# All Questions

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### What is the most secure hand cipher?

By "hand cipher", I mean a symmetric cipher for which encryption and decryption can can both be performed with a pencil on graph paper, consuming about 10-20 seconds per character by a proficient ...
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### Why does key generation take an input $1^k$, and how do I represent it in practice?

In my lecture, the lecturer said: Let $K$ be the key generation algorithm. Given a security parameter represented in unary, $1^k$, $K(1^k)$ will output a keypair $(pk; sk)$, known as the public ...
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### Why should I use an Initialization Vector (IV) when I have unique keys?

I took a look at this question. My question is not the same. I've unique keys encrypting (in CBC mode, AES-256) each plaintext, i.e. I do not use a key to encrypt more than one plaintext. Is it ...
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### How long does it take to crack DES and AES?

Suppose that a single evaluation of a block-cipher (DES or AES) takes 10 operations, and the computer can do $10^{15}$ such operations per second. How long would it take for to recover a DES key, ...
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### Strength of multiple hash iterations?

Is it correct that increasing the iteration possibly decreases the cipher strength but increases the amount of time it would take to find the original hash values if using brute-force on a given hash? ...
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### Is it possible to obtain AES-128 key from a known ciphertext-plaintext pair?

I have a file, which was encrypted with AES-128 in ECB mode. I know the format of the original file and know that all files in this format have the same headers. So, I have an encrypted block and the ...
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### Software implementation of a commutative cipher?

I've got an application (detailed below) that calls for the use of a cipher that is commutative. I've been doing some googling & reading, and there are two algorithms that seem to get mentioned ...
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### Is it feasible to build an index of prime factors?

Would it be possible to break an RSA key, in for example 1 week of time, if the cracker have already spent X number of years building an index of primes by performing every permutation of existing ...
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### Verify product without revealing multipliers

Situation: Several participants contribute encrypted random numbers. These numbers will be used to generate community-agreed random (by simple multiplication). Question: Is there any way to detect ...
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### Is there a length-preserving encryption scheme?

Is there a length-preserving encryption scheme, that preserves the lengths of input sizes such that the length of the input plain text is same as length of the output cipher text ?
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### Why is elliptic curve cryptography not widely used, compared to RSA?

I recently ran across elliptic curve crypto-systems: An Introduction to the Theory of Elliptic Curves (Brown University) Elliptic Curve Cryptography (Wikipedia) Performance analysis of identity ...
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### Should I use ECB or CBC encryption mode for my block cipher?

Can someone tell me which mode out of ECB and CBC is better, and how to decide which mode to use? Are there any other modes which are better?
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### Is using slow password hashing on the client side easier attackable than on the server side?

As we know, one should use a slow password hashing algorithm instead of a fast one for storing passwords, to hinder brute force attacks when the database is compromised. The problem with this is that ...
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### Now that quantum computers have been out for a while, has RSA been cracked?

D-wave systems has released a commercially viable quantum computer. This means in theory, that all asymmetric encryption algorithms — such as RSA — are now useless due to the speed at which quantum ...
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### What do the magic numbers 0x5c and 0x36 in the opad/ipad calc in HMAC do?

Wikipedia lists the following pseudocode for HMAC: ...
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### Purpose of outer key in HMAC

From what I know, the HMAC constructions has two strength: It's resistant to length extensions Since the key is consumed before the message, the attacker does not know the initial state, preventing ...
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### Why should I use Authenticated Encryption instead of just encryption?

There are various different modes of operation for block cipher use, some of which provide "encryption" and some of which provide authenticated encryption. Why should I use an authenticated ...
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### Why choose an authenticated encryption mode instead of a separate MAC?

What are cryptographic reasons to choose an authenticated-encryption mode of operation (such as GCM) over a traditional encryption mode plus an independent MAC, or vice versa? Assume there is no ...
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### Chinese Remainder Theorem and RSA

Wikipedia has a nice section regarding the speedup of the RSA decryption using the Chinese Remainder Theorem here. I need to understand the implementation of a similar speedup for the encryption ...
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### No SHA-1 collision? Yet SHA-1 is broken?

Is there a known pair of distinct bit strings (A,B) such that SHA-1(A) == SHA-1(B)? If the answer is no than how can SHA-1 be considered broken?
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### Why do we use encrypt-decrypt-encrypt (EDE) in 3DES, rather than encrypting three times?

I'm wondering why we use encrypt-decrypt-encrypt sequence in 3DES with three keys instead of three times encryption with three different keys?
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### How practical are side-channel attacks and how much of a concern are they?

I see a lot of research in very sophisticated side-channel attacks on crypto systems. Most (but definitely not all) seem to follow a trend, namely, the crypto system does something very dumb like ...
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### Can you create a strong blockcipher with small blocksize, given a strong blockcipher of conventional blocksize?

