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

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14
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the main difference between a key, an IV and a nonce?

What are the main differences between a nonce, a key and an IV? Without any doubt the key should be kept secret. But what about the nonce and the IV? What's the main difference between them and their ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What is “Implicit Authentication”?

What is “Implicit Authentication” in the context of authentication methods? I searched the Web but could not find any article that describes this. If anyone can describe it, that would be a great ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the difference between CSPRNG and PRNG?

What is the difference between CSPRNG and PRNG? Is there performance differential between them? For example: We use PRNG for key generation which is very expensive and CSPRNG for IV/nonce in block ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Simulation-based security?

I've been reading Introduction to Modern Cryptography by Katz and Lindell as an introduction to cryptography. The book seems to use the term 'simulator' when it talks about a game like, for instance, ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

How exactly is “true randomness” defined in the realms of cryptography?

Especially in relation to stream ciphers, I frequently read about (sometimes theoretical, sometimes practical) attacks that are able to "distinguish a ciphertext from a truly random stream". What's ...
9
votes
2answers
299 views

Definition of “pepper” in hash functions

I am confused about the notion of "pepper" in the context of storing hashes of users' passwords. Definition 1: A pepper is a secret key Looking around the Internet, for example here or here, a ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

Easy explanation of “IND-” security notions?

There are many schemes that can advertise themselves with certain security notions, usually IND-CPA or IND-CCA2, for example plain ElGamal has IND-CPA security but doesn't provide IND-CCA security. ...
7
votes
1answer
182 views

What is the “artificial abort” technique?

In the security proof of Brent Waters's paper Efficient Identity-Based Encryption Without Random Oracles, he uses a novel “artificial abort” step on page 6. At this point the simulator is still ...
3
votes
1answer
211 views

Difference between lightweight, online and low memory Authenticated Encryption schemes

What is the basic difference between the following types of Authenticated Encryption (AE) schemes? Lightweight Authenticated encryption Online Authenticated Encryption Authenticated Encryption for ...
0
votes
4answers
205 views

what is it called when encrypt('a') + encrypt('a') == encrypt('aa')?

So normally if you do encrypt('a') twice in a row you'll get the same result. But sometimes (as is the case in SSH) this is not desirable. You want encrypt('a') + encrypt('a') == encrypt('aa'). What ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is it meant by a “hybrid argument”?

Can anyone explain (or point to a reference for) what a hybrid argument is in a security proof, and when it's convenient or preferable to use it? Among some of the places where I've seen it ...
4
votes
3answers
388 views

What is the difference between a 'cipher' and a 'mode of operation'?

What is the difference between the term cipher (a name like RIJNDAEL) and mode of operation (like ECB)? Aren't these both terms for the encryption/decryption technique?
4
votes
1answer
752 views

What is “Blinding” used for in cryptography?

What does "blinding" mean in cryptography, and where do we usually use it? Can you describe a sample implementation?
3
votes
1answer
593 views

Non-linearity of a boolean function

What's the definition of non-linearity of a boolean function? Roughly saying it is minimum number of times it equals any affine function. But I don't get it mathematically. For example, if $f = ...
3
votes
3answers
155 views

The meaning of “scheme”

This question is a bit different from other questions here, but I think it is suitable to correctly understand the terminology of cryptography. Consider the following two sets of terms: Encryption ...