# All Questions

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### How does cryptanalysis of the Playfair cipher work?

I have a set of Playfair-enciphered data that I'm trying to crack without the key. I know I need to analyse bigrams; I've currently worked out what decrypts to th, <...
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### Can non-assembly crypto libraries truly be secure against timing attacks?

http://cr.yp.to/antiforgery/cachetiming-20050414.pdf states the following: So what went wrong? Answer: NIST failed to recognize that table lookups do not take constant time. “Table lookup: not ...
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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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### Did non-military cryptography appear in 50's and 60's only due to NSA leaks?

I'm not talking about scytale, but encryption like RSA, DES, etc... How did exactly civil cryptography evolve after World War II?
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### Is full Homomorphic encryption quantum resistant?

Since most of our asymmetric encryption algorithms are going to be out-of-date in a couple of year due to Shor's algorithm, I was wondering about the future of FHE schemes. I have found this paper, ...
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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 SHA-1 safe for signing ECDHE parameters?

Is using the SHA-1 algorithm insecure for hashing the ephemeral ECDH public key in the signed_params structure? There are some worrying articles about using SHA-1: ...
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### Is calculating HMAC from hashed input a good idea?

Original HMAC algorithm is as follows: H(K XOR opad || H(K XOR ipad || text)) What if text would replaced with H(text)? ...
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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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### What are the practical implications of ciphertext distinguishability?

Commonly there are four ways to "break" a secrecy-focused cryptosystem: Recover the secret key Recover the message Distinguish an encryption from random noise Distinguish the encryption of two ...
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### Difference between “ECDH with cofactor key” and “ECDH without cofactor key”?

I need to use “ECDH with a cofactor key” for generating symmetric key. I have a fair idea on how ECDH works, but I don’t understand the cofactor part. What is the difference between ”ECDH with a co-...
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### Low complexity implementation of a small blocksize cipher (< 64 bit)

Searching for "small blocksize cipher" finds a number of discussions on the topic, mostly refering to FPE. This one in particular suggests using AES as the round function of a Feistel network. The ...
1k views

### Security of authenticated encryption modes GCM & CCM

I have two questions for Clarification for AE mode choice criteria GCM : it appears to be actually the most popular and widely used AE mode of operation. however it is also well-known to be highly ...
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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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### 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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### 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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### 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 ...
622 views

### 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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### 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 ...
588 views

### 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 ...
172 views

### Purpose of DES parity bits

DES has a 64-bit key size, but only 56 of those are used during encryption. The other 8 are "parity bits". What was the intended purpose of the party bits, and why are they no longer used in modern ...
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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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### Is there an upper bound to the private exponent in RSA?

In the RSA algorithm, we choose $p$ and $q$ as prime numbers and we select a value $e$ which is coprime to $\varphi(pq)=(p-1)(q-1)$. Then we calculate $d:=e^{-1}\bmod\varphi(pq)$. My question is: ...
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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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### 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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### How to generate unique (random) numbers that can be traced back to a unique source number?

I need to generate unique (random) numbers that I can trace back to a unique source number. For example: source number A can generate numbers A1, A1, A3 .... Am source number B can generate numbers ...
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### How large should a Diffie-Hellman p be?

In a Diffie-Hellman exchange, the parties need to agree on a prime p and a base g in order to continue. Assuming some ...
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### How can I figure out a hash algorithm?

This may be trivial, and may be impossible... this is outside my field but willing to learn. I have a hardware device that accepts a network MAC address (6 bytes of data) like this: 38-60-77-EC-1D-33 ...
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### What is the “compression function” in Merkle-Damgård?

Is the "compression function" in Merkle-Damgård just a collision-resistant, one-way hash function but one that operates only on fixed size inputs? If so, is MD just a way to extend it to work on ...
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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 Dave,...
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### Is $f(x)\oplus x$ a one-way function?

Given that $f$ is a OWF and $|f(x)|=|x|$ for all $x$, is $g(x)=f(x)\oplus x$ necessarily also a OWF?
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### Why have round constants in hashes?

This may seem like basic crypto knowledge, but why do hash functions like SHA-2 and Whirlpool have round constants that are absorbed into their respective states? I can understand that in a cipher ...
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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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### 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[] ...