10
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is the P-521 elliptic curve not in Suite B if AES-256 is?

In the NSA's document, "The Case for Elliptic Curve Cryptography" (archived), we have ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Related-key attacks on AES

According to Wikipedia: Related-key attacks can break AES-192 and AES-256 with complexities $2^{176}$ and $2^{99.5}$, respectively. What are the requirements for these attacks (i.e how many ...
10
votes
2answers
348 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.
10
votes
2answers
535 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
914 views

What is wrong with AES-CTR-HMAC-SHA256 - or why is it not in TLS?

It seems the only specified CTR mode ciphers in TLS are all GCM based. GCM ciphers run AES-CTR and do authenticated encryption with a MAC based on Galois-field ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Why was the winner of the AES competition not a Feistel cipher?

The winner of the AES competition has a structure that does not qualify as a Feistel cipher, as explained in answers to this recent question. However, most many of the AES candidates, and all 3 out ...
10
votes
2answers
444 views

Why does HOTP use such a complex truncate function?

In the HOTP protocol after calculating a 20 byte hash it is truncated to 4 bytes. For this first an offset is calculated (low-order 4 bits of the last byte) which determines the four bytes to be ...
10
votes
1answer
973 views

Using SHA-256 with different initial hash value

FIPS 180-3 defines the initial hash value for SHA-256 as the first 32 bits of the fractional parts of the square roots of the first 8 primes 2..19. What would be the risks of using a different value ...
10
votes
2answers
10k views

Difference between “Signature Algorithm” and “Signature Hash Algorithm” in X.509

What's the difference between the "Signature Algorithm" and the "Signature Hash Algorithm" found in an X.509 certificate? Why does it need a "Signature Hash Algorithm"? Edit: I'm creating the ...
10
votes
1answer
480 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
983 views

Encryption scheme for social-network-like data sharing data via untrusted server?

I am thinking quite a lot lately abut the problem of secure, privacy-preserving social networking. Distributing the network among trusted, preferably self-hosted servers (like Diaspora, GNU Social ...
10
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) ...
10
votes
2answers
313 views

Terminology: differences between the terms “pre-master secret”, “master secret”, “private key”, and “shared secret”?

Both crypto.SE and security.SE have excellent Q&As about how TLS generates session keys (I have linked some at the bottom). In reading these threads I'm having troubles with terminology since the ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Windows 8/Server 2012: Passes FIPS-140-2 despite failing AES-GCM for IV != 96 bits long?

Background Microsoft certifies Windows 7/8 as well as Server 2008 R2 and 2012 to be FIPS-140-2 compliant. Actually they certify just a small crypto core, bcrypt.dll (the library, which is unrelated ...
10
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
2k 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( ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

How does order-preserving encryption work?

Order-preserving encryption (OPE) is, apparently, a method of encrypting data so that it's possible to make efficient inequality comparisons on the encrypted items without decrypting them. I've been ...
10
votes
2answers
336 views

Definition of “pepper” in hash functions

I am confused about the notion of "pepper" in the context of storing hashes of users' passwords. Definition 1: A pepper is a secret key Looking around the Internet, for example here or here, a ...
10
votes
1answer
219 views

Shadowed identity in cryptography

I was trying to implement zero knowledge protocol for authentication based on the paper "A Practical Zero-Knowledge Protocol Fitted to Security Microprocessor Minimizing Both Transmission and Memory". ...
10
votes
2answers
875 views

Which blind signature schemes exist, and how do they compare?

I'm looking into blind signature schemes for use as digital cash. I have come across blinded RSA, and Lucre(DH based). Are there other schemes available, and how do they compare? I suspect there ...
10
votes
1answer
725 views

How would one crack a weak but unknown encryption protocol?

I asked a question on security.stackexchange, but was told it would be a better fit here: http://security.stackexchange.com/questions/32779/how-would-one-crack-a-weak-but-unknown-encryption-protocol ...
10
votes
3answers
218 views

Collision or second preimage for the ChaCha core?

Daniel J. Bernstein's ChaCha core is an evolution of the Salsa20 core. Both are functions over the set of 512-bit bitstrings, partitioned as sixteen 32-bit words. Can we exhibit collisions, or ...
10
votes
1answer
5k views

How does a birthday attack on a hashing algorithm work?

A "normal", brute-force attack on a cryptographic hashing algorithm $H$ should have a complexity of about $2^{n}$ for a hash algorithm with an output length of $n$ bits. That means it takes about ...
10
votes
1answer
438 views

Making ECDSA public keys one bit shorter

In compressed form, ECDSA public keys are one bit larger than the curve size. There are some situations where this extra bit is extremely inelegant. So I had the following idea as a way to remove it. ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
462 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 $|M|=m\cdot b$ ...
10
votes
2answers
111 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, ...
10
votes
2answers
420 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
420 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Bleichenbacher 1998 “Million message attack” on RSA

I have been reading Bleichenbacher's 1998 paper on a forged message attack on RSA. The paper assumes access to an Oracle that takes a ciphertext $c$ and will check the decrypted text for valid PKCS #1 ...
10
votes
0answers
516 views

Who first published the interest of more than two prime factors in RSA?

Multi-prime RSA is now a well known technique: it uses $k>2$ distinct secret prime factors in the public RSA modulus, with the advantage that, using the CRT, we can gain a speed boost in ...
9
votes
2answers
909 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 ...
9
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 ...
9
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: ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there a way to make RC4 (ARCFOUR) secure, or is it completely broken?

I need a method to authenticate a process with another in order to establish interprocess communication between them, to prevent malicious processes from trying to hook onto the system. Currently I ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

Using the same secret key for encryption and authentication in a Encrypt-then-MAC scheme

Is it a weakness to use a single shared secret for protecting messages using a Encrypt-then-MAC scheme? Assuming a system is using AES-256-CBC and a SHA1-HMAC and the same secret key for both ...
9
votes
1answer
7k views

Why is triple-DES using three different keys vulnerable to a meet-in-the-middle-attack?

Among other sources, this wikipedia entry states that triple DES using three seperate keys (k1, k2, k3) is vulnerable to meet-in-the-middle-attacks, while triple DES using only two keys (k1, k2, k1) ...
9
votes
2answers
698 views

Encrypt-then-MAC: Do I need to authenticate the IV?

In the setting of Encrypt-then-MAC, do I need to include the IV in what I'm HMACing, or is authenticating just the AES-encrypted data sufficient?
9
votes
4answers
1k 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
3answers
611 views

Is key size the only barrier to the adoption of the McEliece cryptosystem, or is it considered broken/potentially vulnerable?

A recent paper showed that the McEliece cryptosystem is not, unlike RSA and other cryptosystems, weakened as drastically by quantum computing because strong Fourier sampling cannot solve the hidden ...
9
votes
4answers
3k 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
4answers
2k views

Why is the IV passed in the clear when it can be easily encrypted?

The initialization vector (IV) is exclusive or'd against the plain text before encryption for the first block sent in order to prevent an attacker from learning that duplicate message blocks are being ...
9
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
509 views

Should I delete cryptographic data from memory?

When dealing with cryptographic data, is there a chance that attacker recovers portion of data I used in my program? Should I try to delete every bit of keys and encrypted data that I used, overwrite ...
9
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
11k 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
395 views

Choose a random number that is different from a bunch of other secret numbers

I'm looking for an algorithm where n participants each have a different secret number between $[0..x]$ (and where $x$ is known) and where the participants then select randomly another, non-secret, ...
9
votes
2answers
10k 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
3answers
660 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 ...

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