10
votes
3answers
916 views

Entropy of two concatenated random values

In this Intel blog posting, the author claims: The amount of work required to brute-force predict a random value that has n bits of entropy is $O(2^n)$. If you concatenate two values together, the ...
10
votes
4answers
639 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?
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Can someone explain the ECB Penguin?

I've seen the ECB Penguin used to demonstrate why ECB is not a recommended method of encryption, but I do not understand how this translates to text or passwords. Aren't the people who create these ...
10
votes
2answers
917 views

What is the difference between Shannon entropy and saying that tossing a 6-sided die 100 times has more than 256-bit entropy?

I'm confused. I thought that tossing a 6-sided die 100 times had a greater than 256-bit entropy because $6^{99} < 2^{256} < 6^{100}$. (A similar concept appeared in this XKCD comic, where ...
10
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
9k views

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” or “how easily” could they do it? What methods would they use? The original cracking was significantly helped by operator ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the relation between RSA & Fermat's little theorem?

I came across this while refreshing my cryptography brain cells. From the RSA algorithm I understand that it somehow depends on the fact that, given a large number (A) it is computationally ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

In what way is XXTEA really vulnerable?

I'm looking at using the XXTEA algorithm to encrypt a small amount of data (say, less than 32KB) in the context of a software licensing algorithm. That is, we wish to make it difficult (not ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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.
10
votes
1answer
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
657 views

Bitcoin Research

I have recently been assigned to advise a student on a senior thesis in math. She has taken linear algebra, introductory real analysis, basic cryptography, and abstract algebra. Her interest is in ...
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 ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Properties of PRNG / Hashes

There are a lot of quite elaborate PRNG's out there (e.g. Mersenne Twister et.al.), and they have some important properties, especially when it comes to crypto applications. So, I was wondering how ...
10
votes
4answers
361 views

Tactics available to help prove security of a new system?

I believe that the accepted tactic to "prove" a system as secure is to allow the crypto-community to review it and if no vulnerabilities are found over a long period of time (5 or 6 years), then a new ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

MIT says: mathematical theory behind encryption is wrong. What are the consequences?

A friend shared with me the following link: Encryption is less secure than we thought I'm not a security expert and could understand great part the article, except the section about noise, but what I ...
10
votes
3answers
24k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
835 views

Why RSA can't handle numbers above 76?

I'm going to encrypt the characters Zhu, and decrypt them using RSA. I'm using the public key $\{e, n\}$ and private key $\{d, n\}$. The values of $e$, $d$ and $p$ ...
10
votes
4answers
12k views

What is the difference between known-plaintext attack and chosen-plaintext attack?

I am very confused between the concept of known-plaintext attack and chosen-plaintext attack. It seems to me that these two are the same thing, but it definitely is not. Can anyone explain to me how ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

How many RSA keys before a collision?

I was wondering how many possible private/public keys exist? If a million people – for whatever reason – would try to generate 5 keys each in the same minute (on the same date and time) is there a ...
10
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
11k views

HMAC-SHA1 vs HMAC-SHA256

I have three questions: Would you use HMAC-SHA1 or HMAC-SHA256 for message authentication? How much HMAC-SHA256 is slower than HMAC-SHA1? Are the security improvements of SHA256 (over SHA1) enough ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

Why hash the message before signing it with RSA?

The diagram below illustrates the process of digitally signing a message with RSA: As diagram shows, the message is first hashed, and the signature is then computed on the hash, rather than on the ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Why initialize SHA1 with specific buffer?

SHA-1 is initialize with a specific buffer: h0 = 0x67452301 h1 = 0xEFCDAB89 h2 = 0x98BADCFE h3 = 0x10325476 h4 = 0xC3D2E1F0? Why?
10
votes
2answers
824 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
10
votes
9answers
499 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

PBKDF2 for key diversification

I am looking for a secure key diversification function to create individual AES keys for a local smart card deployment. The keys need to be derived from a secret master key and the smart card serial ...
10
votes
3answers
656 views

How to construct a good PRF from a block cipher?

We want to explicitly construct a good (as tentatively defined below) Pseudo-Random Function $F$ with $b$-bit input and output, from (preferably just) one Pseudo-Random Permutation $E$ of $b$-bit, as ...
10
votes
1answer
4k views

Why is it insecure to use a randomized IV for CBC-MAC instead of an all-zero IV?

A fixed length CBC-MAC uses an all-zero block as the initialization vector. Suppose that we used a randomized IV instead, and sent the IV along with the tag. So if the message $m$ will be $m = b_1 || ...
10
votes
3answers
511 views

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 ...
10
votes
3answers
811 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 ...
10
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
377 views

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 ...
10
votes
3answers
600 views

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. ...
10
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
637 views

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?
10
votes
1answer
3k views

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 ...
10
votes
2answers
374 views

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 ...
10
votes
2answers
818 views

Is the encryption of a hash a good MAC?

At university we were told that it is a bad idea to implement a MAC by simply concatenating a key with the data to sign and to run it through a hash function (e.g. $s = ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
10
votes
3answers
334 views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
743 views

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 (...
10
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
12k views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Diffie-Hellman: choosing wrong generator “g” parameter and its implications of practical attacks

In traditional DH one chooses two shared parameters: a large prime "p" and base "g", which is primitive root mod "p". Suppose generation algorithm is broken and "g" generates only a subgroup (group ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

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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