59
votes
11answers
5k views

Is modern encryption needlessly complicated?

RSA, DES, AES, etc. all use (relatively) complicated mathematics to encrypt some message with some key. For each of these methods, there have been several documented vulnerabilities found over the ...
19
votes
3answers
17k views

How can I use SSL/TLS with Perfect Forward Secrecy?

I'm new to the field of cryptography, but I want to make the web a better web by setting up the sites that I host with Perfect Forward Secrecy. I have a list of questions regarding the setup of ...
27
votes
1answer
24k views

Explaining weakness of Dual EC DRBG to wider audience?

I have an audience of senior (non-technical) executives and senior technical people who are taking the backdoor in Dual_EC_DRBG and considering it as a weakness of Elliptic curves in general. I can ...
12
votes
3answers
892 views

What is the ideal cipher model?

What is the ideal cipher model? What assumptions does it make about a block cipher? How does it relate to assuming that my block cipher is a pseudo-random permutation (PRP)? When is the ideal ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Is truncating a SHA512 hash to the first 160 bits as secure as using SHA1?

I am from a web development background (I don't know an awful lot about cryptography or how the algorithms themselves work), so I am asking this question in simple terms. Consider a hash of the word ...
32
votes
3answers
4k views

What are the benefits of the two permutation tables in DES?

Why do we use a permutation table in the first step of DES algorithm and one at the end of algorithm?
27
votes
5answers
3k views

How can we reason about the cryptographic capabilities of code-breaking agencies like the NSA or GCHQ?

I have read in Applied Cryptography that the NSA is the largest hardware buyer and the largest mathematician employer in the world. How can we reason about the symmetric ciphers cryptanalysis ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

What is entropy?

We discuss a lot of topics and use measures of entropy to determine how difficult it is for an attacker to be successful. What does entropy mean in the context of cryptography? How is entropy ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

How are the AES S-Boxes calculated?

I'm trying to understand how the AES S-Boxes are calculated. I understand how the multiplicative inverse is calculated over GF(2^8), but I'm confused by the description of the affine transformation. I ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

How were the DES S-box values determined?

It seems like the S-boxes in DES have essentially random values. How were these chosen?
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Is every output of a hash function possible?

Is every output of a hash function (e.g. SHA1, MD5, etc) guaranteed to be possible, or, conversely, are there any output values that cannot possibly be created from any input? If so, what guarantees ...
11
votes
1answer
5k views

How to choose a padding mode with AES

Depending on the framework you are using, there are various padding modes that can be used with AES encryption. For example, with .NET we can choose PKCS7, ISO10126, ANSIX923, Zeros or None. I ...
20
votes
3answers
1k views

Cryptographic Challenge: How to Say Something Confidentially to Snowden?

The Snowden situation raises an intereting cryptograpic problem. At present, how can something be sent confidentially to Snowden? Claim: I have no particular political orientation. The above ...
16
votes
2answers
4k views

Why use an Initialization Vector (IV)?

Why use an Initialization Vector (IV)? How are IV's used? What are the advantages/disadvantages of using an IV? Why use an IV instead of a longer key in which some section of the key is pubic? What ...
10
votes
1answer
356 views

Security of pairing-based cryptography over binary fields regarding new attacks

In the last week, the discrete logarithm problem was broken for the binary fields $\mathbb{F}_{2^{(14 \times 127)}}$ and $\mathbb{F}_{2^{(27 \times 73)}}$. Pairing-based cryptography using binary ...
10
votes
3answers
411 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 ...
9
votes
0answers
280 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
3answers
449 views

Can we ensure the security of a crypto-algorithm and -implementaton against acoustic cryptanalysis?

Like people always say: “Attacks only get worse…” — which is why I'm asking early. I have been reading the paper “RSA Key Extraction via Low-Bandwidth Acoustic Cryptanalysis” published December 18, ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

repeating-key xor and hamming distance

I read that to break repeating-key xor you can do the following: try a keysize $n$ and compute the hamming distance between the first $n$ bits of the encrypted string and the bits $n+1$ to $2n$ of the ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

ElGamal: Multiplicative cyclic group and key generation

Here on the ElGamal wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ElGamal_encryption Alice generates an efficient description of a multiplicative cyclic group G, of order q, with generator g. How ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

What is pre-image resistance, and how can the lack thereof be exploited?

What is "preimage resistance", and how can the lack thereof be exploited? How is this different from collision resistance, and are there any known preimage attacks that would be considered feasible?
8
votes
3answers
962 views

Is it okay to use a hash of a timestamp as the IV for AES?

The message format includes a datetime field in the clear. Is it okay to also use this field (or some hash thereof) as the initialization vector? In this case, CBC is the mode being used.
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the purpose of four different secrets shared by client and server in SSL/TLS?

I was looking through the working of SSL V3, and found that a connection state is defined by a set of things, including client write mac secret, server write mac secret, server write key, client ...
6
votes
2answers
639 views

Hash decrypts key, key decrypts cipher… why?

I noticed recently that a couple of pieces of encryption software (TrueCrypt being one of them) don't directly use a hash of the password as the key for the block cipher. Instead, they generate a ...
21
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there a simple hash function that one can compute without a computer?

I am looking for a hash function that is computable by hand (in reasonable time). The function should be at least a little bit secure: There should be no trivial way to find a collision (by hand). For ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Hashing or encrypting twice to increase security?

