22
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I apply differential cryptanalysis to a block cipher?

I've read a lot of summaries of block ciphers particularly with regards to the NIST competitions stating that reduced-round block ciphers are, for example, vulnerable to differential cryptanalysis. I ...
17
votes
2answers
4k 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
0answers
472 views

Who first published the interest of more than two prime factors in RSA?

Multi-prime RSA is now a well known technique: it uses $k>2$ distinct secret prime factors in the public RSA modulus, with the advantage that, using the CRT, we can gain a speed boost in ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

How does a chosen plaintext attack on RSA work?

How can one run a chosen plaintext attack on RSA? If I can send some plaintexts and get the ciphertexts, how can I find a relation between them which helps me to crack another ciphertext?
26
votes
1answer
3k views

Does the generator size matter in Diffie-Hellman?

For the Diffie-Hellman protocol I've heard that the generator 3 is as safe as any other generator. Yet, 32-bit or 256-bit exponents are sometimes used as generators. What is the benefit of using ...
23
votes
3answers
8k views

Why is public-key encryption so much less efficient than secret-key encryption?

I'm currently reading Cryptography Engineering. After giving a high level explanation of the difference between secret-key encryption and public-key encryption, the book says: So why do we bother ...
22
votes
3answers
4k views

Is there a simple hash function that one can compute without a computer?

I am looking for a hash function that is computable by hand (in reasonable time). The function should be at least a little bit secure: There should be no trivial way to find a collision (by hand). For ...
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 ...
13
votes
2answers
11k 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 ...
12
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?
11
votes
1answer
12k views

How does RSA signature verification work?

I understand how the RSA algorithm works for encryption and decryption purposes but I don't get how signing is done. Here's what I (think) I know and is common practice: If I have a message that I ...
11
votes
2answers
654 views

Why is the salt used only once in PBKDF2, while the password is used often?

The purpose of PBKDF2 is to create a derived key (DK) from a master password (PW) and a salt, often using a function like HMAC-SHA256. I have read that the salt should be as random as possible. But ...
10
votes
2answers
6k views

Why is TLS susceptible to protocol downgrade attacks?

A recent blog post from Ivan Ristić (expert extraordinaire on all things SSL) says: all major browsers are susceptible to protocol downgrade attacks; an active MITM can simulate failure conditions ...
9
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
21k views

Difference between stream cipher and block cipher

A typical stream cipher encrypts plaintext one byte at a time, although a stream cipher may be designed to operate on one bit at a time or on units larger than a byte at a time. A block cipher ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Why shouldn't I use ECB encryption?

I'm using Java to generate encrypted strings, and I get this warning at build time: ECB encryption mode should not be used So I'm wondering why I shouldn't use ECB and what I can use instead?
8
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
847 views

Will repeated rounds of SHA-512 provide random numbers?

If I hash a keyword with SHA-512 and then feed the output as the key for the next round ....and keep repeating this process, will I gather a stream of random numbers?
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Any efficient text-based steganographic schemes?

While there are sophisticated and efficient steganographic schemes with images as cover available, I am yet ignorant of the existence of any fairly efficient and secure schemes with texts as cover. ...
6
votes
2answers
652 views

Proof that lottery does not know outcome of draw

Could a variable participant lottery system cryptographically prove that they have zero knowledge of the outcome of a draw? Participants do not choose numbers in this lottery and winning numbers are ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Simulation-based security?

I've been reading Introduction to Modern Cryptography by Katz and Lindell as an introduction to cryptography. The book seems to use the term 'simulator' when it talks about a game like, for instance, ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

Information leakage from the ecryptfs filesystem

I'm wondering what information might be leaked from the ecryptfs filesystem. This is what Ubuntu uses if you check the box for "encrypted home directory" when using the desktop installer, so is ...
13
votes
1answer
3k views

What is a white-box implementation of a cryptographic algorithm?

What is a white-box implementation? Does a white-box implementation have specific properties?
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Practical consequences of using functional encryption for software obfuscation

I came across this article, which describes a method, developed by UCLA CS professor Amit Sahai et al, for using functional encryption in order to achieve software obfuscation. The paper that the ...
11
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

How can rainbow tables be used for a dictionary attack?

I'm putting together a password policy for my company. I very much want to avoid requiring complex passwords, and would much rather require length. The maximum length I can enforce is 14 characters. ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

How well does scrypt perform on different architectures / OSes?

The scrypt algorithm seems to be a prominent feature in the "CPU friendly" Bitcoin clones for the proof-of-labor part. I've heard claims that it's relatively slow on Windows and/or Intel compared to ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

How exactly is “true randomness” defined in the realms of cryptography?

Especially in relation to stream ciphers, I frequently read about (sometimes theoretical, sometimes practical) attacks that are able to "distinguish a ciphertext from a truly random stream". What's ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Is Truecrypt's multiple/cascading encryption safe?

