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

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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 ...
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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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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 ...