# All Questions

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### PBKDF2 uses HMAC-SHA1 to generate keys, but what is the key for the HMAC?

I was reading up on PBKDF2 and noted the following: DK = PBKDF2(PRF, Password, Salt, c, dkLen) PRF is a keyed HMAC, but I can't seem to find out what they use ...
6k views

### What is the meaning of “trapdoor” in cryptography?

I do not really understand the meaning of a "trapdoor" in cryptography, so here are my questions: What is the meaning of trapdoor and how can I convert a word or string using a trapdoor in ...
1k views

### Am I understanding AES key padding correctly?

I’ld like to ensure I understand AES key padding correctly… Is the initial AES key (expanded to the key schedule) byte padded if less than e.g. 16 bytes? Is there a safe way of determining if ...
285 views

### Subgroups generators with respect to group generators of composite order

If I have a group $\mathcal{G}$ of order $N=npq$ and subgroups $\mathcal{G_n,G_p,G_q}$ of order $n$, $p$, $g$ respectively and if $g$ is a generator of $\mathcal{G}$ why then $g^{nq}$ is a generator ...
706 views

### How exactly are GPG keys mathematically related, and prime numbers inside of GPG general

Before anyone suggest it, I've yet to pick up "Applied Cryptography" I'm planning on picking it up the next time I visit amazon. I know that the keys are somehow mathematically related, and I know ...
180 views

### Is it okay to include relative time for true random number generation?

Similar questions have been asked regarding use of time in true random number generation, but I'd like to consider using time as just one source of entropy, complementing others. True random number ...
741 views

### Are there ANY text strings that will generate the same SHA-512 Hash output? [duplicate]

Are there ANY text strings that will generate the same SHA-512 Hash output? Please provide an example, and how you came to that conclusion. I've tried thousands of variations, including ".." vs. "." ...
279 views

### Simulation based proofs: Simple examples

I am aware that,(in theory) in order to proof that a scheme is secure using simulation based proof we replace an adversary in real world with a simulator in ideal world. Then we try to show that their ...
275 views

### Is it safe to encrypt random data using ECB mode?

If I have 48 random bytes, is it safe to encrypt them using ECB mode? Or is there still a good reason to use another mode like CTR, CBC, etc.? Context is this: I am creating something like a TLS ...
141 views

### Inconsistent terminology for ciphers and algorithms

I've been baffled by all the different kinds of names which are given to cryptographic algorithms. There are block ciphers and stream ciphers (AES and RC4). There is symmetric and asymmetric ...
612 views

### Any weakness when sha256'ing output of sha256, repeatedly?

Is it significantly easier to reverse a sha256 hash if you know that the input was a 32 byte output of sha256? I assume for most outputs of sha256 there will be zero, one or two possible 32 byte ...
485 views

### In RSA, why does $p$ have to be bigger than $q$ where $n=p \times q$?

In openSSL – during RSA key generation – if $q$ is bigger than $p$, they exchange them. Why is that?
188 views

### Is there an oblivious decryption scheme?

Alice has $K$; Bob has $E(K, m)$; Is there such a scheme that enables Alice decrypts $E(K, m)$ without knowing $m$, and Bob gets $m$ ?
595 views

### RSA assumption and cryptography

The RSA assumption states that it is hard to find $m$, given $c = m^e \bmod{n}$, $e$, and $n$ (for appropriate choice of $n,e$). Suppose that there exists an algorithm, $D(c,e,n)$, that finds $m$ in ...
183 views

### Can anyone tell me the name of this cipher please?

Can anyone tell me the name of this cipher please? I know it's a simple substitution cipher, I just don't know the name of it. Cipher Key: help Cipher alphabet: ...
161 views

### Why is it that researchers prefer finding secure software solutions over secure hardware solutions?

My understanding is crypto researchers tend to prefer solving a problem in software without the need for secure hardware. Why is this? What is the big problem with using secure hardware if the ...
1k views

### what is the state of the art algorithm to encrypt credit card data

We have a business requirement to keep credit card data. What is today's (Nov 2013) state of the art algorithm to encrypt credit card data that will be saved on disk? Additionally, I'd appreciate ...
471 views

