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

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What is the importance of Modular arithmetic in cryptography?

Why do we use modular arithmetic so often in Cryptography?
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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 ...
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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) ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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How does one scale encryption strength upwards from 256-bit?

I have seen many examples of encryption up to about 256-bit. But how does one programmatically scale the logic upwards in a language such as PHP or Java to say 1024-bit or even 4096-bit and higher? ...
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Is a changing public truecrypt container secure?

I have a Truecrypt container which I want to synchronise between computers (i.e. different people, that I want to share the data with). If I used Dropbox for synchronisation and someone downloaded ...
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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 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 ...