11
votes
1answer
3k views

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 ...
11
votes
1answer
698 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
432 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

How to break an arbitrary XOR and Rotation based encryption?

I heard encryption based purely on XOR and Rotation is inherently weak. The paper Rotational Cryptanalysis of ARX says: It is also easy to prove that omitting addition or rotation is devastating, ...
11
votes
1answer
159 views

Structure for an introductory course on cryptography?

Many introductory courses on cryptography have their treatment of secret-key crypto start with OTP, then block ciphers, and for public-key cryptography revolve around RSA with no notion of padding ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Duration for attacking Two-Key Triple-DES Encryption using all RAM ever built?

I am considering attacks on Two-Key Triple-DES Encryption assuming $2^{32}$ known plaintext/ciphertext pairs (that's a mere 32MiB of ciphertext) by the method devised by Paul C. van Oorschot and ...
11
votes
2answers
702 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
68 views

How to tell if a hardware RNG is rigged?

On a related note of building my own RNG, as someone suggested to use several commericial solutions how can I check if it is rigged against me? (although I am still strongly biased to a homebrew ...
11
votes
1answer
142 views

When did Kerckhoffs's principle become fully accepted in design and practice of modern ciphers?

Kerckhoffs's principle is named after a publication over 130 years old. Yet it is still something that is commonly misunderstood and challenged by newcomers to cryptography. This question from Open ...
11
votes
1answer
333 views

How to calculate elliptic curve parameters?

I'm having a rough time understanding the math behind elliptic curves. I want to implement ECDH where user can define a, b, and p parameters of elliptic curve. How can I calculate generator base ...
11
votes
2answers
770 views

Why is the salt used only once in PBKDF2, while the password is used often?

The purpose of PBKDF2 is to create a derived key (DK) from a master password (PW) and a salt, often using a function like HMAC-SHA256. I have read that the salt should be as random as possible. But ...
11
votes
2answers
172 views

Attacking RSA signature verification that ignores padding

I am looking at a RSA signature verification that is quite obviously flawed and am wondering if there's a way to exploit that flaw in practice. Signature is generated using RSA with PKCS 1.5 padding, ...
11
votes
3answers
260 views

Why is Poly1305 popular given its 'sudden death' properties?

ECDSA has the undesirable property that if a key pair reuses a nonce in a signing operation, the cryptosystem experiences catastrophic failure in the form of private key leakage. I've heard this ...
11
votes
1answer
400 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 ...
10
votes
8answers
2k views

Are there any advantages in using proprietary encryption?

Proprietary software generally relies on the fact that in keeping the encryption algorithm private, it gets an extra layer of security implying "Security through Obscurity." Obviously this phrase has ...
10
votes
4answers
746 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
5answers
6k views

Are there hash algorithms with variable length output?

I understand that for example MD5 produces a 128 bit hash value from a given text of variable size. My question is if there is a hash-like algorithm that will produce a hash value where one can ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it feasible to build a stream cipher from a cryptographic hash function?

A few years ago I devised a symmetric-key system that worked like so: ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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
2k views

Is the one-time-pad a secure system according to modern definitions?

Occasionally I hear people say that one-time pads are "useless" or even "broken". "modern cryptography knows more security definitions, under some of which the one-time pad is completely ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Why are RSA key sizes almost always a power of two?

I know that other bit sizes are possible, e.g. this HTTPS server seems to have a 9000 bit key https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=qqq.gg, but it's very rare that one sees a key not of size ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

RSA & DH at risk due to math advances, will this eventually affect elliptic curves too?

I was looking into the predictions by some researchers that RSA and Diffie-Hellman may not be secure in the next few years due to advances in math and being able to calculate the discrete logarithm ...
10
votes
3answers
6k 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
3answers
679 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
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
375 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
1answer
4k views

Can you explain Bleichenbacher's CCA attack on PKCS#1 v1.5?

I've studied that the Bleichenbacher's CCA attack on PKCS#1 v1.5. is a base to many versions of attacks in the area. I'm trying to understand that attack, but every explanation I saw starts with the ...
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
2answers
9k views

What is the difference between MAC and HMAC?

In reference to this question, what are the "stronger security properties" that HMAC provides over MAC. I got that MAC requires an IV whereas HMAC doesn't. I also understood that MAC may reveal ...
10
votes
4answers
15k 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
2answers
1k 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
2answers
3k 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
5k 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
997 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
3answers
2k 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
4answers
14k views

Why is padding used for RSA encryption given that it is not a block cipher?

In AES we use some padded bytes at end of message to fit 128/256 byte blocks. But as RSA is not a block cipher why is padding used? Can the message size be any byte length (is the encrypting agent ...
10
votes
9answers
527 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
3answers
781 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
6k 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
3answers
830 views

How useful is NIST's Randomness Beacon for cryptographic use?

NIST have just launched a new service called the NSANIST Randomness Beacon. It has been met with some initial skepticism. Perhaps the cryptography community would have used it before June 2013 when ...
10
votes
2answers
7k views

How does a padding oracle attack work?

I am unsure of how a padding oracle attack works. What I am not getting is how changing one bit at one time allows one to exploit(get keys) ASP.NET machines. Can anyone explain this?
10
votes
3answers
524 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
2answers
796 views

Why Elliptic Curves?

What is the benefit of using elliptic curves over the standard finite field, when the cyclic subgroup we consider of the EC's solution group is just isomorphic to some integer residue class of prime ...
10
votes
2answers
5k views

Practical disadvantages of GCM mode encryption

It seems that GCM mode encryption has a clear advantage over CBC + HMAC in the sense that it only requires a single key. But it seems that there are some experts here that do not trust it enough to ...
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
741 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
2k views

What are the benefits of lattice based cryptography?

Previously we visited the benefits of elliptic curves for cryptography. Lattice based cryptography is starting to become quite popular in academia. The primary benefit of lattice based crypto is the ...
10
votes
2answers
4k 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
386 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 ...

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