# All Questions

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### Why hash the message before signing it? Digital signature with RSA

Here's a method to sign the message with RSA: Why hash the data before signing it? Why not sign the whole message? It'll save time if you sign the hash value, but I've heard there are also security ...
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### Is there any research on the problem of making a number more memorable to humans?

Authentication protocols often rely on humans dealing with large numbers correctly. For example, when a user logs into a remote machine using SSH for the first time, she is prompted to confirm that ...
363 views

### Exposing RSA private-key data… bad?

We know that exposing $p$, or $q$ or $\phi(n)$ results in trivial attacks on RSA since they allow us to factor $n$ and to compute the private exponent $d$. In OpenSSL (and most RSA implementations) ...
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### How to better generate large primes: sieving and then random picking or random picking and then checking?

I'm writing an RSA algorithm, and am wondering what is the best and/or usual way to choose the initial prime numbers (p and q). I know of two methods to achieve this, one based on a prime number ...
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### Is ISAAC considered secure as a cryptographic random number generator?

The ISAAC site claims it is secure, but I wasn't aware of any trusted 3rd party sources that verified its security.
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### Why programming languages don't provide simple encryption methods?

In c#, there is a namespace called System.Security.Cryptography and there are many classes in this namespace, which help developers encrypt and decrypt data. ...
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### Is there any general description language for block ciphers?

In page 9 (16 in the PDF) of Final report of European project IST-1999-12324 (NESSIE), it is mentioned that: The NESSIE project is also developing a new generic tool to analyze block ciphers ...
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### Are there groups where the computational Diffie Hellman problem is easy but the discrete log problem is hard?

I know that there are elliptic curve groups, used in pairing-based cryptography, where the decisional Diffie Hellman problem (ie. given $g$, $g^a$, $g^b$ and $c$, determine if $c = g^{ab}$ is easy but ...
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### Would RSA make sense if we used no computers?

I was recently wondering - would RSA be useful if we brought it to, say, medieval times? Could you choose the keys so that you could encrypt/decrypt messages quite easily, but factoring the private ...
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### Meaning of “family” in “family of hash functions”

Many definitions related to universal hashing mention the term "a family of hash functions, say $H$". What does this 'family' mean exactly? A numerical example would be appreciated. Also, what does it ...
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### Will our app be FIPS 140-2 compliant if we use our own AES algorithm implementation?

We are in the processing to understand if our software applications is FIPS 140-2 compliant or not. Currently in our application, we are using our own implementation of AES algorithm. AES is a FIPS ...
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### Practical uses of Manipulation Detection Code (MDC) and IGE

I've just skimmed over most of the paper "On Message Integrity in Symmetric Encryption". I've included (the last) part of the abstract below: We show that generic compositions of ...
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### What is the difference between Scrypt and PBKDF2?

After reading these two resources I am wondering am I getting all the differences between Scrypt and PBKDF2. As far as I understood, the similarity is: both are password-based key derivation ...
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### How can an S-Box be reversed?

So, as an exercise to greater understand some things about cryptography, I decided to try and implement GOST 28147-89, which uses eight 4x4 S-Boxes. I can grasp the concept of putting 4 bits through ...
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### What is the progress on the MIT LCS35 Time Capsule Crypto-Puzzle?

Ron Rivest posed a puzzle in 1999. MIT LCS35 Time Capsule Crypto-Puzzle. The problem is to compute $2^{2^t} \pmod n$ for specified values of $t$ and $n$. Here $n$ is the product of two large ...
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### Does TLS use RC4-drop[n]?

According to many sources, the first few (n) bytes of the RC4 keystream are strongly biased, and therefore should be discarded before using the keystream to encrypt anything; this precaution is ...
7k views

### Difference between encrypting something and hashing something

What is the difference between encrypting something and hashing something? in what situations would I want one or the other?
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### What's the reason for applying the hash twice when hashing with salt?

One of the typical approaches to computing a salted hash is this: hash(salt+hash(secret)) where hash is something like SHA-256 hash function - taking any size ...
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### Does omitting the first two lines of RC4's pseudo-random generation algorithm weaken the cipher?

A particular educational software program published by a U.S. government agency uses a variant of RC4 to obfuscate its data files (see Stack Overflow question). The variant of RC4 in question is ...
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### Useful pairings for cryptography

I've recently looked a bit at pairing based cryptography and I was wondering what properties the groups involved should have in order to be useful for cryptographic purposes? Has anything more exact ...
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### In RSA, rationale for prime $p$ with $p-1$ having prime factor $u$ with $u-1$ having large prime factor?

In the 1978 RSA paper, it is recommended, among other things, to choose primes $p$ such that $(p-1)$ has a large prime factor $u$. This was motivated by Pollard's p-1 algorithm. Further, the authors ...
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### RSA-based authentication and key-agreement protocol

An authentication and key-agreement protocol between devices shall mutually demonstrate their identity, and establish a shared random secret $R$ suitable for securing later communications. To that ...
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### Is Blowfish strong enough for VPN encryption?

I'm looking at an OpenVPN connection between two sites configured to use 128 bit Blowfish in CBC mode, and trying to figure out how to assess the strength, but I just don't know enough of the maths. ...
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### Deniable Encryption from simple primitives

Is there a deniable encryption scheme $M = E(p_1,k_1,p_2,k_2,...,p_n,k_n), p_j = D(M,k_j)$ of $n$ plaintexts $p_1,p_2,...,p_n$ and $n$ keys $k_1,k_2,...,k_n$, such that we can fix $D$ to be a known ...
254 views

### Hermitian curves introductory references

Could you give me some reference to start on Hermitian Curves. Some papers or textbooks would be perfect, and please mention if it's math inclined or comp.sci. inclined. I've only seen hermitian ...
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### What is the most computationally efficient way of generating pseudo-random permutations?

