# All Questions

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### Is the CBC weakness in XML Encryption a new discovery? Are other applications vulnerable?

The RUB in Germany reports that XML encryption is broken. This is essentially the W3C standard for protecting XML documents from prying eyes. Does this mean that an attacker can only see a single ...
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### Is Encrypt+HMAC stronger than AEAD?

There are a few posts that I've come across that seem to infer that using regular encryption and a MAC might be better than using the newer AEAD (ie: AES/GCM) modes. ...
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### Could one construct a cipher that is secure for friendly parties to use but insecure for hostile parties?

Consider the situation of a nation state (Blue) at war with another nation state (Red). Blue wants to deploy a secure cipher that blue currently can not break, but they are considered that Red could ...
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### About Cryptography in a Character Language

Suppose I had a message in Chinese (or another non-phonetic language) and I wanted to encipher it. Some of the simplest encryptions in English are substitution ciphers, but such ciphers don't seem ...
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### Design properties of the Rijndael finite field

So we've already had a question on replacing the Rijndael S-Box. My question is - can we use a different finite field other than the one given by $x^8 + x^4 + x^3 + x + 1$ in $GF(2^8)$. In other ...
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### Is 80 bits of key size considered safe against brute force attacks?

I came across KATAN Family of Ciphers for small domain input blocks . They cipher arbitrary block lengths 32,48,64 but their key size 80 bits only. Is 80 bits of key size considered safe with ...
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### What is the use of REAL random number generators in cryptography?

I understand the use of pseudo-random number generators. I am not getting mixed up between these and "real" random number generators. However, I don't understand for what a real random number ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### What is a tweakable block cipher?

Pretty simple question - but I can't seem to find much information about it. What exactly is a tweakable block cipher? How do they differ from traditional block ciphers? What is the 'tweak'? Is it ...
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### Necessity for finite field arithmetic and the prime number p in Shamir's Secret Sharing Scheme

Shamir's original paper (PDF, 197kb) describing a threshold secret sharing scheme states: To make this claim more precise, we use modular arithmetic instead of real arithmetic. The set of ...
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### Is it possible to distinguish a securely-encrypted ciphertext from random noise?

Say I have a bunch of data encrypted with a secure block cipher (such as AES). An attacker has unlimited access to this encrypted data. The attacker doesn't know whether the data is encrypted or if ...
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### How can I improve a password generation scheme based on a shared secret and URL?

I currently use the following method to generate a different password on every website I have to login: password = SHA1 ( mainPassword . domainName . number ) ...
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### 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 ...
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### Why Victor must not know which tunnel Peggy chooses?

In the classic description of Zero Knowledge Proof of Knowledge, Victor must wait outside the entrance to the cave while Peggy goes to the fork and choose a side. It's only once Peggy has entered a ...
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### Why are the initial states of hashes functions (like SHA-1) often non-zero?

There is already a question asking "Why initialize SHA1 with specific buffer?" and my question follows on from this: Why are the initial states of hash functions often non-zero? For most, I have ...
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### Why have hashes when you have MACs?

It would seem to a naive eye that if you have a MAC, you have a hash function: use a key that all the parties know (such as all-bits-zero). A potential application would be a resource-constrained ...
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### Will varying plaintext compensate for a fixed initialisation vector?

This is a follow-up question to Relative merits of AES ECB and CBC modes for securing data at rest. I need to store encrypted Personal Account Numbers (PANs) in a database. The only encryption option ...
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### Why does SRP-6a use k = H(N, g) instead of the k = 3 in SRP-6?

I've been reading up on the Secure Remote Pasword protocol (SRP). There are a couple different versions of the protocol (the original published version being designated SRP-3, with two subsequent ...
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### Does AES have any fixed-points?

Is there any pair of 128-bit strings M and K such that AES$_K$(M) = M? If yes, how do I go about (efficiently) finding such a pair?
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### Understanding CRC

There are zillions of articles describing CRC. What can I read to (more deeply) understand what's really going on? Both from an algebraic perspective and a bit-manipulation perspective, I'd like to ...
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### How many bits of hash are realistically needed for key verification?

Say I'm connecting to a web server secured with TLS but with a self-signed certificate. Accordingly, I call the owners of the server and ask them what SHA1 fingerprint they have. They start reading ...
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### Why are elliptic curve variants of RSA “chiefly of academic interest”?

Yesterday I was thinking about elliptic curve variants of popular protocols/algorithms (ECDH, ECES[1], etc) and the thought occured that I had never seen an elliptic curve variant of RSA. My ...
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### Encryption with “constant” initialization vector considered harmful

I try to get the full reasoning behind the above statement. First, after reading articles here and at wikipedia i understand that using an IV only once is good practice. For stream ciphers not doing ...
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### A fair peer-based coin-flipping protocol?

