# All Questions

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### How can I make my cipher show the avalanche effect?

I am a beginner in cryptography. I designed an password based encryption-decryption algorithm, which uses a random salt and a password to encrypt a message. I'm using SHA-512 for hashing, matrix ...
430 views

### Hash function from narrower block cipher operated in CBC-encryption mode?

I am trying to build a public hash function (thus collision-resistant and preimage-resistant, and more generally behaving like a random oracle), with input a message $M$ of fixed size $|M|=m\cdot b$ ...
319 views

### Which MACs can be converted into a secure unkeyed hash function?

It is known that setting the secret key to a fixed, public value does not make MACs like CBC-MAC or GMAC into secure unkeyed cryptographic hash functions that could be used - for instance - for ...
783 views

### GPG/PGP Verification of Revocation

How does one verify a key revocation? After revoking a key and sending the revocation to MIT's keyserver, I noticed that the key is listed as such: ...
400 views

### How should one implement a delegated shared trust protocol?

Consider the following (probably naive) scenario. Alice, who is very limited in her knowledge of security in general (clueless about securing a private key for example), wishes to delegate certain ...
360 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 ...
180 views
+50

### Hardness of finding mutual discrete logarithms of small generators in $\mathbb{Z}_p$

Suppose you want to select a prime $p$ such that finding e.g. $log_2(3)$ in $\mathbb{Z}_p$ is expected to be either at least as hard as the general Discrete Logarithm Problem in $\mathbb{Z}_p$, or at ...
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 ...
490 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?
848 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.
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### 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 ...
941 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 ...
594 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 ...
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 ...
2k views

### Where can I begin to study the math behind modern cryptography?

Why do I start the word buffers in MD5 with those values specifically? What in the world motivated the decision to use the numbers 1, 1, 2, 3 for the mix columns stagein AES? And what kind of ...
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 ...
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 ...
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.
435 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 ...
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 ...
670 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 ...
533 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, ...
241 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 ...
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?
464 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
930 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 ...
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. ...
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 ...
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 ...
522 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, ...
682 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 ...
204 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?
2k views

### Is it possible to validate a Public Key in RSA?

If I have a 1024-bit number, and someone is telling me that it is in fact a valid RSA public key, is there any way I can quickly validate that it is indeed so (without cracking RSA)? (I suppose I am ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
480 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 ...
383 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 ...
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### 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.
340 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 ...
448 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 ...
469 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 ...
903 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 ...
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) ...