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
5k 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
28k 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
577 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 ...
18
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 ...
11
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 ...
10
votes
6answers
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
435 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?
10
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
9answers
967 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
6answers
335 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
284 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
299 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
746 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
3answers
360 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
156 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
300 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
84 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
1answer
508 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
183 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
230 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
258 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
119 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
766 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, ...
4
votes
1answer
155 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
1answer
215 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
445 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
517 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
2answers
242 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
201 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
197 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
120 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
1answer
144 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
65 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
0answers
34 views

Feasible way to check n-dimensional equidistribution of PRNGs

I am currently gathering some test methods and test suites for random number generator qualities, and am a bit stuck at finding something feasible to test for n-dimensional equidistribution. As input ...
2
votes
4answers
615 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
179 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
935 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
214 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
308 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
90 views

Is it possible to get better randomness by using multiple PRNGs?

I don't know if this question even makes sense, but: Is there be any benefit or impact to some sort of hierarchical (e.g. a PRNG drives the decision for which PRN to pull from a set of PRNGs) or ...
2
votes
1answer
107 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
1answer
218 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
80 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
233 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
70 views

Strategy for random CTR initial counter values

Alice has a secret key which she uses to encrypt messages in CTR mode. CTR mode is critically vulnerable to counter reuse, and Alice has a problem: she has terrible memory and no pen to write anything ...
2
votes
1answer
75 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
108 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
546 views

How to test distribution of a hash function?

From what I've found, it is generally accepted a cryptographic hash function like SHA-2 has an evenly, randomly distributed output. Is there a way to test this without running through the entire ...