All Questions

10
votes
1answer
350 views

Shared secret: Generating Random Permutation

-- or: How to Play Poker Without a Dealer I know this question is long but it's a really interesting theoretical problem about shared secrets and multi-party computation. General Problem: "Shared ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Galois fields in cryptography

I don't really understand Galois fields, but I've noticed they're used a lot in crypto. I tried to read into them, but quickly got lost in the mess of heiroglyphs and alien terms. I understand they're ...
9
votes
4answers
481 views

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?
9
votes
2answers
814 views

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.
9
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
894 views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
579 views

Can AES decryption be used as encryption?

Definition E: AES encryption D: AES decryption x: plain text y: encrypted text k: key In original AES cipher, encryption: y = E(x, k) decryption: x = D(y, k) Then I define the "reverse AES ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

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?
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Are there practical upper limits of RSA key lengths?

Suppose one wanted to use RSA encryption for the sole purpose of sending key bits for use in symmetric crypto systems, a dedicated key exchange system so to speak. And say you didn't think that the ...
9
votes
2answers
8k views

Many time pad attack [duplicate]

I've already sent my correct solution to a homework exercise from Dan Boneh's Introduction to Cryptography class on Coursera: "Let us see what goes wrong when a stream cipher key is used more than ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the most secure hand cipher?

By "hand cipher", I mean a symmetric cipher for which encryption and decryption can can both be performed with a pencil on graph paper, consuming about 10-20 seconds per character by a proficient ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Encrypting small values with RSA private key

I'm looking for best practices when it comes to encrypting small (< 128 bytes) amounts of data with the RSA private key. Signing it would make the resulting payload too large.
9
votes
9answers
430 views

Physical analogue for MACs

What would be a good analogue with which to describe Message Authentication Codes to a person who has little to no understanding of cryptography? For instance, a vault is a reasonable analogue for ...
9
votes
2answers
798 views

How is XOR used for encryption?

I am a programmer, so when I hear XOR, I think about the bitwise operator (e.g. 0110 ^ 1110 = 1000). The mention of "XOR" comes ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the difference between a stream cipher and a one-time-pad?

A (synchronous) stream cipher is an algorithm which maps some fixed-length key to an arbitrary-length key-stream (i.e. a sequence of bits): $C : \{0,1\}^k \to \{0,1\}^{\infty}$. This key-stream is ...
9
votes
3answers
651 views

UMAC: to what extent is it in use today?

Inspired slightly by the Encrypt-then-MAC question. The most obvious message authentication code is probably HMAC or RFC 2104 which is basically a hash of the input, an xor with a key... you get the ...
9
votes
3answers
526 views

Can we ensure the security of a crypto-algorithm and -implementaton against acoustic cryptanalysis?

Like people always say: “Attacks only get worse…” — which is why I'm asking early. I have been reading the paper “RSA Key Extraction via Low-Bandwidth Acoustic Cryptanalysis” published December 18, ...
9
votes
3answers
234 views

How hard is to invert the function that computes the middle-bits of (x^2)?

I'm designing a function f that should be moderately hard to invert and very fast to evaluate in a modern CPU. The function will be used in a proof-of-work function. I've read that the middle-bits of ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I calculate the SHA-256 “midstate”?

Recently I've been trying to implement some Bitcoin-related code, and I've stumbled upon a weird concept, a SHA-256 "midstate". Some explanation is given here. The general concept is that Bitcoin ...
9
votes
2answers
6k views

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?
9
votes
3answers
460 views

Is it reasonable to assure that p-1 and q-1 aren't smooth?

I came across the requirement that, in RSA, $p-1$ and $q-1$ shouldn't be smooth, shouldn't consist of lots of small factors. Therefore my question: How complicated is it to check whether $p-1$ is ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

Difference between Rijndael 128 / 256 blocksize implementations? (and impact of block size in general)

Can anyone shed some light onto the advantages/disadvantages of using Rijndael with 256-bit block size, as opposed to the 128-bit (AES) implementation? (please note: I'm not referring to key-size ...
9
votes
4answers
922 views

How do you find a cheater in Shamir Secret Sharing?

If there are 4 people involved, and every two of them should be able to know the secret (the polynomial is just a line) and you are given f(x) and x for each of those people, and you know one of them ...
9
votes
3answers
577 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. ...
9
votes
2answers
7k views

How can Cipher Block Chaining (CBC) in SSL be attacked?

I am trying to understand how CBC-mode in SSL/TLS can be attacked. I have been looking around online but all examples and explanations are very hard to understand and follow. Can you give a simple ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Salting when encrypting?