I have an application in which I need to create up to J randomly shuffled-copies of an array of length N. Then I will have millions or even billions of iterations such that, in each iteration, I will ...
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### How can I find the order of the group that an elliptic curve is defined over?

I have a Weierstrass elliptic curve ($y^2=x^3+a \times x+b \mod p$) How can I find the order of the group itself? I have seen Mathematica has a GroupOrder[] ...
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### What functions allow for practical indistinguishability obfuscation?

Recently, there has been a major theoretical breakthrough in program obfuscation, in the area of indistinguishability obfuscation. Background: Indistinguishability obfuscation is a form of program ...
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### Is MD5 second-preimage resistant when used only on FIXED length messages?

I fully realize that MD5 should not be used in any new project, but in my particular situation I have severe CPU performance issues, so MD5 is convenient. I have read a lot about MD5 security for this ...
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### Is there a technique to confirm that a given large integer value is a product of two primes?

Given a list of 2048 bit integer values in which one or few 2048 bit integer values may be product of two prime numbers and other values may be just 2048 bit odd integers numbers. My question is - ...
170 views

### Secure degree reduction for Shamir's secret sharing

I understand the basic Shamir Secret Sharing protocol, and when two shares are multiplied, the degree of the polynomial increases. I've seen in a number of papers a reference to a degree reduction ...
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### What does “Inverting the RSA function is as hard as factoring” mean (a rigorous explanation or intuitive will do)?

I was reading that a current open problem is if inverting the RSA function is as hard as factoring. Does this mean that, its an open problem whether, if given a subroutine that computes in ...
278 views

### AES column mixing and S-Box confusion

I am trying to understand the AES encryption algorithm. I know that we process 128 bits at a time for a 128 bit key in a 4x4 octet form, but am confused by the following: How does the substitution ...
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### Why does the crypto_box functionality in NaCl library exposes the nonce to the programmer

The idea of crypto_box API in NaCl library is to shield the programmer away from the technical details and provide an easy to use functions for encrypting and encrypting messages. Given what I've ...
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### Initialization Vector Properties

This is a multi-layer problem, and I want to take you through the whole thing rather than just asking about IVs. Bear with me. Also, all code below is in Common Lisp because that's what I'm using, but ...
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### PBKDF2WithHmacSHA512 Vs. PBKDF2WithHmacSHA1

I'm working on a Java authentication subsystem that specs the storage of passwords in the DB as PBKDF2-generated hashes, and I'm now trying to decide whether I ...
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### HMAC construction based on the combination of two hash functions

I would like an $\operatorname{HMAC}$ that's based on two different hash functions ($H_1$ and $H_2$), so that a break of the combined $\operatorname{HMAC}$ would imply a break of ...
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### Will rehashing an SHA256 hash continually, eventually produce every possible value?

So let's say you had infinite time and energy. You have a hashed string of some sort. Because you have infinite time and energy, you can produce a collision(or the original value) easily enough. But, ...
361 views

### What signature schemes allow recovering the public key from a signature?

It seems to be possible to retrieve the (public) key used for creating an ECDSA signature just from the signature alone. This seems like an interesting property; as far as I know, RSA doesn't share ...
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### Toy encryption system that provides “hints”

I'm looking for a toy encryption system that has a specific property that when decrypting it with a key that is close enough to the key used in the encryption, it will produce some of the original ...
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### Secret sharing scheme with possibility to change the secret

Here's a scenario I want to handle with a secret sharing scheme: Alice wants to share the secret $S$ with Bob, Charlie and Dave. Alice generates private shares based on $S$ for Bob, Charlie and ...
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### Should the secret key of Shamir's secret-sharing algorithm be interpreted byte by byte?

Should the secret message of Shamir's secret-sharing algorithm be interpreted and processed byte by byte? Interpreting it byte by byte makes it easier to process, but in case one of the shareholders ...
4k views

### What is the difference between MAC and HMAC?

In reference to this question, what are the "stronger security properties" that HMAC provides over MAC. I got that MAC requires an IV whereas HMAC doesn't. I also understood that MAC may reveal ...
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### Is SHA-1 still practical secure under specific scenarios?

It is conjectured that SHA-1 has been broken from the "research" perspective but no in real world. That is that there is an algebraic attack that explores weaknesses on its algrebraic construction. ...
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### Why does the recommended key size between symmetric and assymetric encryption differ greatly?

In various articles it is mentioned that for secure communications, the recommended key sizes are 128-bit key size for symmetric encryption (which makes it $2^{128}$ possible keys?) and 2048-bit key ...
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### Security for IV in AES-GCM mode

I'd like to use AES-GCM instead of HMAC for authentication and privacy in a token used in a web application, but I'm unsure how to securely tag each token with an IV. Is it safe for me to prepend the ...
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### HMAC for short messages

I am using HMAC (hmac-sha256 to be precise) message authentication without encryption. My question is, is having a short message make it easy to determine what my secret key is? My C# code is as ...
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### What do $0^n$ and $1^n$ mean in cryptography?

EDIT : I added more context. Let $f$ = {$f_k$} be a pseudo random function family. Let $G(x)$ be a pseudo-random generator such that: $G(x)$ = $f_x$($0^k$)$f_x$($1^k$) where k=$|x|$ . I don't ...
Consider the generation of an RSA key pair with a given modulus size $n$ and a known, small public exponent $e$ (typically $e = 3$ or $e = 65537$). A common method is to generate two random primes ...