Suppose I want a strong 20-bit blockcipher. In other words, I want a function that takes a key (suppose the key is 128 bits), and implements a permutation from 20 bits to 20 bits. The set of ...
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### Is a second preimage attack on MD5 feasible?

What's the practical status of MD5 w.r.t. second-preimage? Integrity of a piece of data is protected by an MD5 hash, itself assumed genuine. The data (and thus the hash) is known to the adversary. ...
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### How to derive two keys from one password

What is the best way to generate two independent symmetric keys from one user-entered password or passphrase? Would using both scrypt and pbkdf2 achieve this?
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### Correct way to map random number to defined range?

Say that we have a secure random number generation that outputs 32 bit random numbers, so it's output is a true random number between 0 and a MAX. What is the best way to map this random number to a ...
2k views

### Why not the one-time pad with pseudo-number generator

I am very new to cryptography (so be kind), but I have a question that may seem silly. If the one-time pad is the perfect cipher and impossible to crack, why would the following algorithm not be one ...
2k views

### Security strength of RSA in relation with the modulus size

NIST SP 800-57 §5.6.1 p.62–64 specifies a correspondence between RSA modulus size $n$ and expected security strength $s$ in bits: ...
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### Predicting values from a Linear Congruential Generator

I have learnt that Linear Congruential Random Number Generators are not cryptographically secure - my understanding is that given an LCG of the form: ...
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### how to use common modulus attack?

I am struck with the following problem: Let Alice, Bob, Chris and Eve communicate over a public network. They encrypt all messages they send using RSA system. Bob and Chris have the RSA modulus ...
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### Why does Shamir's Secret Sharing Scheme need a finite field?

I read ampersand's question "Necessity for finite field arithmetic and the prime number p in Shamir's Secret Sharing Scheme", where he asked why Shamir's Secret Sharing Scheme uses arithmetic in a ...
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### RSA with composite numbers

It has been said that RSA uses a modulus product of two prime numbers for security reasons. But does RSA even work correctly if we allow composite integers instead? I think that the answer is "NO". ...
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### RSA with small exponents?

Just to establish notation with respect to the RSA protocol, let $n = pq$ be the product of two large primes and let $e$ and $d$ be the public and private exponents, respectively ($e$ is the inverse ...
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### ElGamal with elliptic curves

I've searched some information on ECC, but so far I have only found Diffie-Hellman key-exchange implementations using ECC, but I don't want to exchange keys, I want to encrypt & decrypt data like ...
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### Can I use HMAC-SHA1 in counter mode to make a stream cipher?

Say I have an embedded device which is only capable of doing HMAC-SHA1 transformations (that device is, in fact, a YubiKey). Would it be secure to feed it like a block cipher in counter mode to get a ...
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### Duration for attacking Two-Key Triple-DES Encryption using all RAM ever built?

I am considering attacks on Two-Key Triple-DES Encryption assuming $2^{32}$ known plaintext/ciphertext pairs (that's a mere 32 Giga Bytes of ciphertext) by the method devised by Paul C. van Oorschot ...
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### How to prove the security of the PRNG?

Are there any realties tests or criterias that prove the security of the PRNG? What kind of tests or criteria?
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### Is RSA padding needed for single recipient, one-time, unique random message?

I want a way to encrypt files using this process: http://crypto.stackexchange.com/a/15 . That is: generate a random password, use that to AES-encrypt a file, and use an RSA public key to encrypt the ...
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### What should be the size of a Diffie-Hellman private key?

I'm implementing the SRP-6 protocol, which relies on discrete logarithms for it's security (essentially Diffie-Hellman). The RFC documents state: The private values $a$ and $b$ SHOULD be at least ...
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### Would the ability to efficiently find Discrete Logs have any impact on the security of RSA?

This answer makes the claim that the Discrete Log problem and RSA are independent from a security perspective. RSA labs makes a similar statement: The discrete logarithm problem bears the same ...
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### Converting a stream cipher into a block cipher

The well-known Counter-Mode (CTR) mode of operation for a block cipher essentially converts any block cipher into a stream cipher. Is there a way to do the reverse? In other words, given a "good" ...
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### Is AES in CBC mode secure if a known and/or fixed IV is used?

I have a need to encrypt credentials for a third-party app used by a secured internal app. Over on ITSec.SE, I was helpfully shown a scheme to encrypt the third-party credentials based on a hash of ...
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### Is it theoretically possible to construct a string that contain its own hash value?

After saw the xkcd comic self-description, I wonder is it theoretically possible to construct a self-descriptive string that contains its own hash value? Let's say the string's md5 value is ...