# All Questions

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### 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 ...
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### Could one construct a cipher that is secure for friendly parties to use but insecure for hostile parties?

Consider the situation of a nation state (Blue) at war with another nation state (Red). Blue wants to deploy a secure cipher that blue currently can not break, but they are considered that Red could ...
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### Compare Blockmode CBC (with diffuser) against XTS

I have some problems in understanding the "advantage" of AES-XTS compared to CBC with diffuser. I read something about FileVault, in this paper they mention the two modes of operations XTS and CBC ...
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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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### Signatures: RSA compared to ECDSA

I'm signing very small messages using RSA, and the signature and public key are added to every message, which requires a lot of space compared to the actual content. I'm considering switching to ...
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### 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?
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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 ...
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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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### Assuming a 1024qb quantum computer, how long to brute force 1024bit RSA, 256bit AES and 512bit SHA512

Assuming in the future there was a functioning 1024 qubit quantum supercomputer and it could run Shor's algorithm or Grover's algorithm to crack encryption very quickly. I'm interested in how the ...
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### 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: ...
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### 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 ...
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### If you hashed a hash an infinite number of times would you end up with a unique hash?

If you took a hashing algorithm for example MD5 and repeatedly passed the output hash back into the algorithm an arbitrarily large number of times would you eventually end up with one unique hash? My ...
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### Why should I make my cipher public?

As I understand it, the less people know about the internals of my protocol or cipher, the more secure the protocol is. However Kerckhoffs's principle states that A cryptosystem should be secure ...
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### Why RSA encryption key is based on modulo $\varphi(n)$ rather than modulo $n$

While calculating RSA encryption key we take modulo $\varphi(n)$ rather that modulo $n$. I couldn't understand why its so?
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### 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 ...
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### Definition of Textbook RSA

What is the definition of Textbook RSA? What are some of the properties of textbook RSA? How does it differ from other RSAs?
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Why is OCB-AES mode not becoming a standard for authenticated encryption?

The OCB mode of authenticated encryption (used for example with AES) is the fastest way to provide authenticity and confidentiality without having to strive into questions like: Encrypt then MAC, MAC ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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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### 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?
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### 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 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 ...
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### What is pre-image 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?
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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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### What is a Non-Interactive Zero Knowledge Proof?

I understand the concept of a Zero Knowledge Proof thanks to the easy to understand analogy of Alibaba's cave. However, this seems to require interaction between the verifier and the other party. I ...
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### 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 ...
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### Where do I securely store the key for a system where the source is visible?

I have a customer with an Access database (ugh!) in which credit cards are stored in plaintext (yikes!), so amongst other changes I'm doing in the app, I'm applying some encryption in there. I've ...
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### What to watch for with openssl generating weak keys? (low entropy)

(Disclaimer: I am regular software engineer with only basic crypto knowledge, so helpful if can be explained for a layman.) I am concerned about generating weak keys on a shared linux box with ...
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### Why is MixColumns omitted from the last round of AES?

All rounds of AES (and Rijndael) have a MixColumns step, save the last round which omits it. DES has a similar feature where the last round differs slightly. The rationale, if I recall correctly, ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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, ...
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### Calculating RSA private exponent when given public exponent and the modulus factors using extended euclid

When given $p = 5, q = 11, N = 55$ and $e = 17$, I'm trying to compute the RSA private key $d$. I can calculate $\varphi(N) = 40$, but my lecturer then says to use the extended Euclidean algorithm to ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Do recent announcements about solving the DLP in $GF(2^{6120})$ apply to schemes proposed for cryptographic use?

A recent paper by Göloğlu, Granger, McGuire, and Zumbrägel: Solving a 6120-bit DLP on a Desktop Computer seems to "demonstrate a practical DLP break in the finite field of $2^{6120}$ elements, using ...
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### How to choose a padding mode with AES

Depending on the framework you are using, there are various padding modes that can be used with AES encryption. For example, with .NET we can choose PKCS7, ISO10126, ANSIX923, Zeros or None. I ...
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### 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 ...