# All Questions

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### Are these emerging threats against AES affecting your designs?

Recentally, an attack on AES was discovered which reduces its computationally complexity, by a very slight amount. The first key recovery attack on the full AES-128 with computational complexity ...
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### How broken is a xor of two LCGs?

Suppose we define a PRG as the xor of two LCGs modulo a 64-bit prime: something like the following Python code. ...
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### 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 ...
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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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### Why is CAMELLIA suddenly so widely used?

When nowadays I point my browser to https sites, the cipher that is on most occasions used is Camellia. My browsers (Chrome and Firefox) seem to prefer it, even when AES is available. Is that not ...
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### Is RC4 a problem for password-based authentication?

This is a follow-up question to Does TLS use RC4-drop[n]?. As mentioned in section 6 of RFC4345, there are weak distinguishers for RC4 keystreams available that even work for keystreams that ...
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### Mapping between subgroups and the integers

This question is a companion to the equivalent question on elliptic curves. Preliminaries Diffie-Hellman, Elgamal, DSA, etc. are examples of protocols that work in the integers modulus a large prime ...
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### Is it possible to create an asymmetric cryptosystem where the private keys are not easily verifiable as such?

Plaintext that consists of an RSA key is easily recognizable as such, because it satisfies certain mathematical properties, in particular (See the answer for Why can an encrypted private key be brute ...
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### Why are the outputs of the md5sum tool and Crypto++'s MD5 different?

Could you please tell me what is the difference of coreutils' md5sum and sha*sum tools (...
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### Why do we use XTS over CTR for disk encryption?

I'm taking Prof. Boneh's crypto class from Coursera, and am unsure on the requirement for XTS mode for disk encryption. It seems that CTR mode would do exactly what XTS can do, but is simpler to ...
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### Is there an intuitive explanation as to why only the private key can decrypt a message encrypted with the public key?

I have just learned about using PGP/GPG for email encryption and one thing has always bugged me: How is it possible that a message encrypted with somebody's public key can be decrypted only with that ...
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### Can I select a large random prime using this procedure?

Say I want a random 1024-bit prime $p$. The obviously-correct way to do this is select a random 1024-bit number and test its primality with the usual well-known tests. But suppose instead that I do ...
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### repeating-key xor and hamming distance

I read that to break repeating-key xor you can do the following: try a keysize $n$ and compute the hamming distance between the first $n$ bits of the encrypted string and the bits $n+1$ to $2n$ of the ...
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### When to use RSA and when ElGamal asymmetric encryption

If i am not wrong in cryptography there are 2 basic cryptographic schemes for public key cryptography. RSA encryption whose security is based on the infeasibility of solving the factoring of big ...
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### ElGamal: Multiplicative cyclic group and key generation

Here on the ElGamal wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ElGamal_encryption Alice generates an efficient description of a multiplicative cyclic group G, of order q, with generator g. How ...
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### Strength of multiple hash iterations?

Is it correct that increasing the iteration possibly decreases the cipher strength but increases the amount of time it would take to find the original hash values if using brute-force on a given hash? ...
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### How does one calculate a primitive root for Diffie-Hellman?

In the Diffie-Hellman key exchange, one of the steps involves calculating a primitive root of a prime number $p$. How would one go about doing so, considering that $p$ could be very large? Is there ...
510 views

### Why is there an enormous difference between SAT solvers?

SAT solvers are very important in algebraic attacks, for example walksat and minisat. However, when solving the benchmark problems available here there is an enormous performance difference between ...
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### Why was the winner of the AES competition not a Feistel cipher?

The winner of the AES competition has a structure that does not qualify as a Feistel cipher, as explained in answers to this recent question. However, most many of the AES candidates, and all 3 out ...
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### Using SHA-256 with different initial hash value

FIPS 180-3 defines the initial hash value for SHA-256 as the first 32 bits of the fractional parts of the square roots of the first 8 primes 2..19. What would be the risks of using a different value ...
941 views

### Encryption scheme for social-network-like data sharing data via untrusted server?

I am thinking quite a lot lately abut the problem of secure, privacy-preserving social networking. Distributing the network among trusted, preferably self-hosted servers (like Diaspora, GNU Social ...
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### How Brittle Are LCG-Cracking Techniques?

There are published techniques for cracking LCGs, but to my eye those techniques seem very brittle — very minor changes can add nonlinearity that renders techniques like the LLL algorithm unusable. ...
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### Technical details of attack on Android bitcoin usage of SecureRandom

Reports are surfacing that Android's Java SecureRandom class has issues and isn't totally secure. A specific example of how this issue translates to applications is bitcoin, where reports are stating ...
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### Windows 8/Server 2012: Passes FIPS-140-2 despite failing AES-GCM for IV != 96 bits long?

Background Microsoft certifies Windows 7/8 as well as Server 2008 R2 and 2012 to be FIPS-140-2 compliant. Actually they certify just a small crypto core, bcrypt.dll (the library, which is unrelated ...
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### Why do the elliptic curves recommended by NIST use 521 bits rather than 512?

Wikipedia says in reference to the elliptic curves officially recommended by NIST in FIPS 186-3: Five prime fields for certain primes p of sizes 192, 224, 256, 384, and 521 bits. For each of the ...
4k views

### How does order-preserving encryption work?

Order-preserving encryption (OPE) is, apparently, a method of encrypting data so that it's possible to make efficient inequality comparisons on the encrypted items without decrypting them. I've been ...
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### 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 ...
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### Would it be secure to use random numbers from random.org in a cryptographic solution?

Random.org provides true random numbers through an unsecured web service. Since these numbers would be transmitted in plaintext could they still be considered useful as true random numbers while ...
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### Should DES be avoided when developing new systems?

According to wikipedia… DES is now considered to be insecure for many applications However, since it can be broken relatively easy, should it not just be avoided for all applications?
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### Why are bitwise rotations used in cryptography?

Any understanding I have of cryptography stops right around the cipher level. As such, I'm just curious as to why bit shifts and moreover circular bit shift are so prevalent in cryptography.
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### Is there a way to make RC4 (ARCFOUR) secure, or is it completely broken?

I need a method to authenticate a process with another in order to establish interprocess communication between them, to prevent malicious processes from trying to hook onto the system. Currently I ...
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### How cryptographically secure was the original WW2 Enigma machine, from a modern viewpoint?

If cryptanalysts today were to crack the original Enigma machine, how fast/ how easily could they do it? What methods would they use? The original cracking was significantly helped by operator ...
3k views

### Why do all SSH-RSA Keys begin with “AAAAB3NzaC1yc”?

My Friend and I have been generating a few ssh2-rsa keys and noticed that all the public keys began with "AAAAB3NzaC1yc". The similarity extended to "AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAABIwAAAQEA" between two keys I ...
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 ...
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### Encrypt-then-MAC: Do I need to authenticate the IV?

In the setting of Encrypt-then-MAC, do I need to include the IV in what I'm HMACing, or is authenticating just the AES-encrypted data sufficient?
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### Is there any strong enough pen-and-paper or mind cipher?

Some ciphers are talked about at “Is there a secure cryptosystem that can be performed mentally?”, but (at the time of writing) I don't see an answer. Are they strong enough, or are non-computer ...