Symmetric cryptosystems assume two communicating entities share a pre-established secret key.

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How can we reason about the cryptographic capabilities of code-breaking agencies like the NSA or GCHQ?

I have read in Applied Cryptography that the NSA is the largest hardware buyer and the largest mathematician employer in the world. How can we reason about the symmetric ciphers cryptanalysis ...
21
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Information leakage from the ecryptfs filesystem

I'm wondering what information might be leaked from the ecryptfs filesystem. This is what Ubuntu uses if you check the box for "encrypted home directory" when using the desktop installer, so is ...
18
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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 ...
13
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9answers
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Why not the one-time pad with pseudo-number generator

I am very new to cryptography (so be kind), but I have a question that may seem silly. If the one-time pad is the perfect cipher and impossible to crack, why would the following algorithm not be one ...
13
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1answer
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Why do we use encrypt-decrypt-encrypt (EDE) in 3DES, rather than encrypting three times?

I'm wondering why we use encrypt-decrypt-encrypt sequence in 3DES with three keys instead of three times encryption with three different keys?
11
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Why does SHA-1 have 80 rounds?

Why does SHA-1 algorithm have exactly 80 rounds? Is it to reduce collisions? If yes, then why do SHA-2 and SHA-3 have a lower number of rounds?
11
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1answer
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How to choose a padding mode with AES

Depending on the framework you are using, there are various padding modes that can be used with AES encryption. For example, with .NET we can choose PKCS7, ISO10126, ANSIX923, Zeros or None. I ...
10
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753 views

Deriving Keys for Symmetric Encryption and Authentication

So here's the concept. Rather than storing 2 keys and using a random IV, which presents its own problems (key rotation, ensuring no key is used in more than 2^32 cycles, sharing the keys, etc), is it ...
8
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4answers
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Can I determine if a user has the wrong symmetric encryption key?

We're using the Objectivity/DB object database with a custom encryption plugin that encrypts serialized objects on disk. Encryption uses AES with a shared secret key held by all users. I would like to ...
7
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1answer
145 views

Specification of the scream stream cipher is unclear

I am implementing in C++ the Scream stream cipher. The Scream family is composed of Scream-0, Scream-S and Scream-F. For this question, assume that I'm using Scream-S. The specifications of the ...
6
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Why the symmetric key layer in PGP?

I've been familiarizing myself with the basics of PGP. If I understand correctly, PGP symmetrically encrypts the data of interest using a random single-use key, then encrypts the encrypted data and ...
6
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Why do we need asymmetric algorithms for key exchange?

In SSL protocols, both symmetric and asymmetric algorithms are used. Why is it so? The symmetric algorithms are more secure and easier to implement. Why are asymmetric algorithms usually preferred in ...
6
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1answer
801 views

What is a tweakable block cipher?

Pretty simple question - but I can't seem to find much information about it. What exactly is a tweakable block cipher? How do they differ from traditional block ciphers? What is the 'tweak'? Is it ...
6
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360 views

Implement deniable encryption with AES/RSA

I'm on a crypto app using OpenSSL (I'm more an implementer/cryptographer than a cryptologist), mainly as a hobby, for now. My app will be able to encrypt a file (not a container) with symmetric or ...
5
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3answers
593 views

CBC - a canonical mode, even though there are streaming modes

Why is CBC considered the canonical mode when there are streaming modes available such as CFB and OFB? One thing that I can think of is that in CBC you can easliy do range-based decryption. All you ...
5
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460 views

why DES uses exactly 16 rounds?

Why DES uses 16 rounds why not more or less then 16. what is the significant of using 16.
5
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1answer
2k views

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, ...
5
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139 views

KCV and compatibility with block cipher modes of operation

There has been lately a question on KCV (key check value), value provided by many CRYPTOKI (PKCS#11) implementations. I don't particularly like KCV, but I decided to ask about proper use of KCV. ...
4
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757 views

Difference between symmetric and asymmetric hash function?

The Linux kernel supports symmetric and asymmetric hash functions. E.g. sha1, sha256, ... See tcrypt.c and search for test_hash_speed and ...
4
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3answers
817 views

Which of these 3 AES 128 symmetric encrypt/decrypt routines is most secure?

I am developing a symmetric en-/decryption routine written in c# for a database containing user-specific, sensitive information. I have narrowed down the implementation to 3 different approaches, ...
4
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1answer
484 views

Are there two-way encryption algorithms that include a work factor?

I recently learned about the hashing algorithm bcrypt, which allows you to specify a "work factor" for the hash which can be incremented to stay ahead of Moore's Law. I understand there are some other ...
4
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2answers
194 views

Is the following symmetric design secure?

Assume: $O$ be a reversible random permutation oracle on a finite set and $O^{-1}$ the inverse permutation (pretty much equivalent to a random permutation: What is the difference between a bijective ...
4
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2answers
234 views

Is storing the hash of a key together with ciphertext encrypted with that key secure?

Is it secure to store the hash of a symmetric cipher key along with data encrypted with that key? Are there any circumstances or algorithms in which this combination could lead to potential weaknesses ...
4
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1answer
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Sending KCV (key check value) with cipher text

I was wondering why it is not more common to send the KCV of a secret key together with the cipher text. I see many systems that send cipher text and properly prepend the IV to e.g. a CBC mode ...
4
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1answer
856 views

Is this design of client side encryption secure?

I want to build a secure file storage web application. Users should be sure that server doesn't know how to decrypt files so encryption should take place at client side (i.e. in Javascript) and TLS ...
4
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1answer
70 views

Are IVs and salts the same and usable for each other uses?

