16
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is Pearson hash not used as a cryptographic hash?

The original algorithm produces 1 byte long hash and is (of course) not suitable for cryptography use. But according to wikipedia, it is possible and easy to produce Pearson hash of any length, ...
16
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
12k views

HMAC vs MAC functions

I've read definitions of MAC and HMAC, but can't say I've completely grasped the differences. What are principle differences? When to use one and when the other?(Typical Use Cases)
16
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
13k 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, ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Why would anyone use an elliptic curve with a cofactor > 1?

In cryptography, an elliptic curve is a group based on a finite field $GF(p^k)$; this group has $n$ elements on it, and we work on a prime-sized subgroup of size $q$. We denote the value $h = n/q$ as ...
16
votes
3answers
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 ...
16
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
22k views

What's the fundamental difference between Diffie-Hellman and RSA?

What is the difference in the purpose of DH and RSA? Aren't they both public-key encryption?
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Mapping points between elliptic curves and the integers

My primary question is: Is there an easy way to create a bijective mapping from points on an elliptic curve E (over a finite field) to the integers (desirably to $\mathbb{Z}^*_q$ where $q$ is the ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

GPG/PGP Verification of Revocation

How does one verify a key revocation? After revoking a key and sending the revocation to MIT's keyserver, I noticed that the key is listed as such: ...
15
votes
3answers
671 views

Is there an AES identity key?

The following questions are of pure theoretical nature. I don't have an application in mind. Is there a key that makes AES the identity function? Is there a key that makes AES the identity function ...
15
votes
4answers
11k views

How can one securely generate an asymmetric key pair from a short passphrase?

Background info: I am planning on making a filehost with which one can encrypt and upload files. To protect the data against any form of hacking, I'd like not to know the encryption key ($K$) used for ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

Is 80 bits of key size considered safe against brute force attacks?

I came across KATAN Family of Ciphers for small domain input blocks . They cipher arbitrary block lengths 32,48,64 but their key size 80 bits only. Is 80 bits of key size considered safe with ...
15
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

AES-GCM Disadvantage

What is the disadvantage of AES-GCM mode for authenticated encryption? Why does the CAESAR competition say that it’s one of the goals to find an AE scheme that offers an advantage over AES-GCM? What ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does the padding in Merkle–Damgård hash functions like 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
15
votes
3answers
9k views

What are preimage resistance and collision resistance, and how can the lack thereof be exploited?

What is "preimage resistance", and how can the lack thereof be exploited? How is this different from collision resistance, and are there any known preimage attacks that would be considered feasible?
15
votes
3answers
2k 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?
15
votes
3answers
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 ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Random oracle model proofs and programmability

Proving the security of a scheme with the random oracle model (ROM) involves two steps: first you prove that the scheme is secure in an idealized world where a random oracle exists, and then you ...
15
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
10k views

Why hash the message before signing it with RSA?

The diagram below illustrates the process of digitally signing a message with RSA: As diagram shows, the message is first hashed, and the signature is then computed on the hash, rather than on the ...
15
votes
2answers
11k views

How does a chosen ciphertext attack work, with a simple example?

Can someone please explain - using a simple example - how a chosen ciphertext attack works?
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Is Encrypt+HMAC stronger than AEAD?

There are a few posts that I've come across that seem to infer that using regular encryption and a MAC might be better than using the newer AEAD (ie: AES/GCM) modes. ...
15
votes
1answer
990 views

Does unbalancing a feistel cipher always improve security? Does it improve security at all?

So according to Wikipedia unbalanced feistel ciphers provide greater provable security. Specifically, they state: The Thorp shuffle is an extreme case of an unbalanced Feistel cipher in which one ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

AES - What is the advantage of a 256-bit key with a 128-bit block cipher? [duplicate]

I'm just trying to wrap my mind around the decision to select the 128-bit Rijndael as the AES cipher, even with 192-bit and 256-bit keys. Even with a 256-bit key, you only get 2^128 possible outputs ...
15
votes
1answer
3k views

What is a tweakable block cipher?

Pretty simple question - but I can't seem to find much information about it. What exactly is a tweakable block cipher? How do they differ from traditional block ciphers? What is the 'tweak'? Is it ...
15
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Using same keypair for Diffie-Hellman and signing

Are there any security risks using a single key-pair for both key-exchange and signing? I'm mainly interested in using Curve25519 for key-exchange and Ed25519 for signing. But similar combinations, ...
15
votes
2answers
501 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
9k views

How strong is the ECDSA algorithm?

Some cryptographic algorithms are as strong as the size of their key is, while other have some weaknesses that limit their strength (such as SHA-1). How strong is the ECDSA algorithm, and does that ...
15
votes
1answer
954 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
781 views

Is it possible to actually verify a “sponge function” security claim?

When using a “sponge function” to create a cryptographic hash, we can look at the flat sponge claim, which flattens the claimed success probabilities of all attacks using a single parameter: the ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

How does a non-prime modulus for Diffie-Hellman allow for a backdoor?

Recently someone found that a Diffie-Hellman modulus used in a unix tool (socat) was not prime. This led some people to shout "backdoor". What I don't understand ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do new versions of TLS use an explicit IV for CBC suites?

SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0 used an insecure scheme to generate implicit IVs when encrypting records in CBC mode: they used the last part of the previous record, a value that can be predicted by the attacker. ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

How to communicate by email with forward secrecy and deniability?

My correspondents and I would like to communicate privately by email. We used to employ PGP but that might have been shooting ourselves in the foot. PGP doesn't have forward secrecy. If any of our ...
14
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Can someone explain the ECB Penguin?

I've seen the ECB Penguin used to demonstrate why ECB is not a recommended method of encryption, but I do not understand how this translates to text or passwords. Aren't the people who create these ...
14
votes
5answers
4k views

Using CBC with a fixed IV and a random first plaintext block

What if, instead of using CBC mode in the normal way with a random IV, I used this approach: Use a fixed IV (like a block of 0's). Before encrypting, generate a random block and prepend it to the ...
14
votes
3answers
836 views

Does NTRU decrypt correctly now?

The NTRU public-key cryptosystem has a lot of interesting properties (being resistant to quantum computer attacks, being standardized by several important bodies), but it also has a pretty unique ...
14
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
14
votes
2answers
6k views

Using the same secret key for encryption and authentication in a Encrypt-then-MAC scheme

Is it a weakness to use a single shared secret for protecting messages using a Encrypt-then-MAC scheme? Assuming a system is using AES-256-CBC and a SHA1-HMAC and the same secret key for both ...
14
votes
2answers
659 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

NIST Diffie-Hellman prime: how was it picked? Where did it come from?

According to this Matasano Crypto challenge, the NIST "likes" the following prime modulus, which appears to be expressed in hexadecimal: ...

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