# Tagged Questions

Questions about the meaning and proper use of specific technical terms or notation within cryptography.

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### What do they mean when saying that a certain value should be “super-logarithmic”?

What do they mean when saying that a certain value should be “super-logarithmic”? I've found the Wikipedia definition of a “super-logarithm”, but I'm having trouble understanding how a given value ...
473 views

### Difference between a circuit and a normal function

I've seen the word circuit used in many crypto contexts (for example, regarding FHE in this pdf). I've always thought of a circuit as another word for a program or function. But is there a difference -...
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### What is many:1 and collision in MD5?

This is in reference to this answer on Stackoverflow. If you read the first paragraph of the answer, you'll find this line: It's always a many:1 mapping (meaning there will always be collisions) ...
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### Can a hash have more than one input?

From a definition stand point, can a hashing algorithm have more than one input, ex: $H(m_1, m_2, m_3)$? If not why are algorithms like bcrypt, scrypt and pbkdf2 referred to as password hashing ...
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### How to meter and limit number of files encrypted?

First my apologies if this isn't the right forum for this but here's my problem : I have a black box that takes an input file and produces an output file. I want to sell this black box to a customer ...
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### What is the non-programmable random oracle model?

I would like to know the difference between the random oracle model and the non-programmable random oracle model. ​ What is the difference?
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### Term for the ratio of ciphertext to plaintext size?

Is there a term that determines the ratio of size of ciphertext $|c|$ and plaintext $|n|$? I vaguely recollect reading it as scale out factor. Is there a better term? Or a popular term for this?
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### Is there a difference between $\mathbb{Z}_2^b$, $\text{GF}(2^b)$ and $\text{GF}(2)^b$?

I have read a lot about Galois Fields (GF). They are also presented in The Design of Rinjdael on page 13. In computer memory, the polynomials in $F[x]|_l$ with $F$ a finite field can be stored ...
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### How distinct are the meanings of the terms “CSPRNG,” “DRBG” and “stream cipher”?

Are there universal, consensus definitions for the following terms? Cryptographically secure pseudo-random number generator ("CSPRNG") Deterministic random bit generator ("DRBG") Stream cipher ...
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### Is the 'nonce' in bitcoin really a nonce?

Is the 'nonce' in bitcoin really a nonce? Reading definitions of nonce and salt it seems the number is used as a salt but the same value can occur in multiple blocks; there's no requirement or indeed ...
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### What is the difference between PBE and symmetric key encryption?

What is the difference between PBE (password based encryption) and symmetric-key algorithms? My understanding is that symmetric-key algorithms like AES and Twofish are used in PBE. Hence PBE is just ...
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### For what does “Rcon” stand for in Rijndael/AES?

How do we expand the abbreviation “Rcon” used in the Rijndael key schedule? I know what it is, I know how it works; I just do not know for what it is a shortcut for. I mean: if "Sbox" is "...
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### Is rubberhose cryptanalysis a sidechannel - formally?

I recently was engaged in a discussion in Sec.SE where somebody used the term "sidechannel" to actually mean "circumvent the encryption". By what he said it was clear, that he wanted to not bother ...
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### What is a branch number in the PAEQ algorithm?

I'm reading an article about authenticated encryption algorithm - PAEQ. It uses a permutation function AESQ, which has transormations from AES. And there is written about MegaSBoxes, which contain 4 ...
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### What do associated data and message numbers mean?

I'm reading an article about authenticated encryption and don't understand some inputs to an encryption function. They are associated data, public and secret message numbers. Can you explain me their ...
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### Are checksums essentially non-secure versions of cryptographic hashes?

Are checksums basically toned-down versions of cryptographic hashes? As in: they are supposed to detect errors that occur naturally/randomly as opposed to being designed to prevent a knowledgeable ...
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### How would you name and/or describe this algorithm?

First up: this is not a decoding request or anything. This is about terminology. Twice per year, we email another department to ask for a new licence file for their software. They are always slow to ...
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### Classification of a stream cipher

How would one classify a stream cipher that is neither synchronous, nor self synchronizing? I would have thought asynchronous, but from all the sources I can find, asynchronous is synonymous with ...
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### What does this advantage statement signify?

