18
votes
5answers
5k views

What is the lowest level of mathematics required in order to understand how encryption algorithms work?

What mathematical fields of knowledge would be required in order to get a good understanding of encryption algorithms? Is it basic algebra, or is there a "higher education" mathematical field ...
8
votes
1answer
352 views

Is the inverse of a secure PRP, also a secure PRP?

If a block cipher is a secure PRP, is it's inverse a secure PRP as well? My intuition says yes but I'm not exactly sure. On a related note, if a block cipher is a secure sPRP, is it's inverse a ...
3
votes
1answer
238 views

How would I make a secret notation alphabet more secure?

Disclaimer: I was looking for a place to ask this question on SE and this site seems to be the most fitting. If this question doesn't belong here, feel free to redirect me. Just out of boredom and ...
2
votes
1answer
129 views

Is it possible to find a preimage for a reduced size hash?

Given a message $M$ and a 256 bit key $K$, perform HMAC($K$, $M$) with a 256 bit hash function resulting in: $a$ = ...
2
votes
1answer
236 views

Shamir's secret sharing with passwords

I'm trying to design an extension to Shamir's Secret Sharing that would allow the participant to specify a password instead of remembering/storing a large integer or binary data. So far, I have two ...
3
votes
1answer
146 views

What does it mean to be simultaneously hardcore?

In this paper the term "simultaneously hardcore" is defined as: "We say that a block of bits of $x$ are simultaneously hard-core for a one-way function $f(x)$, if given $f(x)$ they cannot be ...
3
votes
0answers
125 views

Which encryption method supports random reads?

I have a file containing 16-bit samples and I want to encrypt it, but the problem is that I need to be able to read any random 16-bit value from the file, and be to able to decrypt it, without reading ...
16
votes
9answers
3k views

Why not the one-time pad with pseudo-number generator

I am very new to cryptography (so be kind), but I have a question that may seem silly. If the one-time pad is the perfect cipher and impossible to crack, why would the following algorithm not be one ...
2
votes
4answers
253 views

Which encryption method supports random reads?

I have a file containing 16-bit samples and I want to encrypt it, but the problem is that I need to be able to read any random 16-bit value from the file, and be to able to decrypt it, without reading ...
4
votes
3answers
391 views

Can we design a public-key infrastructure without certificate authorities?

In a recent essay, Bruce Schneier tasks the engineering community with redesigning and rebuilding the vulnerable parts of the Internet's backbone. We need to figure out how to re-engineer the ...
2
votes
2answers
386 views

Can I construct a feasible stream cipher out of HMAC and a secure hash algorithm?

I have constructed a stream cipher from a secure hash algorithm and a HMAC. Here is a brief description of the algorithm: Let: (Actually Objective-C styled pseudo code) ...
32
votes
1answer
25k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
406 views

How to choose keys for a block cipher?

AES and DES are block ciphers. Mathematically, its the mapping from plaintext space to ciphertext space using the keys i.e. $\{{0,1}\}^k$ x $\{{0,1}\}^l \longrightarrow \{{0,1}\}^l$ I know that these ...
7
votes
2answers
627 views

Encrypting 8 times with 8-bit key beneficial?

I was trying to understand cryptography from the book Information Security by Mark Stamp and I am confused by something. Suppose that Alice has a secure block cipher, but the cipher only uses an ...
0
votes
1answer
183 views

PKCS1 and blind RSA signatures

Wikipedia's article on RSA blind signatures says that you need to raise the message $m$ to the secret exponent $d$ modulo the public modulus $N$. Implicit within that, it seems to me, is that m needs ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Estimating bits of entropy

Best ways to estimate average bits of entropy in a byte stream. I know there are different statistical tests out there (NIST, Dieharder, etc), which all do different ways of analyzing entropy. What ...
5
votes
1answer
600 views

How much entropy is lost via hashing when you add known or low entropy data?

(I updated the title, as I think there was some confusion as to the question) Here's the question: For example, if I have a bit stream that is 64K bytes long and there is about 16 *8 bits worth of ...
0
votes
1answer
675 views

probability of N hash digits colliding

What is the probability of the first N hash digits colliding? for example i made a script that appends the first 5 digits of the file's sha1 hash to the name of the file. So will the probability of ...
1
vote
1answer
636 views

Proper way of doing encryption and authentication (PBKDF2 + AES)

I'm currently in the planning phase of an authentication and storage-ish service. The client needs a file ("ENCFILE") which he will work with. This file will be encrypted with AES256, and stored on ...
5
votes
2answers
173 views

Fast post-processing for broken RDRAND

Let's assume that the Intel RDRAND instruction does not return fully random numbers, e.g. because it has been engineered with a backdoor for the NSA. If the Intel RDRAND instruction is used directly ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

what is PFS game?

when i reading about this paper, in the Setup of SIM section 5.2, it says that "According to the definition of PFS game", i wonder what the definition of PFS game ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

DSA vs. ElGamal vs. Schnorr

It has been well known for a long time that NSA played a primary role in the development of the Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA). DSA is a sort of hybrid of the ElGamal and Schnorr signature ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Who uses the RSA BSAFE library?

