4
votes
2answers
784 views

How were the number of rounds for different key sizes of AES selected?

The number of AES rounds increases with the key length. Why increase the number of rounds at all, and how were these round counts chosen?
4
votes
1answer
419 views

How were the AES key and block length subsets of Rijndael selected?

My intuition tells me it's a trade off between speed and security, but how did the standardisation process select these three seemingly arbitrary key lengths (namely, AES-128, AES-192, AES-256).
4
votes
3answers
665 views

What is the PRG period of stream ciphers such as RC4 or Salsa20?

I am confused about how long a stream cipher can be used before you should change the key. To be concrete, let me use the stream cipher based on RC4 as an example. Let's say I want to encrypt a very ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is asymmetric cryptography bad for huge data?

I've been told that asymmetric cryptography requires that the message to be encrypted be smaller than its key length. Why is this? I know about hybrid encryption, which uses symmetric encryption to ...
3
votes
1answer
325 views

Is quantum key distribution safe against MITM attacks too?

i read this recently: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12786-quantum-cryptography-to-protect-swiss-election.html and some parts of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_key_distribution ...
2
votes
2answers
548 views

What happens when a root CA has its private key compromised?

What happens when a root CA has its private key compromised? Then all children in the tree are compromised too? And then all certificates are compromised? What needs to happen then? Related: - How ...
2
votes
4answers
548 views

Is there any strong enough pen-and-paper or mind cipher?

Some ciphers are talked about here, but I don't see an answer, are they strong enough, or are non-computer ciphers more or less just a toy and one should abandon using them for practical purposes?
2
votes
3answers
207 views

Message authentication codes construction

I was reading the paper $[1]$ and came across the scheme that I show below. While I understand the scheme well, I don't understand why they prepend a 0 to the block containing $r$ and a 1 to all other ...
2
votes
1answer
476 views

How do I generate a session key using the Diffie Hellman algorithm?

How to generate a session key between two nodes in two different subnets when the nodes don't know each other directly, using diffie hellman algorithm?
2
votes
1answer
716 views

Is RSA of a random nonce with no padding safe?

Consider the following protocol: Bob has a private RSA key $B_{priv}$, and Alice knows the public key $B_{pub}$. Alice wants to send confidential messages to Bob (no integrity intended). To send a ...
1
vote
2answers
362 views

Combining multiple symmetric encryption algorithms - implications?

I was just wondering if I add more security by combining two or more symmetric encryptions on a plain text. For example: Plaintext → AES → Twofish → Serpent Of ...
1
vote
1answer
316 views

Why are these specific values used to initialise the hash buffer in SHA-512?

I'm reading the book Network Security Essentials written by William Stallings. To create a message digest with SHA-512, we have to go through some steps: append padding bits. append length ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

How to solve MixColumns

I can't really understand MixColumns in Advanced Encryption Standard, can anyone help me how to do this? I found some topic in the internet about MixColumns, but I still have a lot of question to ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Does encrypting twice using the same block cipher produce a security weakness?

If I use the output of a cipher, for example a block cipher such as AES and encrypt it again with the same algorithm, I read that this introduces weaknesses into the overall security of the system. ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Symmetric vs. Asymmetric cryptographic approaches to data security

I know the basic differences between Symmetric vs. Asymmetric cryptography, but I'd love to know more details: Exactly why is the asymmetric approach slower than the symmetric? Why does it make ...
14
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 ...
12
votes
4answers
687 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

What exactly is a negligible (and non-negligible) function?

The mathematical definition of neglible and non-neglible functions is fairly clear-cut, but why they are important and how they are used in cryptography?
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Is using a predictable IV with CFB mode safe or not?

While writing this answer, I noted that NIST SP 800-38A says that (emphasis mine): "For the CBC and CFB modes, the IVs must be unpredictable. In particular, for any given plaintext, it must not be ...
9
votes
3answers
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
236 views

Elliptic Curves of different forms

Looking at http://safecurves.cr.yp.to/ to find a safe curve, I find that most curves described here are of a different form from that generally used. In Bouncy Caslte, for example, ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the effect of the different AES key lengths?

How does a changing key length affects the ciphertext, not only in case of AES, but in general? I know that the key spaces become much larger and the number of rounds in case of AES changes, but is ...
8
votes
2answers
741 views

Measuring entropy for a ciphertext only attack

When bruteforcing a password (e.g. the common attacks on DES), where you have ciphertext only, you need a way to assess whether a decrypted plaintext is the right one. I believe the EFF DES machine ...
8
votes
6answers
748 views

How can I improve a password generation scheme based on a shared secret and URL?

I currently use the following method to generate a different password on every website I have to login: password = SHA1 ( mainPassword . domainName . number ) ...
7
votes
1answer
309 views

Why are the initial states of hashes functions (like SHA-1) often non-zero?

There is already a question asking "Why initialize SHA1 with specific buffer?" and my question follows on from this: Why are the initial states of hash functions often non-zero? For most, I have ...
7
votes
1answer
705 views

Necessity for finite field arithmetic and the prime number p in Shamir's Secret Sharing Scheme

Shamir's original paper (PDF, 197kb) describing a threshold secret sharing scheme states: To make this claim more precise, we use modular arithmetic instead of real arithmetic. The set of ...
7
votes
3answers
468 views

Is key size the only barrier to the adoption of the McEliece cryptosystem, or is it considered broken/potentially vulnerable?

