whatsoever on the quality of the generated numbers; if so, does this depend on the PRNG used, or are the effects ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

Detecting steganography in the stream of short messages

I have stream of millions of short n-bit (n<30) messages generated by some random number generator. The source of random number generator is not available to me. I suspect there are messages used ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Collecting entropy from a stream to a file

I have a potentially infinite stream of data originating in some physical phenomena that may expose random behavior (due to quantum effects, thermal noise, the butterfly effect in chaotic dynamical ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

/dev/random only needed for key generation / CPU pattern encryption

Consider the following scenarios: using OpenSSL to encrypt a file with Rijndael-256 using LUKS to encrypt a hard-drive that is used every day Exactly when is entropy from ...
2
votes
0answers
138 views

Correct way to truncate data to a range [duplicate]

2 hours ago I thought I had this figured out, but now I am doubting myself and want someone to validate my algorithm. I want to take a stream of k trusted random ...
1
vote
1answer
183 views

How to generate a random polynomial of degree $m$?

I am trying to do a homework in which implement a variation of this paper and I don't know how to generate a polynomial of degree $m-1$. This polynomial is used to generate the $y_0$ and $y_1$ values. ...
1
vote
1answer
209 views

Cryptographically strong pseudo-random seq. generators

If a pseudo-random sequence generator is built so that it uses an n-bit seed and outputs a string that is of length x. Let's say one wants to generate a bit string of length y and uses the previous ...
1
vote
2answers
139 views

Are the SHA family hash outputs practically random?

Say I hashed the output from a random number generator (with nonce), would the resulting SHA256 hash be as random as the inputted number? And If I used the first 5 hex characters, and then used the ...
1
vote
1answer
101 views

How do I prove that this PRNG is easily distinguished from a random sequence of numbers (modulo m)?

I was studying Crypto, and this question came up. Using a PRG like the multiplicative congruence generator: $b_{i+1} = a \cdot b_i \mod m$ How do I prove that the output of this PRG, or any PRG's ...
1
vote
2answers
354 views

Estimating random number entropy for input into 256 bit hash

Assuming a random number generation process outputs lots of numbers between 0-9. First I gathered up a bunch of the numbers, converted them to binary and created a bitmap. Not so random as you can ...
1
vote
1answer
212 views

Encryption schemes and pseudorandom permutations

Can an encryption scheme (deterministic or not) be viewed as a pseudorandom permutation taking as input a message and returning a value of the same bit-encoding length ? Thank you.