I was attending a database encryption session at a developers conference. The presenter (who was a published author on the subject) said that MS SQL Server did not support salted hashes in the ...
9
votes
3answers
478 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, ...
9
votes
2answers
620 views

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 ...
9
votes
3answers
202 views

Does chaining random number generators lead to loss of randomness?

Assume you chain random number generators, i.e use the result of one PRNG as the seed for the next. What kind of errors can that introduce in the randomness of the numbers generated?
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Are there any Secp256k1 ECDSA test examples available?

Are there any available test cases for testing elliptic curves like secp256k1 (Korblitz curves from http://www.secg.org/collateral/sec2_final.pdf)? For curves like P192 there are for example those ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do we need special key-wrap algorithms?

Wikipedia says: Key Wrap constructions are a class of symmetric encryption algorithms designed to encapsulate (encrypt) cryptographic key material. We are using these algorithms to encrypt ...
9
votes
2answers
475 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Is HMAC-MD5 considered secure?

I've read something to the effect that the HMAC construct is able to lessen the problem of collisions in the underlying hash. Does that mean that something like HMAC-MD5 still might be considered ...
9
votes
1answer
381 views

How to choose constants in a cryptographic function?

A number of cryptographic functions have constants built in. For example, the constants used in RFC 2104 for HMAC, or the constants used in s-boxes (e.g., DES and AES), or MD5. In general, how are ...
9
votes
2answers
252 views

Why would you expect to find a collision in a hash function after approximately $\sqrt{n}$ hashes?

I can't get an intuitive understanding of why it's $2^{(\frac{n}{2})}$ and not $2^n$, where $n$ is the number of bits of which the key consists.
9
votes
2answers
263 views

How exactly does key whitening manage to increase security?

Wikipedia states that key whitening increases security: In cryptography, key whitening is a technique intended to increase the security of an iterated block cipher. It consists of steps that ...
9
votes
4answers
433 views

Authenticated DH, what protocols are secure?

I read about STS + variants being insecure in the SIGMA paper, which then proposes SIGMA as a replacement. Are the SIGMA variants still considered secure or are there some other protocol that's ...
9
votes
1answer
450 views

What does “running in polynomial time” really mean?

I'm currently learning private-key cryptography. I've been able to see that perfect secrecy is achievable if no assumption is made about the computational power of the attacker. However, perfect ...
9
votes
1answer
853 views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
5k views

How does the index of coincidence work in the Kasiki test?

I'm starting to learn about cryptanalysis and I am having a bit of difficulty understanding the Kasiski test's index of coincidence. I have a book (Cryptography Theory And Practice by Douglas Stinson) ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

SHA-256: (Probabilistic?) partial preimage possible?

Currently busying myself with the Bitcoin "mining" algorithm, I am wondering if the process really cannot be simplified. For reference, the algorithm is basically SHA-256d: $success := SHA256( ...
9
votes
1answer
784 views

Replacing the Rijndael S-Box?

The Rijndael S-Box design generates a permutation cycle of type $2+27+59+81+87$. What effect would replacing that permutation with a cycle of type $256$ have on the security of AES?
9
votes
2answers
399 views

Efficient Incremental Updates to Large Merkle Tree

I have a data set with 300 Million entries and every 5 minutes 4000 random entries in this table change. I need to calculate the merkle root on this data set to validate integrity multiple times ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

How to communicate by email with forward secrecy and deniability?

My correspondents and I would like to communicate privately by email. We used to employ PGP but that might have been shooting ourselves in the foot. PGP doesn't have forward secrecy. If any of our ...
9
votes
1answer
431 views

How to build an electro-mechanical public key cipher machine?

It is generally assumed that asymmetric encryption schemes were invented in 1973 at GCHQ in Britain and, independently, in 1976 at the MIT. Imagine, if the abstract idea of having a public key and a ...
9
votes
2answers
882 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
376 views

Can one efficiently iterate valid bcrypt hash output values?

bcrypt is an intentionally slow hash algorithm. In my last protocol idea, I wanted to use it to expand a password and then only transfer the bcrypt-hashed password. An efficient attack on this would ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

What stops the Multiply-With-Carry Random Number Generator from being a Cryptographically Secure Pseudo-Random Number Generator?

Despite the fact that Marsaglia's MWC PRNG (multiply-with-carry random number generator) is considered to be "the mother of all RNGs", it does not seem to be considered to be a CSPRNG ...
9
votes
1answer
225 views

What is the origin of the word “Keccak”?

Where does the word or acronym Keccak come from? Guido Bertoni, Joan Daemen, Michael Peeters, and Gilles Van Assche. Keccak sponge function family main document. Submission to NIST (updated), 2009. ...

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