A recent paper showed that the McEliece cryptosystem is not, unlike RSA and other cryptosystems, weakened as drastically by quantum computing because strong Fourier sampling cannot solve the hidden ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Is AES-256 a post-quantum secure cipher or not?

We know Grover's algorithm speedup brute-force attacks two time faster in block ciphers (e.g brute-forcing 128 bit keys take $2^{64}$ operations not $2^{128}$). That explains why we are using 256 bit ...
6
votes
1answer
796 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
419 views

Why are elliptic curve variants of RSA “chiefly of academic interest”?

Yesterday I was thinking about elliptic curve variants of popular protocols/algorithms (ECDH, ECES[1], etc) and the thought occured that I had never seen an elliptic curve variant of RSA. My ...
6
votes
1answer
419 views

A fair peer-based coin-flipping protocol?

I found this question on the game programming site and was intrigued. I came up with an answer off the top of my head but I'm no cryptanalyst so it is probably not water-tight. This is how my idea ...
6
votes
2answers
364 views

What is the key strength reduction encrypting only 160 bits of data using RSA1024 for signatures?

I am attempting to determine the strength of an incorrectly implemented 1024 bit RSA signature scheme. The weakness in the implementation is that the padding data lacks random numbers. As a result, ...
5
votes
1answer
155 views

Is it possible to weaken a bitcoin private key by “using” it elsewhere?

What are the increased possibilities (if any) of being able to crack a private key given the following: The associated bitcoin (ECDSA Secp256k1-based) public key is known. The private key has been ...
5
votes
2answers
121 views

Is multiplicative secret sharing secure?

I suggested mulitiplicative secret sharing in an answer to another question, but noted that I wasn't sure if it was even secure and was hoping someone would comment on the security. Since no one did, ...
5
votes
4answers
426 views

How to prove the security of the PRNG?

Are there any realties tests or criterias that prove the security of the PRNG? What kind of tests or criteria?
5
votes
1answer
234 views

In textbook RSA with low public exponent, how big does a random message needs to be?

Assume RSA with a public modulus $N$ of $n$ bits, a small odd public exponent $e$, plaintext $M$ a random non-negative integer less than $2^m$ for some integer parameter $m$, with $M\mapsto C=M^e\bmod ...
5
votes
7answers
415 views

Turning a cipher into a hashing function

This is theoretical question. I'd like to know if it's possible (and what are eventually the consequences), not that I'm going to do it in one of my projects. ;) The first hashing functions created ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Relative merits of AES ECB and CBC modes for securing data at rest

I need to store several million Payment Card Numbers (PCNs) securely in a mainframe database (that is, 'at rest'). I assume that any attacker will have access to all of the stored data. I assume the ...
5
votes
0answers
408 views

How can I find two strings $m_1$ and $m_2$, knowing that I know $m_1 \oplus m_2$? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How does one attack a two-time pad (i.e. one time pad with key reuse)? I recently started to follow the cryptography class of Dan Boneh on coursera.org and the first ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Encryption with “constant” initialization vector considered harmful

I try to get the full reasoning behind the above statement. First, after reading articles here and at wikipedia i understand that using an IV only once is good practice. For stream ciphers not doing ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Why not use CTR with a randomized IV?

I'm currently reading the chapter of Cryptographic Engineering (Ferguson, Schneier, Kohno 2010) about block cipher modes of operation. They have recommended CBC with random IV instead of CTR due to ...
5
votes
1answer
586 views

Linear Cryptanalysis

What is the principle of linear cryptanalysis, as applied to a block cipher ? For instance, this page gives the rough outline of differential cryptanalysis.
5
votes
3answers
299 views

Designing a key expander out of ciphers

Is it possible to compose or combine $n$ ciphers ($cipher_0, cipher_1, ... cipher_n$) in such a way that they generate $n$ ciphertexts from the same key, $k$, and that recovering the key, $k$, from ...
4
votes
1answer
549 views

AES timing attacks

I'm just interested in cryptography, so please don't expect me to be an expert. ;) I recently read about AES cache timing attacks and found it very interesting. I read the article Cache-timing attacks ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Why, or when, to use an Initialization Vector?

i'm trying to figure out when an Intialization Vector (IV) should be used. There are anecdotal reports that WEP was broken because of weak IV's. It's also claimed that if two pieces of plaintext are ...
4
votes
3answers
310 views

Is there a public key semantically secure cryptosystem for which one can prove in zero knowledge the equivalence of two plaintexts?

If Alice encrypts two messages $a$ and $b$, such that $x=E(a)$, $y=E(b)$. Can Alice prove (without revealing $a$, $b$ or the private key) that $a = b$? Obviously the proof must not be too long and it ...
4
votes
1answer
168 views

Why are there $ signs in my passwd file?

I am trying to get access to my eReader and I managed to get the passwd file. ...
4
votes
2answers
500 views

How did LinkedIn “salt” all their passwords?

First, just to make sure I understand "salting" correctly: You randomly generate a string to append to the password before hashing it, so as to increase its length and make precomputed tables much ...
4
votes
1answer
900 views

What is “Implicit Authentication”?

What is “Implicit Authentication” in the context of authentication methods? I searched the Web but could not find any article that describes this. If anyone can describe it, that would be a great ...
3
votes
2answers
111 views

ElGamal in private set intersection: how to handle negative numbers?

I am trying to implement the Efficient Robust Private Set Intersection using Additive ElGamal. For this, from the client side, my inputs are $C = \{1, 2\}$. So, the polynomial is $(x-1)(x-2)$ which ...

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