# All Questions

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### Why was the winner of the AES competition not a Feistel cipher?

The winner of the AES competition has a structure that does not qualify as a Feistel cipher, as explained in answers to this recent question. However, most many of the AES candidates, and all 3 out ...
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### Why RSA can't handle numbers above 76?

I'm going to encrypt the characters Zhu, and decrypt them using RSA. I'm using the public key $\{e, n\}$ and private key $\{d, n\}$. The values of $e$, $d$ and $p$ ...
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### How does a birthday attack on a hashing algorithm work?

A "normal", brute-force attack on a cryptographic hashing algorithm $H$ should have a complexity of about $2^{n}$ for a hash algorithm with an output length of $n$ bits. That means it takes about ...
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### How to choose constants in a cryptographic function?

A number of cryptographic functions have constants built in. For example, the constants used in RFC 2104 for HMAC, or the constants used in s-boxes (e.g., DES and AES), or MD5. In general, how are ...
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### Cryptographically secure keyed rolling hash function

I could not find any mention on the Internet of a proven/known cryptographically secure keyed rolling hash function (ie rolling MAC). Has the question been studied, is it possible to build one ? By ...
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### Diffie-Hellman: choosing wrong generator “g” parameter and its implications of practical attacks

In traditional DH one chooses two shared parameters: a large prime "p" and base "g", which is primitive root mod "p". Suppose generation algorithm is broken and "g" generates only a subgroup (group ...
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### Can one efficiently iterate valid bcrypt hash output values?

bcrypt is an intentionally slow hash algorithm. In my last protocol idea, I wanted to use it to expand a password and then only transfer the bcrypt-hashed password. An efficient attack on this would ...
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### Is deniable error-correction possible?

This question came up as I tried to answer an earlier question I asked: cryptographic data structure wanted: sparse array without membership test. I still have not resolved that question to my ...
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### Security of a security protocol for key exchange, using symmetric-key cryptography

This is an exam question: $A \to B$: Alice, $nonce_A$ $B \to A$: $nonce_B$, $E_{k_{AB}}(nonce_A \| k_1)$ $A \to B$: $E_{k_{AB}}(nonce_B \| k_2)$ Alice and Bob both compute $k_s$ = $k_1$ xor $k_2$ ...
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### Why restricting SHA3 to have only two possible capacities?

I just read the presentation slides of John M. Kesley (from NIST) for his invited talk at CHES 2013 about SHA-3 and learned that NIST is going to standardize Keccak with a possibly modified padding ...
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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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### 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 ...
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### 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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### 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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### Is the HMAC construction really neccessary for a fixed length message?

The HMAC Construction is defined as: Hash( (Key XOR opad) || Hash((Key XOR ipad) || Message) ) This was designed because a simpler construction such as: ...
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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 ...
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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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### Cryptanalysis and weaknesses of SEED cipher

I've discovered that a client has SEED enabled in their SSL ciphers, and would like to know a bit more about it from a security perspective. The Wikipedia article doesn't mention any flaws, yet I've ...
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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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### Why is the complexity of RSA-1024 80 bit and not 86 bit?

Why is the complexity of RSA-1024 80 bit and not 86.76611925028119 bit? Here is the complexity for the GNFS (pulled from the linked Wikipedia article): \exp\left( ...
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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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### ECDSA Compressed public key point back to uncompressed public key point

From the ECDH demo here http://www-cs-students.stanford.edu/~tjw/jsbn/ecdh.html If I generate a private key for alice I can get ...
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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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### On-the-fly computation of AES Round Keys for decryption?

The usual implementation of AES first computes all the Round Keys sequentially starting from the key, and stores them in RAM for later uses. However, when enciphering a single block with a key that ...
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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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### How much can we compress RSA public keys?

I am wondering to what degree we can define an RSA variant, with a security argument that it is as safe as regular RSA with a given modulus size $m$ (e.g. $m=2048$), in which the public key has a ...
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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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### 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 ...
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### 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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### Is it possible to construct a secure block cipher of size $2n$ given a secure block cipher of size $n$?

Given, say, the Blowfish block cipher, which is considered secure but only has a 64-bit block size, can we construct a secure block cipher of 128-bit block size? Say we run the key through two KDFs, ...
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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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### I need a 64-bit cryptographic hash for 96 bits of data

I have a situation in which I need to combine a 32-bit datum, G, and a 64-bit datum, I, to produce a 64-bit datum. No two ...
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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 - ...
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### 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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### 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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### How much entropy is lost via hashing when you add known or low entropy data?

(I updated the title, as I think there was some confusion as to the question) Here's the question: For example, if I have a bit stream that is 64K bytes long and there is about 16 *8 bits worth of ...
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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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### 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 ...
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### 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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### What criteria make the theta step of Keccak's round function reversible?

From what I've been reading, Keccak's round function is reversible. That's pretty obvious for the $\rho$, $\pi$ and $\iota$ transforms. For $\chi$ to be reversible, $x$'s range has to be odd — but ...
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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 ...
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 ...