In many Attribute Based Encryption papers I see this line... The advantage of an adversary A in this game is defined as Pr[b' = b] − 1/2. Can someone explain what it means to me? I assume it means ...
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### Name and security of these non-invertible functions?

I would like to learn more about a specific set of non invertible functions: The function should accept 2 inputs: one hidden and the other visible. The output and the function should also be visible....
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### Scrypt not “old enough” to be safe?

I just check all the questions with scrypt tag about that and usually it's said that scrypt is nice in theory and theoretically better than bcrypt and PKDF2, but it's too young to be "completely safe"....
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### A general definition for cryptocurrencies

I am trying to find the definitions to several terms related to digital currencies. Unfortunately, I am always ending up on Bitcoin-oriented pages and websites which only take Bitcoin itself into ...
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### What is an impure NIST true random number generator?

I'm working on a true random number generator, and I came across this phrase in the American NIST guide, in section 6.4.1 Non-Approved Conditioning Components: The entropy rate provided shall be ...
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### What is the difference between MACTripleDES and TripleDES?

I was asked to encrypt/decrypt a string using MACTripleDES. Is there any difference between MACTripleDES and TripleDES? If, where exactly is the difference between both?
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### What is the difference between key size and block size (for AES)

We are working on AES and want to develop a website which should provide an encryption facility but we are not understanding the difference between key and the block size. More appropriately what does ...
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### TCG design specification of TPM and nonce creation

I am reading TPM Main Part 1 Design Principles (PDF) which states: The creation of all nonce values MUST use the next $n$ bits from the TPM RNG. I do not know what this means, or how to find out ...
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### What is cryptographic agility?

I keep seeing the term "Cryptographic Agility" referenced. What does it mean? For instance: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/bb204775(v=vs.85).aspx One of the key value ...
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### What is the difference between “securely realizes” and “securely implements”?

In some security proofs it is stated that "a protocol securely realizes an ideal functionality" while in some others "a protocol securely implements an ideal functionality". Is there a meaningful ...
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### What is the correct name for bytes which are to be signed?

I have some bytes, and I sign them with my private key using ECDSA. The resultant (71) bytes are the signature. But what is the name of the bytes I have signed? (If this were encryption, they would ...
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### Why are there so many stream ciphers out there and even ongoing research?

What make them better than OTP using a CSPRNG initialized with a secret key?
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### MD5 Collision Attack Explained

In one of my assignments, I came across this line Due to MD5’s length-extension behavior, we can append any suffix to both messages and know that the longer messages will also collide. This lets ...
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### What is a “freestart collision”?

In their work on SHA-1 collisions (cf. the EUROCRYPT-2016 paper “Freestart collision on full SHA-1” by Stevens, Karpman, and Peyrin) Stevens et al show that they are able to generate "freestart ...
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### SHA-256 “almost unique”?

I have seen numerous references on the internet of people describing SHA-256 as generating an "almost unique" hash. Exhibit A. there are more. Is there some mathematical basis to the almost ...
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### What is the difference between CPA and IND-CPA?

I am writing a paper and I got comments from the reviewer that I don’t really understand. Is there any difference between a CPA (Chosen Plaintext Attack) and IND-CPA (Indistinguishability under ...
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### Define “cryptographer”

I often encounter the phrase "I am not a cryptographer". Is there a generally accepted definition for who is a cryptographer? What qualifications would be expected? For instance, should that person ...
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### Is EncFS good for online storage services?

Conclusion from an EncFS audit: EncFS is probably safe as long as the adversary only gets one copy of the ciphertext and nothing more. EncFS is not safe if the adversary has the ...
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### Definition of authenticity

I came across various definitions of what authenticity means in cryptography. I would like to know which one is correct. The first definition - the one I always used - is the following: Data ...
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### Hash and salt or salt and hash?

People say "hash and salt", but aren't you supposed to salt password the first, and then hash it? So that means its called "salt and hash" right?
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### What is ε in differential privacy?

In ε-differential privacy, what does the ε refer to? Is it privacy value or the notation used? Can anyone provide an example of differential privacy?
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### Terminology: differences between the terms “pre-master secret”, “master secret”, “private key”, and “shared secret”?

Both crypto.SE and security.SE have excellent Q&As about how TLS generates session keys (I have linked some at the bottom). In reading these threads I'm having troubles with terminology since the ...
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