I'm new in the crypto world and I've just discovered PBKDF (I used to use typed passeword as symmetric key). When using some crypto mode, you're required to ...
3
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What is the importance of Modular arithmetic in cryptography?

Why do we use modular arithmetic so often in Cryptography?
3
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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 ...
3
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How is the key shared in symmetric key cryptography?

Symmetric key cryptography is an encryption system in which the sender and receiver of a message share a single, common key that is used to encrypt and decrypt the message. Is the key public or it is ...
3
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2answers
429 views

Why does the recommended key size between symmetric and assymetric encryption differ greatly?

In various articles it is mentioned that for secure communications, the recommended key sizes are 128-bit key size for symmetric encryption (which makes it $2^{128}$ possible keys?) and 2048-bit key ...
3
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348 views

What is the best way to send two floating point numbers to a server on the internet from a small device such as an arduino?

I was thinking about sending some sensitive data (temperature) from an arduino (AVR 8-bit processor) to a server on the internet. But I would like to make sure that it would not be possible for Eve ...
3
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How to distribute session keys in public key cryptography?

In public key cryptography we can also use session keys which are symmetric. How do the sender (say a server) provides this session key information to its clients? If the sender (here server) ...
3
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3answers
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Ciphers in CBC mode reveal place of change in plaintext

Theoretically, when using a symmetric block cipher in CBC mode, the current block is dependent on the previous block. Suppose one plaintext is encrypted using CBC, and then one bit of it is changed, ...
3
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1answer
171 views

When confusion is applied during encryption?

I know confusion is used in cryptography to make it more difficult to identify any relationship between the ciphertext and the symmetric key. I want to know when the confusion is applied during ...
3
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220 views

Derived Shared Key vs Distinct Keys?

I've seen a lot of 2-party applications that derive a shared key from distinct keys created by each party. Why is this technique employed? Would it not be better to use those two distinct keys for ...
3
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1answer
258 views

Where is the S-Box generated in Rijandel/AES?

It's rather kind of lame questions, and I can't find good and clear explanation: In which step of Rijandel is S-box generated? Is the S-box reused in every round of cipher or is generated in every ...
3
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4answers
368 views

Is there a symmetric-key cryptography based on key establishment techniques?

Most of the current key exchange techniques are based on public-key cryptography. Are there any key exchange/establishment techniques based on symmetric-key cryptography too? In my setup primary ...
3
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1answer
273 views

Is symmetric encryption vulnerable to plain-text-attacks?

Imagine that Bob sends a message to Alice for symmetric encryption to send to Charlie. (Only Alice and Charlie know the key.) Alice sends the encrypted message back to Bob to send to Charlie. Can Bob ...
3
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443 views

are CFB and OFB really meant for streaming?

CFB, OFB and other modes are meant for streaming and don't require padding. Are there still limitations such as the text needs to be greater than key length?
3
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1answer
360 views

Can I secure my key by XORing it with a hashed password?

I'd like to build a simple password-protected symmetric key system. The key-creation process in my system operates as follows: The system creates a 256-bit key purely at random. The user chooses a ...
3
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1answer
108 views

AES: Is it safe to encrypt same cleartext with same key but with million diferent IV?

The encryption mode that I am using is CBC. Algorithm is AES and the key size is 128bit. I will be encrypting a 36 byte string over 1.3 million times with the same key but with a random IV. My ...
3
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3answers
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What are the pros/cons of using symmetric crypto vs. hash in a commitment scheme?

In a commitment scheme, are there any differences on using a symmetric cipher versus using a hash? If at the "opening", I have to reveal $r$ (a random number concatenated with the messaged at the ...
3
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1answer
202 views

Serpent cipher : Osvik S-Boxes confusion and test vectors

I'm having hard time with the implementation of the S-Boxes by Osvik found in this paper: Speeding up Serpent. At the end of the paper, all the s-boxes are given and then, I just implement them. ...
3
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1answer
96 views

What is 'key agility' in relation to symmetric-key encryption?

I sometimes see, in discussions of symmetric ciphers, reference to the 'key agility' of a particular algorithm. It seems to be related to the difficulty of switching encryption keys, but I don't ...
3
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2answers
339 views

What is the best way to store sensitive information on the client?

I am very inexperienced with cryptography and would like some advice on how to store some sensitive information on client machines. I have some information stored in a central database on my server. ...
3
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1answer
321 views

Is this a good way to encrypt a file?

I need to encrypt a file, distribute it over an insecure channel, and decrypt it later. Using a symmetric-key algorithm. Here's what I intend to do: Get a password P from the user. Generate a 16-byte ...
3
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1answer
134 views

Would a symmetric cipher with a keylength a big as the data length be information theoretically secure?

One-Time-Pad is information theoretically secure as long as the random number stream is evenly long or longer than the data stream it encrypts, for a "decyphered" message could have been any message ...
3
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1answer
199 views

Is this an acceptable authenticated encryption?

After much deliberation, I've decided to use a normal Encrypt-then-MAC scheme instead of an authenticated encryption mode such as GCM as authenticated encryption primitive. This is due to the lack of ...
3
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300 views

Encryption scheme with equivalent keys?

I've long been looking for a symmetric encryption scheme (or algorithm) with equivalent keys. Let me define what I want: Symmetric encryption algorithm with encryption function $E_k$ and inverse ...
3
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1answer
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uniquely identify a symmetric key

Is there a safe way to uniquely identify a symmetric key? I know with asymmetric keys you typically use a hash of the public key, but I assume that using a hash of a symmetric key would reveal too ...