All Questions

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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 ...
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Are NIST's changes to Keccak/SHA-3 problematic?

NIST is working on standardizing SHA-3. They have selected Keccak as the basis for SHA-3, and they plan to make some small changes to it; the result (with NIST's changes) will be standardized as ...
8k views

Can you help me understand what a cryptographic “salt” is?

I'm a beginner to cryptography and looking to understand in very simple terms what a cryptographic "salt" is, when I might need to use it, and why I should or should not use it. Can anyone offer me a ...
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Why xor is a linear operation but ordinary adding is not

I'm new in cryptography and try to read some articles in this field. Many of these articles talk about non-linear S-boxes, and nothing more on what they mean by their non-linearity. I have a simple ...
6k views

What are the differences between a digital signature, a MAC and a hash?

A message may be accompanied with a digital signature, a MAC or a message hash, as a proof of some kind. Which assurances does each primitive provide to the recipient? What kind of keys are needed?
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Can ECDSA signatures be safely made “deterministic”?

Using the terminology of the ECDSA wikipedia page, ECDSA (and DSA) signatures require a random k value for each signature which ensures that the signature is different each time even if the message ...
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Is it safe to seed a random number generator from system time?

It seemed to me that the Bouncy Castle SecureRandom class for C#/.NET only uses DateTime.Now.Ticks as its seed by default. I ...
7k views

One runtime platform provides an API that supplies PKCS#5 padding for block cipher modes such as ECB and CBC. These modes have been defined for the triple DES, AES and Blowfish block ciphers. The ...
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What is safer: ZipCrypto or AES-256?

Like in title: which one of these encryption methods (ZipCrypto, AES-256) is more secure and why? I am asking about it because I'd like to know which should be preferred when compressing files with ...
844 views

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 ...
1k 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?
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Known methods for constant time (table-free) AES implementation using 'standard' operations?

There are several known methods for implementing AES in constant time using SIMD operations, mostly based around fast byte shuffling (for instance Hamburg and Kasper/Schwabe). Are there any similar ...
5k views

Recommended skills for a job in cryptology

First let me apologize if this is an ill posed question. Let me also note that I do not in any way seek a comprehensive answer, simply your thoughts on what makes for a valuable asset to a company ...
584 views

Bitcoin Research

I have recently been assigned to advise a student on a senior thesis in math. She has taken linear algebra, introductory real analysis, basic cryptography, and abstract algebra. Her interest is in ...
772 views

About Cryptography in a Character Language

Suppose I had a message in Chinese (or another non-phonetic language) and I wanted to encipher it. Some of the simplest encryptions in English are substitution ciphers, but such ciphers don't seem ...
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Why do we append the length of the message in SHA-1 pre-processing?

As we know, SHA-1 is irreversible, so why do we append the length of the message to the preimage?
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Is digest=HASH(HASH(a)+HASH(b)) equivalent to publishing two digests?

Is combining digests (created using a hash function) using arithmetic addition, and then hashing and publishing the result, less secure than publishing the set of digests? Does the answer change if ...
1k views

Why does SHA-1 have 80 rounds?

Why does SHA-1 algorithm have exactly 80 rounds? Is it to reduce collisions? If yes, then why do SHA-2 and SHA-3 have a lower number of rounds?
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Why does the padding in MD5 contain the message length?

I understand the need for padding in MD5. But why do we append the message length to the padding? I heard it strengthens the hash but how? Please provide an example if possible and how it applies to ...
933 views

Does the elliptic curve (EC) cryptosystem outperform RSA and DL cryptosystems?

Throughout the literature, it is stated that EC cryptosystems outperform RSA and Discrete logarithm cryptosystems, but I cannot understand how ECC would be more efficient than RSA and DL in terms of ...
1k views

What is the most practical fully homomorphic cryptosystem?

Craig Gentry recently gave the first fully homomorphic cryptosystem. Quite a bit of work has been done since extending his work. It seems, however, that no system is practical for real world use. ...
1k views

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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Can I use a one time pad key twice with random plaintext?

I understand the basics of OTP: $|\text{key space}| = |\text{plaintext space}|$ implies perfect security, key reuse destroys this. Cryptanalysis on the $N$-Time Pad for $N > 1$ involves finding ...
1k views

Is truncating a SHA512 hash to the first 160 bits as secure as using SHA1?

