# All Questions

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### How secure is the Bitcoin protocol?

Are there any evidence (other than not being cracked so far) that the Bitcoin protocol is secure? "How secure" is it? (I realize that this might not qualify as a meaningful question - feel free to ...
9k views

### How should I calculate the entropy of a password?

If part of the password is a whole regular English word, does the entropy of that part depend on the number of English words in existence, the number of English words known by the choosing algorithm, ...
13k views

### How can I use SSL/TLS with Perfect Forward Secrecy?

I'm new to the field of cryptography, but I want to make the web a better web by setting up the sites that I host with Perfect Forward Secrecy. I have a list of questions regarding the setup of ...
758 views

### Should I trust CipherCloud? [closed]

Should I trust CipherCloud's system for "homomorphic encryption" of data in the cloud? Has the security of their system been subject to peer review or other cryptanalysis? Is there any known analysis ...
3k views

### Current mathematics theory used in cryptography/coding theory

What are the mainstream techniques borrowed from algebraic geometry (or some other branch of mathematics) which are currently used in cryptography/coding theory? I've only heard about a small subset ...
1k views

### With sufficient randomness, is XOR an acceptable mechanism for encrypting?

I have heard criticism of various cryptosystems saying that "at their heart, they were just XOR." Is this just ignorance, or is there something inherently wrong with XOR based ciphers?
2k views

### Why is H(k||x) not a secure MAC construction?

If H(m) is a secure hash function, can't we implement a MAC using H(k||m)? However, it seems the more widely used MACs, such as NMAC and HMAC (both originally defined in Keying hash functions for ...
1k views

### 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 ...
322 views

### What differentiates a password hash from a cryptographic hash besides speed?

I understand that password hashes like bcrypt have the principal property of taking a long time to run, but I'm wondering what if anything about password hashes make them superior to merely running a ...
2k views

### What is entropy?

We discuss a lot of topics and use measures of entropy to determine how difficult it is for an attacker to be successful. What does entropy mean in the context of cryptography? How is entropy ...
9k views

### Basic explanation of Elliptic Curve Cryptography?

I have been studying Elliptic Curve Cryptography as part of a course based on the book Cryptography and Network Security. The text for provides an excellent theoretical definition of the algorithm but ...
4k views

### Why can't one implement bcrypt in Cuda?

I had heard that although it's easy to implement message digest functions like MD5, SHA-1, SHA-256 etc. in CUDA (or any other GPU platform), it is impossible to implement bcrypt there. bcrypt is ...
1k views

### Does RSA work for any message M?

I decided to read the original RSA paper A Method for Obtaining Digital Signatures and Public-Key Cryptosystem because of a question I had about RSA (which is not the question I'm about to ask, but ...
2k views

### How can SSL secure a two-way communication with only one key-pair?

As I understand it, SSL involved the use of a public-private key pair. How does this enable two-way communication? Suppose I have some server with which I wish to communicate securely. I connect to ...
2k views

### For Diffie-Hellman, must g be a generator?

Due to a number of recently asked questions about Diffie-Hellman, I was thinking this morning: must $g$ in Diffie-Hellman be a generator? Recall the mathematics of Diffie-Hellman: Given public ...
463 views

### 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 ...
1k views

### What do the magic numbers 0x5c and 0x36 in the opad/ipad calc in HMAC do?

Wikipedia lists the following pseudocode for HMAC: ...
1k views

### What are the main weaknesses, if any, of a Playfair cipher?

What are the main weaknesses, if any, of a Playfair cipher? I know that they depend on none of the letters missing, but that is an easy fix if a letter gets dropped. Besides that, are there any other ...
817 views

### What NIST protocol was allegedly backdoored by NSA in 2006?

From a recent NY Times article: Cryptographers have long suspected that the agency planted vulnerabilities in a standard adopted in 2006 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology ...
540 views

### How to provide secure “vanity” bitcoin address service?

Bitcoin addresses are RIPEMD-160 hashes of the public portion of a public/private ECDSA keypair (along with an abbreviated hash of the hash to provide a check code, as @pulpspy notes in a comment). ...
1k views

### Hashing or encrypting twice to increase security?

Over on the bitcoin forums I asked why the bitcoin client computes SHA-256(SHA-256(x)) as its cryptographic hash for a variety of purposes. The leading theory--since the bitcoin author has ...
2k views

### Reverse engineering a hash?

I understand this may not be the best place to ask a question like this, but I believe that this community may be the best/only place I can ask such a question. I have inputs and outputs from an ...
724 views

### 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 ...
1k views

### Blum Blum Shub vs. AES-CTR or other CSPRNGs

Following on from D.W.'s comments on a previous question, what properties does Blum Blum Shub have that make it better / worse than other PRNGs? Are there significant implementation difficulties or ...
3k views