Is Truecrypt use of cascading encryption safe? Is it useful? Truecrypt is arguably one of the most popular and widely used encryption applications in use today, yet it seems to use a very ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Webcam random number generator

I have a question about random number generators. I have read from a real random number generator, based on a webcam ("randcam"). My problem is, that I do not really understand how the generation of ...
8
votes
2answers
602 views

What is the purpose of using different hash functions for the leaves and internals of a hash tree?

I just learned that the THEX hash tree specification which is widely used in P2P requires that two different hash functions be used: one for the leaf nodes (hashes of input data) and one for the ...
7
votes
1answer
313 views

Importance of block size in CBC mode

Why is it necessary to use a sufficiently long block size when implementing a CBC block cipher with a truly random initialization vector? In ECB mode it's easy to get information about the message if ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Any practical uses of machine learning for cryptography?

I am about to go study for my masters in machine learning, data mining and high performance computing, but have recently become very interested in cryptography after taking Dan Boneh's Cryptography ...
6
votes
2answers
510 views

Which risks are associated with deriving multiple keys from the same DH secret Z?

NIST recommends Krawczyk's HMAC-based key derivation function (HKDF) in SP-800-56C (PDF). HKDF shall e.g. be used to create keys from shared secrets after Diffie Hellman key establishment. NIST ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

PBKDF2 and salt

I want to ask some questions about the PBKDF2 function and generally about the password-based derivation functions. Actually we use the derivation function together with the salt to provide ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it safer to generate your own Diffie-Hellman primes or to use those defined in RFC 3526?

I was wondering if the prime numbers defined for use with Diffie-Hellman in RFC 3526 are more trustworthy than generating one's own, especially considering the recent Arjen Lenstra paper (Ron was ...
4
votes
0answers
256 views

Is there a “brainwallet” for GPG keys? [closed]

“Brainwallet” is a program that takes a passphrase (hopefully a good one) and deterministically creates a Bitcoin wallet. This wallet can be used for transactions, then deleted from the computer. To ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

What makes RSA secure by using prime numbers?

I am just learning about the RSA algorithm. Looking at the first two steps: Choose two distinct prime numbers $p$ and $q$. Compute $n = pq$. I have some probably stupid questions: Why do $p$ ...
3
votes
4answers
661 views

Signature and Timestamp for Long Term Document Archival Question

I have a PDF document intended for long-term (many years, maybe decades) archival which I would like to digitally sign with my personal certificate to ensure its integrity. As far as I understand, I ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Removing Padded Value in Decrypted Message

How to remove padded value in Decrypted Message? I am using AES Algorithm. Let's take this as the decrypted message: "abcdefghijklmn " There is a 2 space in ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

With sufficient randomness, is XOR an acceptable mechanism for encrypting?

I have heard criticism of various cryptosystems saying that "at their heart, they were just XOR." Is this just ignorance, or is there something inherently wrong with XOR based ciphers?
17
votes
1answer
738 views

How secure would HMAC-SHA3 be?

It would be possible to implement the HMAC construction with (draft) SHA-3, leading to HMAC-SHA3-224, HMAC-SHA3-256, HMAC-SHA3-384, HMAC-SHA3-512 (the last 3 digits are the output size $\ell$, where ...
12
votes
1answer
478 views

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 ...
12
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Practical disadvantages of GCM mode encryption

It seems that GCM mode encryption has a clear advantage over CBC + HMAC in the sense that it only requires a single key. But it seems that there are some experts here that do not trust it enough to ...
9
votes
3answers
591 views

Counter mode secure hash algorithm

Ever since the SHA-3 competition, I've been wondering if it is possible to create a hash algorithm that is easier to parallelize. The current algorithms all seem to require building a tree of hashes. ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the MD5 collision with the smallest input values?

I am interested in MD5 collisions for small input messages. The collision examples given at http://www.mscs.dal.ca/~selinger/md5collision/ show two different strings, where only a tiny amount of data ...
8
votes
1answer
322 views

Alice trusts Bob only when Bob trusts Alice

some story first: Alice and Bob both have public/private key pairs. Now Bob wants Alice to sign his public key id. Alice agrees but only when Bob signs the public key id of her. Is this something ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Should I salt an AES password at each encryption?

I saw a sample code where the same password is salted with a different value (using PBKDF2) for each encryption. That means that the salt must be stored for each encrypted message. I don't understand ...
8
votes
1answer
714 views

How realistic is a dictionary attack on a secure remote password protocol (SRP) verifier?

I'm deploying a secure remote password protocol implementation and I'm wondering what the consequences are when the client generated verifier gets leaked to an attacker. I've read Thomas Wu's paper ...

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