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

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657 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 ...
3
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2answers
512 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?
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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?
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 ...
3
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1answer
430 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 ...
2
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3answers
263 views

Realize a MAC using a Pseudo-random function?

Given a pseudo-random function and assuming that we do not have any other tools, How can we construct a MAC? I believe this can be done. Would like to know if there is more than one way of doing ...
6
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5answers
3k views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
382 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 ...
23
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
2
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1answer
157 views

Does an attacker gain an advantage if they have the initialisation vector?

Does an attacker gain any advantage by knowing which initialisation vector was used for encryption?
8
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4answers
492 views

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 ...
11
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1answer
6k views

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 ...
3
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3answers
2k views

What is the importance of Modular arithmetic in cryptography?

Why do we use modular arithmetic so often in Cryptography?
4
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1answer
623 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

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) ...
4
votes
3answers
249 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
votes
1answer
123 views

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 ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

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? ...
4
votes
1answer
162 views

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 ...
21
votes
3answers
6k views

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 ...
27
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5answers
4k views

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 ...