### Types of Cryptography for a 4-8 bit microcontroller

This is more of a research question. I was wondering what types of crypto algorithms would work best on a small 4-8 bit micro controller. I recently read a paper called Security Considerations for ...
809 views

### Is Wiener's attack on RSA extendable to larger keys with low hamming weight?

Using small private exponents with RSA improves performance. However, it has been shown (Wiener, 1990) that if $\log d \leq \frac14 \log N$, the private exponent $d$ can be reconstructed from the ...
950 views

### Is HTTPS secure if someone snoops the initial handshake?

Let's say I'm on an open wireless network that's being actively sniffed and I connect to an HTTPS site. Even though my subsequent traffic is encrypted, couldn't the sniffer use the data from the ...
1k views

### Could RDRAND (Intel) compromise entropy?

I was recently discussing the issue of RDRAND in Intel chips and the whole issue about how NSA could potentially be influencing Intel to weaken or create backdoors in their design. This petition was ...
1k views

### Is the CBC weakness in XML Encryption a new discovery? Are other applications vulnerable?

The RUB in Germany reports that XML encryption is broken. This is essentially the W3C standard for protecting XML documents from prying eyes. Does this mean that an attacker can only see a single ...
3k views

### Why use an Initialization Vector (IV)?

Why use an Initialization Vector (IV)? How are IV's used? What are the advantages/disadvantages of using an IV? Why use an IV instead of a longer key in which some section of the key is pubic? What ...
527 views

### How long would the 100 Year Cryptography Project have secured its data had it been started 100 years ago?

The goal of the Tahoe-LAFS 100 Year Cryptography project is to "enhance Tahoe-LAFS's cryptographic system so that Tahoe shipped today/next year might remain safe from cryptographic attacks for a 100 ...
698 views

### Can an Enigma-style cipher of sufficient complexity be considered secure in today's world?

Regarding the German Enigma machines, if I recall correctly, the reason they were defeated was because the Allies were able to generate a massive database of possible rotor settings, and because the ...
1k views

### How robust is discrete logarithm in $GF(2^n)$?

"Normal" discrete logarithm based cryptosystems (DSA, Diffie-Hellman, ElGamal) work in the finite field of integers modulo a big prime p. However, there exist other finite fields out there, in ...
1k views

### Is every output of a hash function possible?

Is every output of a hash function (e.g. SHA1, MD5, etc) guaranteed to be possible, or, conversely, are there any output values that cannot possibly be created from any input? If so, what guarantees ...
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### What is the general justification for the hardness of finding preimages for cryptographic hash functions?

Since most cryptographic hash functions are simple, compact constructions does this simplicity impose a limit on the complexity and the size of a function that can generate preimages? That is, given a ...
2k views

### Specification of the Megamos crypto algorithm

It has recently emerged that a paper that was scheduled to appear at Usenix Security 2013, titled "Dismantling Megamos Crypto: Wirelessly Lockpicking a Vehicle Immobiliser", has been censored ...
1k 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

### 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 ...
929 views

### What security do Cryptographic Sponges offer against generic quantum attacks?

In the face of non-quantum attacker, Keccak[r=1088,c=512] with 512 bits of output provides: Collision resistance up to $2^{256}$ operations Preimage resistance up to $2^{256}$ operations Second ...
5k views

### Why is AES resistant to known-plaintext attacks?

At least it's my understanding that AES isn't affected by known-plaintext. Is it immune to such an attack, or just resistant? Does this vary for chosen-plaintext?
941 views

### Is SHA-512 bijective when hashing a single 512-bit block?

It's been said that CRC-64 is bijective for a 64-bit block. It the corresponding statement true for SHA-2?
648 views

### What is so special about elliptic curves?

There seems to be sources like this, this also, and some introductions that discuss elliptic curves in general and how they're used. But what I'd like to know is why these particular curves are so ...
6k views

### 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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I developed a p2p-app in C# which sends and receives encrypted text messages (50KB). For encryption, my app uses AES 128 bit in CBC cipher mode. For each message it uses a new randomly-generated IV. ...
459 views

### Can I encrypt user input in a way I can't decrypt it for a certain period of time?

I run a baseball league and would like to do silent auctions for free agents. This would require teams to enter their highest bid and the highest bidder at the end of the auction period would win. ...
3k views

### 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?
4k views

### Should we sign-then-encrypt, or encrypt-then-sign?

We often want to send messages that are both (a) encrypted, so passive attackers can't discover the plaintext of the message, and (b) signed with a private-key digital signature, so active attackers ...
7k views

### Are there two known strings which have the same MD5 hash value?

Is there an example of two known strings which have the same MD5 hash value (representing a so-called "MD5 collision")?