# All Questions

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### 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 ...
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### How random are commercial TRNGS

I'm thinking about buying a USB TRNG. How do I evaluate its randomness? I'm sure some are better than others but which is which? Are thermal-noise better than radio-noise TRNGs?
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### Can CBC ciphertext be decrypted if the key is known, but the IV not?

Let's say that there is a binary file encrypted with AES in CBC mode (i.e. using a key and initialization vector). If key is known, but IV is not, is it easy to fully decrypt the file? How hard is ...
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### Can Skein be used as a secure MAC in format H(k || m)?

Can Skein be used as a secure MAC in format H(k || m)? I understand it can work with HMAC, but it is fine as a one-pass MAC in the format above and resists length extension attacks. Is this ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Modern integer factorization software

What are the modern software packages that can be used to factoring large numbers into primes. By modern I mean developed and made public within the last 5 years. I'm interested in things that are ...
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### Block cipher and parity of permutation

Can anyone explain the following text passage to me? Most real-world block ciphers build even permutations, because it's hard to build odd ones using small operations (32 bit) on larger (128 ...
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### 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 ...
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 ...
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### How will Cryptography be changed by Quantum Computing?

I realise this isn't a 'yes or no' question, and I apologise for asking something that could be seen as a discussion thread, but I had to ask. I'm currently doing an EPQ in CS (specifically how QC ...
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### Why does a broken hash function undermine an HMAC?

For instance, what makes MD4 a bad choice for an HMAC? In this case I am asking about MD4 because its less than ideal. I know that a preimage attack can be used to undermine the system, but why? ...
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### Two mutually untrusted parties want to exchange data: how to ensure each one gets the data it needs?

I am trying to come up with what could maybe be a novel algorithm for an application I am writing. Client A has a file fA. Client B has file fB. Each party is untrustworthy and will try to rip off the ...
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### How long does it take a quantum computer to brute force AES?

I understand that using Grover's algorithm it only requires $2^{64}$ lookups for a 128 bit AES encryption, leading people to say we need to increase to 256 bit keys. But how long would it actually ...
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### 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 ...
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### How random is the shared secret in the Diffie Hellman key agreement

How random is the value $ZZ$ in the DH protocol? This question was triggered by this somewhat naïve implementation in I2P shown by Sergei at Stackoverflow. Obviously $ZZ$ is distinguishable from a ...
887 views

### How does GPG verify succesful decryption?

How does GPG (or other programs using the OpenPGP file format) verify that it has succeeded with decryption (for symmetrically encrypted data)? Is something appended to the clear text so there exist ...
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### 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.
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### How can I encrypt + authenticate short strings into similar short ciphertexts?

I wish to manipulate short ASCII strings (namely unpredictable domain names) into a form which cryptographically assures authenticity and confidentiality, for use in the local part of email addresses. ...
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### 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 ...
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### How does a “Tiger Tree Hash” handle data whose size isn't a power of two?

Constructing a hash tree is simple enough if the data fits into a number of blocks that is a power of two. ...
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### Entropy when iterating cryptographic hash functions

Consider a cryptographic hash function that maps $n$-bit strings to $n$-bit strings:  \DeclareMathOperator{\H}{H} \DeclareMathOperator{\SHA}{SHA-256} \H(x) : \left\{0,1\right\}^{n} \mapsto ...
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### Where does the $\varphi(n)$ part of RSA come from?

$e d \equiv 1 \pmod{\varphi(n)}$ Where does the $\varphi(n)$ part come from? How did the inventors of RSA arrive at $\varphi(n)$?
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### What are the requirements of a nonce?

Sometimes I read that a nonce has to be a random number but I disagree. A nonce just can't repeat itself. You could increase in by 1 every time if you are sure it would never repeat.
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### LT codes with Homomorphic hashing

I have been working on a project implementing LT codes with Homomorphic hashing (inspired from http://blog.notdot.net/2012/08/Damn-Cool-Algorithms-Homomorphic-Hashing and ...
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### RSA blind signatures in practice

Hi I have a problem with moving my blind signature implementation from educational (textbook RSA) to more practical (padded RSA) side. David Chaums paper gives a following figure: $r$ - blinding ...
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### Are there any standards of multi-prime RSA key generation?

FIPS 186-3 specifies a method to generate DSA parameters. Is there anything similar (official standard or widely-accepted recommendation) that shows how to generate the primes for multi-prime RSA?
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### 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 ...
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### 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?
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### 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).
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### Convert m-Sequence into a de Bruijn Sequence

In his paper Alternating Step Generator Controlled by de Bruijn Sequence, C.G. Günther states on page three that a de Bruijn sequence (..) can easily be obtained from an m-sequence (maximal length ...
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### RSA key pair generation using PRNG with same seed

I see a lot of Q/A where persons are trying to generate a specific key pair using static data such as a password. Now say we use a known PRNG (dangerous assumption), seeded with a the data as a static ...
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### What are the standard procedures in cryptanalysis to analyze unknown ciphertext?

What are the "standard procedures in cryptanalysis" to analyze unknown ciphertext? In other words: Are there any protocols, officially acknowledged checklists or something like that which represent a ...
546 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?
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### Is there an oblivious decryption scheme?

Alice has $K$; Bob has $E(K, m)$; Is there such a scheme that enables Alice decrypts $E(K, m)$ without knowing $m$, and Bob gets $m$ ?
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Calculating the inverse modularity of the determinant for Hill cipher

I'm trying to decrypt a message encrypted with Hill Cipher, but I don't understand how to find the determinant so it solves the equation $det * 1/det = 1 mod 26$. The determinant for my key matrix is ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Double Encrypting with two different keys

In terms of security, would it be MORE or LESS secure to take, say, an RC4 output (or Serpent) or other, that is encrypted with one key, and to encrypt that output with AES (using a different key)? ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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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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### 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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### 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 ...