# All Questions

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 ...
825 views

### When using Curve25519, why does the private key always have a fixed bit at 2^254?

When using Curve25519, the private key always seems to have a fixed bit set at position 2^254. Why is that? Is there any good reason to use a fixed positioned most-significant-bit in the private key? ...
2k views

### Any practical uses of machine learning for cryptography?

I am about to go study for my masters in machine learning, data mining and high performance computing, but have recently become very interested in cryptography after taking Dan Boneh's Cryptography ...
599 views

### Is it safe to use file's hash as IV?

I'm encrypting some files using AES in CBC mode. I'm also using file's digest (SHA-1) to check that data is decrypted correctly (so I need to store it with file). Is it safe to use this digest as ...
730 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 ...
5k 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 ...
453 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 ...
3k views

### AES plaintext is smaller than 128 bits - how to expand?

We are currently developing a little AES implementation in a crypto-course at university. As far as I know, AES uses a 128 bit block length, so all data that will be encrypted gets split up into ...
256 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 ...
213 views

### How is HMAC(message,key) more secure than Hash(key1+message+key2)

I understand how for hash functions which are vulnerable to length extension attacks (such as SHA1 and SHA2) it is safer to use a HMAC construction. What I don't understand is, how or why is ...
7k 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 $p$ ...
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 ...
10k views

### How to solve MixColumns

I can't really understand MixColumns in Advanced Encryption Standard, can anyone help me how to do this? I found some topic in the internet about MixColumns, but I still have a lot of question to ...
2k views

### How does SafeNet MobilePASS generate passwords?

We use MobilePASS at work but the latest version of the android client seems to be buggy so I wanted to have a go at implementing the algorithm myself. You can download the client to play with here: ...
849 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 ...
1k views

### Complement property of DES

I'm supposed to show the complement property of DES ($c=DES(p,k) => \bar c = DES(\bar p, \bar k)$). My idea was to just start the algorithm with $\bar p$ and see what happens (ignoring the initial ...
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 ...
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?
894 views

### Does unbalancing a feistel cipher always improve security? Does it improve security at all?

So according to Wikipedia unbalanced feistel ciphers provide greater provable security. Specifically, they state: The Thorp shuffle is an extreme case of an unbalanced Feistel cipher in which one ...
518 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 ...
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 ...
668 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 ...
597 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 ...
620 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. ...
642 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 ...
145 views

### Can Grover's algorithm be parallelized?

Using a quantum computer, Grover's algorithm can search an unordered list of length $N$ in time $\sqrt{N}$. Applied to cryptography this means that it can recover $n$ bit keys and find preimages for ...
354 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 ...
3k 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 ...
3k views

### 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 ...
654 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? ...
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 ...
751 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 ...
3k views

### How to attack a classical cipher using known partial plaintext?

I have a ciphertext generated by a classical cipher. I do not know what was cipher used to generate it. I do however have the beginning of the plaintext. What are the cryptanalysis approaches for ...
1k views

### Change Salt when Changing Password?

Assume a password storage scheme using a computationally-expensive hash algorithm and a CSPRNG salt. User ID, salt, and hash value are stored in a table; if the table is compromised, all three ...
5k 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 ...
641 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 ...
423 views

### Is SHA-1 still practically secure under specific scenarios?

It is conjectured that SHA-1 has been broken from the "research" perspective but no in real world. That is that there is an algebraic attack that explores weaknesses on its algebraic construction. The ...
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?
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 ...
560 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?
884 views

### Description of signatures with message recovery (as in ISO/IEC 9796-2 and EMV Signatures)

I'd like to get an overview of how the signatures with message recovery work, especially in case EMV and other smart card systems. Is there a nice overview available without being required to read the ...
238 views

### 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 ...
536 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?
973 views

### What are the constraints for an IV using AES in CBC mode?

I'm designing a protocol for use into a VPN software. The VPN frames are encapsulated into AES-256 CBC encrypted frames. I understand that IVs must be uniquely used for each message encrypted with ...
6k 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 ...
840 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 ...
4k 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 ...
598 views

### Is ECB mode secure if plaintexts guaranteed to be unique?

I've got a scenario where I need to encrypt many small (16-byte) plaintexts. I want to use AES-128 in ECB mode. Notably, each plaintext is guaranteed to be unique, though each may differ by only a few ...