I am from a web development background (I don't know an awful lot about cryptography or how the algorithms themselves work), so I am asking this question in simple terms. Consider a hash of the word ...
1k views

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 ...
371 views

Are safe primes $p=2^k \pm s$ with $s$ small less recommandable than others as a discrete log modulus?

I take the definition of safe prime as: a prime $p$ is safe when $(p-1)/2$ is prime. Safe primes of appropriate size are the standard choice for the modulus of cryptosystems related to the discrete ...
723 views

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 ...
2k views

What is wrong with using SHA1 in digital signatures? Why is a robust hash function needed?

For the purposes of signing and verifying signatures, what is the value of the hash function? Why would it matter if SHA1 is later determined to be easy to break? Since a Public/Private key process ...
887 views

What is the ideal cipher model?

What is the ideal cipher model? What assumptions does it make about a block cipher? How does it relate to assuming that my block cipher is a pseudo-random permutation (PRP)? When is the ideal ...
5k 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 ...
6k views

AES in ECB mode weakness

In a project that I'm currently working on, we are encrypting some data using AES with ECB mode in a database. Each piece of data being encrypted is very small, no more than 10 characters long. Very ...
6k views

What are the advantages of TOTP over HOTP?

HMAC-based One Time Password (HOTP) was published as an informational IETF RFC 4226 in December 2005. In May, 2011, Time-based One-time Password Algorithm (TOTP) officially became RFC 6238. What ...
532 views

Why did NIST remove The Lempel-Ziv Compression test from the Statistical Test Suite?

NIST removed "The Lempel-Ziv Compression" test from the Statistical Test Suite in revision 2008 and above and has not incorporated it since – see revision 2010. Why was it removed? Does it no longer ...
1k views

Design properties of the Rijndael finite field

So we've already had a question on replacing the Rijndael S-Box. My question is - can we use a different finite field other than the one given by $x^8 + x^4 + x^3 + x + 1$ in $GF(2^8)$. In other ...
3k views

Differences Between White-Box Cryptography and Code Obfuscation

I have been reading the question "What is a white-box implementation of a cryptographic algorithm?" and it led to this short article / Q&A which states in question 2: Q2: What is the ...
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Attacks of the MAC construction $\mathcal{H}(m||k)$ for common hashes $\mathcal{H}$?

Consider a common practically-collision-resistant hash function $\mathcal{H}$ (e.g. SHA-1, SHA-256, SHA-512, RIPEMD-160), perhaps based on the Merkle–Damgård construction as are the first three. We ...
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How does HOTP keep in sync?

My understanding of HOTP is that each password is unique and based on a counter. $$PASSWORD = HOTP_1(K,C)$$ Where $C$ is an incremental counter. What I wish to know, is how you keep the client ...
5k views

Is Diffie-Hellman mathematically the same as RSA?

Is the Diffie-Hellman key exchange the same as RSA? Diffie Hellman allows key exchange on a observed wire – but so can RSA. Alice and Bob want to exchange a key – Big brother is watching everything. ...
2k views

Which algorithms are used to factorize large integers?

Even if RSA decided to cancel the Factoring Challenge, it seems that some teams keep working on it. According to Wikipedia, RSA-768 has been factored in late 2009. What are the current large integer ...
1k views

How long will my encryption remain private?

This is a basic question in cryptography but I have not found a good, comprehensive answer. It is explained that our keys should expire and we should get new, stronger ones with time, reflecting more ...
3k views

How can a random salt for a hash function work in practice?

I understand the theory behind the use salts in hash functions, but when I see it implemented, the implementations always generate the salt on the fly and the salt appears to be different for every ...
1k views

Why is plain-hash-then-encrypt not a secure MAC?

It seems that even in MAC-then-encrypt systems like SSL, something like HMAC is used rather than a plain hash. Why? Suppose we use some stream cipher; then why can't we use $Encrypt(m | H(m))$ as ...
1k views

What is the use of REAL random number generators in cryptography?

I understand the use of pseudo-random number generators. I am not getting mixed up between these and "real" random number generators. However, I don't understand for what a real random number ...
523 views

Do I have to have a different salt for each password?

Should I use a different salt for each password? In my system, there are no user names, only passwords. When a user logins in, he types in one or more passwords and the server compares the results ...