Who uses RSA's BSAFE library? Does anyone know what products use it, or have any statistics on how many end users use something that is built on BSAFE? Background: BSAFE is one of the oldest ...
4
votes
2answers
394 views

Using SHA3 as an entropy pool

Has any work been done on analyzing the SHA3 sponge construction for use as an entropy pool (e.g. /dev/random)? All the use cases I've heard of consts of a ...
1
vote
1answer
547 views

How to protect from Silver–Pohlig–Hellman algorithm

I read that Silver–Pohlig–Hellman algorithm solves the discrete logarithm with prime module $p$ in $O(\log^2(p))$ if $p-1$ is a smooth number. This seems pretty fatal for cryptography, since it is a ...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

one-time key, zero IV in stream cipher (e.g. AES-CTR) [duplicate]

Say I am using a random key to construct a stream cipher with, say, AES in CTR mode, which will never be used to encrypt more than one data stream. Is there any advantage, no matter how small, to ...
2
votes
0answers
154 views

Precise meaning of various terms related to universal hash functions

I've been reading about universal hashing, but I'm confused by all these different terms and notations. Could someone help me understand the precise meaning or relation between the following terms: ...
7
votes
1answer
418 views

Is SSH public key authentication weakened by 'none' cipher?

As far as I know, SSH2 first does a key exchange based on the server host key and brings up transport authentication and encryption derived from this kex. The real authentication (password or public ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How is the key shared in symmetric key cryptography?

Symmetric key cryptography is an encryption system in which the sender and receiver of a message share a single, common key that is used to encrypt and decrypt the message. Is the key public or it is ...
2
votes
0answers
157 views

Integer factorization based password authentication

After looking at this security issue at DjangoProject, I started to think in a password-based authentication that places the burden of PBKDF2 (or whatever is the hashing function) on the client. So I ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Inverting the encryption equation of a symmetric cipher

I've just started a cryptography course. I am beginning to understand the concepts (I'm only in week 2) but I just can't get my head around the theories and principles when written as equations. I've ...
3
votes
2answers
312 views

bcrypt and pbkdf2 double hashing

If I want to protect myself from implementation of algorithm issues and inherent design flaws of algorithms in password hashing, what would be most secure way to combine two hashes? ...
9
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
495 views

AES with different modes of operation

I'm taking up a cryptography class and this is for an assignment. We're asked to find the differences between AES/RSA in the different modes of operation vs the one timepad method. From wiki, I can ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Is it dangerous to use plaintext as IV in CBC?

Is it dangerous to use plaintext as IV in CBC? For example: I want to encrypt $p1$, $p2$ with CBC. However I use $p2$ as the IV for CBC purposes. What would be the risk of not using a IV based on ...
2
votes
1answer
410 views

Why does openssl BN_generate_prime return only a fraction of the safe primes within the given bit range?

I went into prime generation issues the last week and eventually calculated 10^7 primes using erik tews safeprimegen python wrapper for openssl. (https://github.com/eriktews/gensafeprime) (System: ...
5
votes
1answer
245 views

HMAC construction based on the combination of two hash functions

I would like an $\operatorname{HMAC}$ that's based on two different hash functions ($H_1$ and $H_2$), so that a break of the combined $\operatorname{HMAC}$ would imply a break of ...
12
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
6k views

Difference between linear cryptanalysis and differential cryptanalysis

What is the main difference between linear cryptanalysis and differential cryptanalysis? For example in relation to DES?
5
votes
1answer
388 views

Zero knowledge proof of possession of key

Suppose Alice has at some point in time produced ciphertext $C$ from message $M$ with key $k$. Suppose Alice has then passed $C$ to Bob, and also made a commitment to her key $k$ (thanks to ...
3
votes
1answer
212 views

Salsa20 in Davies-Meyer mode with a fixed key (message): is it one-way?

Say I have a function that calculates a pseudo random permutation and this function is easy to invert. For example $P(i) = AES_k(i)$ where $k$ is a publicly known key. So anyone can compute $P(i)$ ...
1
vote
2answers
654 views

Combining multiple symmetric encryption algorithms - implications?

I was just wondering if I add more security by combining two or more symmetric encryptions on a plain text. For example: Plaintext → AES → Twofish → Serpent Of ...
4
votes
1answer
415 views

Proof of correct construction of a private key in distributed cryptography

In an exponential ElGamal encryption scheme where the key generation is done in a distributed way among $n$ trustees we have that each trustee $i$ (where $1 \leq i \leq n$): Selects a private key ...
2
votes
3answers
377 views

Can I dynamically calculate an appropriate number of iterations for PBKDF2 based on the system time, rather than using a fixed value?

Could you choose the number of PBKDF2 iterations based upon the system time? I've heard a few people recommend that the number of iterations for PBKDF2 should be doubled every two years (starting ...
6
votes
1answer
249 views

What exactly could be accomplished with a backdoor in Dual_EC_DRBG?

Assume that some entity really holds the private key corresponding to the recommended/dubious constants of Dual_EC_DRBG. According to this presentation, they would be able to reconstruct the internal ...
3
votes
1answer
859 views

Possible ECC backdoor and its impact on Internet traffic

In a recent article, Bruce Schneier suggested that he prefers classic discrete log crypto over ECC because "I no longer trust the constants. I believe the NSA has manipulated them through their ...
4
votes
1answer
247 views

Can the AES encryption and decryption algorithms be described as a polynomial for a specific key?

AES is a block cipher that consists of non-linear and linear parts to provide the Shannon requirements of confusion and diffusion respectively. The linear parts can for sure be described as a ...
2
votes
2answers
167 views

Privately Sum Values without Dealers, MPC

Suppose $n$ actors each hold a plaintext $p_i$. We wish to find $\sum p_i$, without leaking any information about individual $p_i$. Any actor (or any link in the network) could be controlled by an ...
2
votes
1answer
153 views

Can you help me understand PFS and wPFS?

Every time I encounter the concepts of PFS (perfect forward secrecy) and wPFS (weak perfect forward secrecy), I feel uncertain about them. My understanding is that: PFS ensures that, if the ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Recasting randomly generated numbers to other widths

Suppose I have a list of randomly generated uint_8's, uniform over the whole range of uint_8. I write them into a file as raw ...

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