8
votes
1answer
3k views

Is Truecrypt's multiple/cascading encryption safe?

Is Truecrypt use of cascading encryption safe? Is it useful? Truecrypt is arguably one of the most popular and widely used encryption applications in use today, yet it seems to use a very ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Webcam random number generator

I have a question about random number generators. I have read from a real random number generator, based on a webcam ("randcam"). My problem is, that I do not really understand how the generation of ...
8
votes
2answers
624 views

What is the purpose of using different hash functions for the leaves and internals of a hash tree?

I just learned that the THEX hash tree specification which is widely used in P2P requires that two different hash functions be used: one for the leaf nodes (hashes of input data) and one for the ...
7
votes
1answer
351 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
549 views

Which risks are associated with deriving multiple keys from the same DH secret Z?

NIST recommends Krawczyk's HMAC-based key derivation function (HKDF) in SP-800-56C (PDF). HKDF shall e.g. be used to create keys from shared secrets after Diffie Hellman key establishment. NIST ...
6
votes
4answers
7k views

PBKDF2 and salt

I want to ask some questions about the PBKDF2 function and generally about the password-based derivation functions. Actually we use the derivation function together with the salt to provide ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the relation between Discrete Log, Computational Diffie-Hellman and Decisional Diffie-Hellman?

How are the three problems Discrete Logarithm, Computational Diffie-Hellman and Decisional Diffie-Hellman related? From my understanding, since the Discrete Log (DL) Problem is considered hard, then ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

What makes RSA secure by using prime numbers?

I am just learning about the RSA algorithm. Looking at the first two steps: Choose two distinct prime numbers $p$ and $q$. Compute $n = pq$. I have some probably stupid questions: Why do $p$ ...
3
votes
4answers
735 views

Signature and Timestamp for Long Term Document Archival Question

I have a PDF document intended for long-term (many years, maybe decades) archival which I would like to digitally sign with my personal certificate to ensure its integrity. As far as I understand, I ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

Removing Padded Value in Decrypted Message

How to remove padded value in Decrypted Message? I am using AES Algorithm. Let's take this as the decrypted message: "abcdefghijklmn " There is a 2 space in ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

With sufficient randomness, is XOR an acceptable mechanism for encrypting?

I have heard criticism of various cryptosystems saying that "at their heart, they were just XOR." Is this just ignorance, or is there something inherently wrong with XOR based ciphers?
17
votes
1answer
846 views

How secure would HMAC-SHA3 be?

It would be possible to implement the HMAC construction with (draft) SHA-3, leading to HMAC-SHA3-224, HMAC-SHA3-256, HMAC-SHA3-384, HMAC-SHA3-512 (the last 3 digits are the output size $\ell$, where ...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

How do we know a cryptographic primitive won't fail suddenly?

It took more than a decade from when MD5 looked like it was going to break to the point when it was actually broken. That's more than a decade of warning. How can we be sure that when our ...
12
votes
1answer
489 views

Do recent announcements about solving the DLP in $GF(2^{6120})$ apply to schemes proposed for cryptographic use?

A recent paper by Göloğlu, Granger, McGuire, and Zumbrägel: Solving a 6120-bit DLP on a Desktop Computer seems to "demonstrate a practical DLP break in the finite field of $2^{6120}$ elements, using ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Why would anyone use an elliptic curve with a cofactor > 1?

In cryptography, an elliptic curve is a group based on a finite field $GF(p^k)$; this group has $n$ elements on it, and we work on a prime-sized subgroup of size $q$. We denote the value $h = n/q$ as ...
11
votes
2answers
625 views

Proving knowledge of a preimage of a hash without disclosing it?

We consider a public hash function $H$, assumed collision-resistant and preimage-resistant (for both first and second preimage), similar in construction to SHA-1 or SHA-256. Alice discloses a value ...
9
votes
3answers
601 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. ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the MD5 collision with the smallest input values?

I am interested in MD5 collisions for small input messages. The collision examples given at http://www.mscs.dal.ca/~selinger/md5collision/ show two different strings, where only a tiny amount of data ...
8
votes
1answer
335 views

Alice trusts Bob only when Bob trusts Alice

some story first: Alice and Bob both have public/private key pairs. Now Bob wants Alice to sign his public key id. Alice agrees but only when Bob signs the public key id of her. Is this something ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Should I salt an AES password at each encryption?

I saw a sample code where the same password is salted with a different value (using PBKDF2) for each encryption. That means that the salt must be stored for each encrypted message. I don't understand ...
8
votes
1answer
746 views

How realistic is a dictionary attack on a secure remote password protocol (SRP) verifier?

I'm deploying a secure remote password protocol implementation and I'm wondering what the consequences are when the client generated verifier gets leaked to an attacker. I've read Thomas Wu's paper ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Use of salt to hash a password

In a few implementations of hashed passwords, I have seen that the length of the random salt is chosen to be, say, 10 or "some constant". Is there any specific reason why the salt is chosen to have a ...
8
votes
4answers
650 views

Can I determine if a user has the wrong symmetric encryption key?

