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

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59
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11answers
6k 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 ...
53
votes
5answers
29k 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
636 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
10
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
637 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
665 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 ...
9
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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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Is a die implemented in a physics engine truly random?

So, a fair die throw is really random, not pseudo. So, would a RNG implemented as the result of a die throw in a physics engine (say, Newton, Havok, Nvidia's PhysX) be regarded as both ...
8
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
7
votes
11answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
3k 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?
7
votes
6answers
386 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
305 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
637 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
776 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
4k views

What is the difference between CSPRNG and PRNG?

What is the difference between CSPRNG and PRNG? Is there performance differential between them? For example: We use PRNG for key generation which is very expensive and CSPRNG for IV/nonce in block ...
6
votes
3answers
524 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
232 views

How do you test randomness?

Suppose I receive a list of 1 million coinflips, and I want to know how likely it is that the list was randomly generated. My first thought would be to count the number of heads and tails, which ...
6
votes
1answer
500 views

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

How random is the value $ZZ$ in the DH protocol? This question was triggered by this somewhat naïve implementation in I2P shown by Sergei at Stackoverflow. Obviously $ZZ$ is distinguishable from a ...
6
votes
1answer
115 views

Are poly1305 authenticators distinguishable from random data?

Assume Alice authenticates a message $M$ with nonce $N$ and secret key $K$, creating authenticator $A$. She then sends $A$ across the network. The Poly1305 paper does not seem to specify whether it ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
942 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, ...
5
votes
2answers
189 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
188 views

Why calculate pi to estimate randomness?

Why do testing suites calculate pi using the Monte Carlo method to determine if a series of numbers are random? As far as I can tell, the Monte Carlo method can be used to estimate pi itself (as a ...
5
votes
1answer
345 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
512 views

Why use randomness in digital signature algorithms?

I understand why randomness has to be employed in encryption, because deterministic ciphers are not IND-CPA. I don't understand why digital signature schemes that employ randomness, like RSA-PSS, are ...
4
votes
4answers
337 views

Given $n$ bits, how many “truly random” sequences/numbers can be constructed?

Suppose we have $n$ bits, so we can have $2^n$ different bit sequences. Some sequences don't look random, say, all $1$ or $0$. There are also other patterns like $10101010…$, $11001100…$ and such. ...
4
votes
2answers
137 views

Randomness re-use in LWE encryption scheme

Let me describe the scheme first, it is the scheme proposed by O. Regev when he introduced the LWE assumption. $sk = \textbf{s} \in \mathbf{Z}_q^n$ $pk = \textbf{A}\textbf{s}+\textbf{e}$ where ...
4
votes
1answer
268 views

Reusing the random exponent for ElGamal encryption with different plaintexts

In the basic ElGamal encryption scheme, we encrypt a message $m$ as $(g^r, h^r m)$, where $g$ is the group generator and $h$ is the public key of the recipient. If the sender has another message $m'$ ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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
170 views

Understanding hash entropy

I have been told that one advantage of using a hash function is that it spreads entropy over all input bits. But it also seems to be true that a bad hash algorithm can make things less random. But how ...
4
votes
2answers
87 views

Randomness in Public Key Encryption

For a scheme to be at least CPA secure, one has to randomize the scheme. In case of a secret key encryption scheme, the used randomness will typically become part of the cipher text as in the case of ...
4
votes
1answer
148 views

Can the same random number be used in encryption and signing?

In several public key algorithms, the person running the algorithm must generate a random number (that's separate from the key). Can this random number be the same for an encryption and a signature? ...
4
votes
1answer
241 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
60 views

Better lower bound on min-entropy

In “Randomness Condensers for Efficiently Samplable, Seed-Dependent Sources” by Dodis, Ristenpart, and Vadhan (PDF), I have seen the statement that: any tuple of distributions $(X,Z)$ is $ε$-close ...
3
votes
4answers
866 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
602 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
111 views

Meaning of entropy of a bitstring in NIST SP 800 - 90A

From NIST SP 800 - 90A from January 2012 (see http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-90A/SP800-90A.pdf), page 6: For the purposes of this Recommendation, an n-bit string is said to have ...
3
votes
1answer
243 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
277 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
228 views

Statistical properties of hash functions when calculating modulo

When using SHA-1 to hash an input, the result is a pseudo-random number in the numeric ID space $\{0\dots2^{160}-1\}$. Do I loose any statistical property in the result if I use modulo to restrict the ...
3
votes
1answer
142 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
3answers
270 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
216 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
286 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
81 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
815 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 ...