I found this question on the game programming site and was intrigued. I came up with an answer off the top of my head but I'm no cryptanalyst so it is probably not water-tight. This is how my idea ...
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### In RSA, rationale for prime $p$ with $p-1$ having prime factor $u$ with $u-1$ having large prime factor?

In the 1978 RSA paper, it is recommended, among other things, to choose primes $p$ such that $(p-1)$ has a large prime factor $u$. This was motivated by Pollard's p-1 algorithm. Further, the authors ...
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### Why not use CTR with a randomized IV?

I'm currently reading the chapter of Cryptographic Engineering (Ferguson, Schneier, Kohno 2010) about block cipher modes of operation. They have recommended CBC with random IV instead of CTR due to ...
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### What is the key strength reduction encrypting only 160 bits of data using RSA1024 for signatures?

I am attempting to determine the strength of an incorrectly implemented 1024 bit RSA signature scheme. The weakness in the implementation is that the padding data lacks random numbers. As a result, ...
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### Is HMAC needed for a SHA-3 based MAC?

HMAC does nested hashing in order to prevent Length Extension Attacks. Given that you use the SHA-3 hash (which is resistant against length extension attacks), would you still need to go through that ...
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### Is it possible to weaken a bitcoin private key by “using” it elsewhere?

What are the increased possibilities (if any) of being able to crack a private key given the following: The associated bitcoin (ECDSA Secp256k1-based) public key is known. The private key has been ...
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### Secure degree reduction for Shamir's secret sharing

I understand the basic Shamir Secret Sharing protocol, and when two shares are multiplied, the degree of the polynomial increases. I've seen in a number of papers a reference to a degree reduction ...
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### Is multiplicative secret sharing secure?

I suggested mulitiplicative secret sharing in an answer to another question, but noted that I wasn't sure if it was even secure and was hoping someone would comment on the security. Since no one did, ...
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### Will rehashing an SHA256 hash continually, eventually produce every possible value?

So let's say you had infinite time and energy. You have a hashed string of some sort. Because you have infinite time and energy, you can produce a collision(or the original value) easily enough. But, ...
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Assume RSA with a public modulus $N$ of $n$ bits, a small odd public exponent $e$, plaintext $M$ a random non-negative integer less than $2^m$ for some integer parameter $m$, with $M\mapsto C=M^e\bmod ... 0answers 427 views ### How can I find two strings$m_1$and$m_2$, knowing that I know$m_1 \oplus m_2$? [duplicate] Possible Duplicate: How does one attack a two-time pad (i.e. one time pad with key reuse)? I recently started to follow the cryptography class of Dan Boneh on coursera.org and the first ... 1answer 2k views ### How large should a Diffie-Hellman p be? In a Diffie-Hellman exchange, the parties need to agree on a prime p and a base g in order to continue. Assuming some ... 3answers 317 views ### Designing a key expander out of ciphers Is it possible to compose or combine$n$ciphers ($cipher_0, cipher_1, ... cipher_n$) in such a way that they generate$n$ciphertexts from the same key,$k$, and that recovering the key,$k$, from ... 2answers 385 views ### Quantum key distribution simulation I'm looking for a simulation of the Quantum Key Distribution protocol. Does anyone here have one that they could recommend? 2answers 291 views ### Why does CTR mode XOR the plaintext into the output of the block cipher rather than XORing the plaintext into the input of the block cipher? As I understand it, CTR mode essentially turns a block cipher into a stream cipher like so: ... 3answers 454 views ### P = NP and current cryptographic systems I've recently heard some people claiming that if the fact that P = NP is proven, most (all?) the current cryptographic algorithm considered secure like RSA will be unusable in secure systems. My ... 1answer 295 views ### Why is feed-forward mechanism used in hash functions? The compression function of SHA-1 when used in Davies-Meyer mode adds its input to the chaining values at the final step. For the first message block, the IV is used as the input and in the next step, ... 4answers 630 views ### Which block cipher modes of operation allow a predictable IV? Recently I found out that in the modes CBC and PCBC the IV may be passed in cleartext but never must be predictable. However for this part of my app I rather have the IV be predictable and unique ... 1answer 187 views ### Why are there$ signs in my passwd file?

I am trying to get access to my eReader and I managed to get the passwd file. ...
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First, just to make sure I understand "salting" correctly: You randomly generate a string to append to the password before hashing it, so as to increase its length and make precomputed tables much ...
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### What is the importance of Modular arithmetic in cryptography?

Why do we use modular arithmetic so often in Cryptography?
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### Does the XML Encryption flaw affect SSL/TLS?

A "practical attack against XML's cipher block chaining (CBC) mode" has been demonstrated: XML Encryption Flaw Leaves Web Services Vulnerable. Does this weakness of CBC-mode which is used here also ...
I have a question regarding the random $k$ number of ECDSA encryption. As far as I know, it is possible to retrieve $k$ (and thus the private key) from two signed messages if both used the same $k$. ...