We're using the Objectivity/DB object database with a custom encryption plugin that encrypts serialized objects on disk. Encryption uses AES with a shared secret key held by all users. I would like to ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

With OpenSSL and ECDHE, how to show the actual curve being used?

Using openssl s_client -host myserver.net -port 443 I can see the cipher negotiated is indeed using ECDHE for session key ...
7
votes
1answer
590 views

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? ...
6
votes
3answers
544 views

Rainbow table for DES with all-zero plaintext?

Consider the function $F$ from $\{0,1\}^{56}$ to $\{0,1\}^{64}$, mapping the operative bits of a DES key to the ciphertext for all-zero plaintext. How could we organize a rainbow table to invert that ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Can you explain “weak keys” for DES?

A weak key for DES is a key $K$ such that $DES_{k_1}(DES_{k_2}(x))=x$ for all $x$. I don't get why are the 4 keys $k_1||k_2$: $1^{112}$, $0^{112}$, $0^{56}||1^{56}$, $1^{56}||0^{56}$ considered as ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

Rijndael vs. Serpent vs. Twofish: General comparison

Can anyone explain (or give a link to document about) why Rijndaal won the AES, especially comparing it to other finalists (Serpent and Twofish)? What criteria were used to make decision? Or is there ...
6
votes
4answers
505 views

Does MD5 generate 128 independent bits?

I heard that there are 128 stochastically independent bits in an MD5 output. Is that true? If so, are there any citations or proofs for that?
5
votes
2answers
222 views

An electronic voting system

This semester I am taking the course Cryptography. I will have a presentation about the topic "Voting Scheme". I am preparing myself by reading from the book “Cryptography : an Introduction” by ...
5
votes
1answer
305 views

Cryptographic system with double keys with reversible order

While reading Shamir, Rivest and Adleman's paper on "Mental Poker", I've met a mention of system such that $E_a(E_b(x)) = E_b(E_a(x))$, without however disclosing details on it, with $E_a(x)$ being ...
5
votes
1answer
445 views

Given a private RSA key, how do we get the public key?

Is it possible to pre-choose a private RSA key, then obtain a public key from it?
5
votes
4answers
5k views

How does one calculate the scalar multiplication on elliptic curves?

I found this example online: In the elliptic curve group defined by $$y^2 = x^3 + 9x + 17 \quad \text{over } \mathbb{F}_{23},$$ what is the discrete logarithm $k$ of $Q = (4,5)$ to the base ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

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?
5
votes
4answers
778 views

Encryption algorithm that produces dummy output on incorrect passwords

Background: I've been thinking about using encryption in the context of backing up files to untrusted locations (to the point of making the file publicly and widely distributed for practically ...
4
votes
2answers
328 views

Feedback on rolling my own entropy gatherer

First of all, I don't recommend doing this. This was something I created when I didn't know better and didn't have a solution available to me. Long ago I created my own entropy gather for a ...
3
votes
1answer
196 views

Is there a format preserving cryptographically secure hash?

I want a way to 'scramble' strings (like words, names) in a predictable way but I don't ever want to (myself or anyone else) be able to 'unscramble' the strings. I found that perhaps what I am ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
908 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

How many keys does the Playfair Cipher have?

I was just studying the Playfair cipher and from what I've understood, it is just a slightly better version of a Caesar cipher, in that it isn't actually mono-alphabetic but rather the 'digrams' are ...
3
votes
1answer
685 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?
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Difficulty of breaking RSA for a given key size

Is it true that breaking a 1024-bit RSA key is as difficult as breaking a 128 bit symmetric key (e.g. AES)? I know that breaking a RSA key is equivalent to factoring the modulus $N$. To factor it, you ...
3
votes
0answers
821 views

Elliptic curve cryptography related key attacks

This question is an extension of Families of public/private keys in elliptic curve cryptography As described above, bitcoin "type 2" deterministic wallets use a root private/public key pair, where ...
2
votes
2answers
138 views

Is it possible to find out whether a number is greater than another number without knowing the numbers?

Is it possible to construct a zero knowledge proof that one encrypted number is larger (or not) than another encrypted number without releasing the values of either numbers?
2
votes
2answers
242 views

Why is MAC using nonce+message+hash(nonce+message+identifier) not the standard?

Given that we know that nonce + message + hash(nonce + message + mac-key) all inside the encryption makes it possible to detect if any bits of the message have been ...
2
votes
1answer
531 views

How can I calculate the Rijndael SBox?

I would like to implement the Rijndael subBytes() operation using calculation instead of tables, because I like to play with this on different wordsizes, as an ...
2
votes
3answers
169 views

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 $m$ ?
2
votes
1answer
581 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
7k views

Cipher Feedback Mode

I can't understand what CFB really is. It said in Wikipedia that CFB is same as CBC, but I find that CFB is more difficult than CBC. Can someone explain to me how CFB works. Such as how ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

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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