Over on the bitcoin forums I asked why the bitcoin client computes SHA-256(SHA-256(x)) as its cryptographic hash for a variety of purposes. The leading theory--since the bitcoin author has ...
15
votes
1answer
456 views

What exactly is the base for the KECCAK (SHA3) claim that a security strength of 256 bits is “post-quantum sufficient”?

On page 14 of "Keccak and the SHA-3 Standardization" (February 6, 2013) it says: Instantiation of a sponge function the permutation KECCAK-f 7 permutations: b → ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

What security do Cryptographic Sponges offer against generic quantum attacks?

In the face of non-quantum attacker, Keccak[r=1088,c=512] with 512 bits of output provides: Collision resistance up to $2^{256}$ operations Preimage resistance up to $2^{256}$ operations Second ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does SHA-1 have 80 rounds?

Why does SHA-1 algorithm have exactly 80 rounds? Is it to reduce collisions? If yes, then why do SHA-2 and SHA-3 have a lower number of rounds?
12
votes
1answer
1k views

How does HOTP keep in sync?

My understanding of HOTP is that each password is unique and based on a counter. $$PASSWORD = HOTP_1(K,C)$$ Where $C$ is an incremental counter. What I wish to know, is how you keep the client ...
10
votes
2answers
799 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

What stops the Multiply-With-Carry Random Number Generator from being a Cryptographically Secure Pseudo-Random Number Generator?

Despite the fact that Marsaglia's MWC PRNG (multiply-with-carry random number generator) is considered to be "the mother of all RNGs", it does not seem to be considered to be a CSPRNG ...
9
votes
2answers
724 views

Why are bitwise rotations used in cryptography?

Any understanding I have of cryptography stops right around the cipher level. As such, I'm just curious as to why bit shifts and moreover circular bit shift are so prevalent in cryptography.
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is CAMELLIA suddenly so widely used?

When nowadays I point my browser to https sites, the cipher that is on most occasions used is Camellia. My browsers (Chrome and Firefox) seem to prefer it, even when AES is available. Is that not ...
8
votes
3answers
568 views

Are there cryptographic hash functions that can be computed using only paper and pen without leaking any information about the plaintext?

I am looking for a cryptographic hash function that can be computed by a human using only paper and pen without ever leaking any information about the plaintext on the paper. The cryptographic hash ...
7
votes
2answers
446 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? ...
7
votes
1answer
401 views

Is it possible to actually verify a “sponge function” security claim?

When using a “sponge function” to create a cryptographic hash, we can look at the flat sponge claim, which flattens the claimed success probabilities of all attacks using a single parameter: the ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Cryptographic security of PHP mt_rand() function using Mersenne Twister algo

At stackoverflow this question has been asked. It uses additional random entropy and a hash method (among others) to try and create a cryptographically secure pseudo-random number generator for PHP. ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How to calculate an IV when I have a shared private key?

I'm working with a server/client system that has securely negotiated a private key. I need to encrypt/decrypt messages passing in both directions which are typically between 100 bytes to 100 KB. I'm ...
6
votes
1answer
297 views

understanding forking lemma

Every time when I read a paper that has digital signature, when it comes to prove the security of a digital signature scheme, many chances that the author will use the forking lemma. The forking ...
6
votes
3answers
506 views

How to authenticate over open channel?

I am making an arduino project to open my garage door. I want to make it so users with the passphrase can open the door. Due to computational restrictions it is unlikely encryption is possible. ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Security of simple xor and s-box cipher?

What weaknesses (or strengths) do block ciphers based on only key xor and s-box have when operating in CBC mode? A cipher's internal primitive might be a simple as this: $C = S[M \oplus k]$, where ...
5
votes
2answers
240 views

RSA Signature Weak Padding Attack

Assume that we have a message $m$ of size $n$, and it is padded with two 01 bytes in front. Then the signature $s$ is computed using a private key $ks$. Can we ...
5
votes
3answers
549 views

Finding roots in $\mathbb{Z}_p$

Is there an efficient way (algorihtm) to compute the solutions of the congruence $x^n\equiv a \pmod p$? $n\in \mathbb{N}$ $a\in\mathbb{Z}_p$ $p$ is a large prime number Note that: By efficient I ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the difference between CBC and GCM mode?

I am trying to learn more about GCM mode and how it differs between CBC. I already know that GCM provides a MAC which is used for message authentication. From what I have read, and seen code ...
5
votes
3answers
636 views

CBC - a canonical mode, even though there are streaming modes

Why is CBC considered the canonical mode when there are streaming modes available such as CFB and OFB? One thing that I can think of is that in CBC you can easliy do range-based decryption. All you ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What is Identity-Based Encryption (IBE) and why is it “better”?

Most CS/Math undergrads run into the well-known RSA cryptosystem at some point. But about 10 years ago Boneh and Franklin introduced a practical Identity-Based Encryption system (IBE) that has ...
3
votes
3answers
852 views

RS Erasure Coding and Shamir's Secret Sharing

So I was trying to understand the basic difference between erasure coding and secret sharing, and I found this paper (that you can find here or here). For what I understand, it states that Shamir's ...
1
vote
1answer
696 views

Simulation-based security?

I've been reading Introduction to Modern Cryptography by Katz and Lindell as an introduction to cryptography. The book seems to use the term 'simulator' when it talks about a game like, for instance, ...
17
votes
3answers
352 views

What differentiates a password hash from a cryptographic hash besides speed?

I understand that password hashes like bcrypt have the principal property of taking a long time to run, but I'm wondering what if anything about password hashes make them superior to merely running a ...

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