### Can ECB mode really leak some characters?

In an Ars Technica article about Adobe's use of 3DES in ECB mode, there's a paragraph The passwords, according to password expert Steve "Sc00bz" Thomas, are encrypted in a mode known as ECB. That ...
277 views

### Why is Bcrypt called a Key Derivation Function?

I am trying to understand why is bcrypt called a Key Derivation Function? I looked up the details of Ekfblowfish on Usenix article here: http://static.usenix.org/event/usenix99/provos/provos_html/...
2k views

### Is my pseudo-random initialization vector secure?

How can I know if I am generating a secure pseudorandom initialization vector? Currently I am planning to generate a pseudo-random initialization Vector using current date and time - is this secure ...
115 views

### Top notation as exponent

In cryptography, what does the Top notation mean? It resembles a capital T: T In particular, I saw it in the follwing context: $c = (c_1,c_2)^\top$ where $c_1$ and $c_2$ are homomorphic ciphertexts
82 views

### How do I classify my RSA encryption strength?

So I generated 2 1024 bit prime numbers, I generated N and got a 2048 bit number, does that make my encryption 2048 bit or 1024 bit?
132 views

### Guessing the IV for CBC

If I have the key, the ciphertext under AES-CBC and the plaintext, then how can I guess the initialisation vector?
391 views

### What do numbers in a crypto algorithm stand for? Is there a convention?

What do the numbers stand for in the names of cryptographic functions, for example AES-256, RSA-1024 or ...
346 views

### Is there a 1:1 mapping between private and public EC keys?

After asking: Are all possible EC private keys valid? I learned that all 32 byte (256 bit) values greater than 0 and less than n are all valid private keys. This means that 99% of all 256 bit values ...
763 views

### I hashed my bag and in it I put… “Is there a hash for unordered items?”

(By items I mean hashable objects.) As an example (with obviously way too short hashes for readability), say I packed my bag and in it I put a shovel (hashed to S)...
451 views

### When is a cipher considered broken?

We've all read how some people claim AES is broken because there was supposedly a way to get the plain text from a cipher text faster than brute-force. But is this the definition? Is a cipher broken ...
310 views

### Known plaintext, unknown 128 bit block cipher

I have an encrypted configuration file from an embedded device which I'm trying to decrypt. The file seems to be encrypted in 128bit blocks, as changing a single option causes a 16 byte block to ...
243 views

### Choice of MAC and handling it correctly

I have recently learned that Encrypt-then-MAC is recommended when using symmetric encryption. I have two closely related questions related to that, which is why I am posting them as one: Looking ...
294 views

### How can one parallelize tasks in CTR-AES for maximum performance?

From what I have read it seems like one of the purported benefits of using CTR mode AES, is that it can be parallelized to a greater degree, or maybe more easily than the other block cipher modes, ...
2k views

### Problems with using AES Key as IV in CBC-Mode

I'm a pentester and currently analysing a web application which are using some strange encryption scheme. The point is: They encrypt using AES-128, generate a (not cryptographic secure) key and use ...
356 views

### Frequency of letters change by the length of the texts?

In terms of the frequency of letters, how is it possible to have different frequent letters when the length of the text I'm analyzing is shorter? At the moment, I'm comparing the frequencies of a ...
677 views

### How does this happen in RSA malleability?

I don't understand how the $E(m)$ turns into $E(mt)$. I mean, I don't know how does that transformation happen and how does the equation occur. $$E(m) \cdot t^e \bmod n = (mt)^e \bmod n = E(mt)$$ ...
2k views

### How does one deal with a negative “d” in RSA?

I'm trying to write my own RSA implementation using the textbook approach — which I know is not optimal — of picking primes $p$ and $q$, then computing Euler's totient $phi$, then randomly picking an '...
900 views

### Why is public key cryptography (RSA) used in sites like Google or Facebook?

The RSA algorithm is used for encryption (plain text to cipher text) and decryption (cipher text to plain text) of data. What is the need for using public keys in these sites; why is data is encrypted ...
902 views

### Why RSA uses {d,n} as private key instead of {e,n}?

While studying the RSA algorithm I referred to some books and some sites such as RSA (wikipedia) and all of them chose {d,n} as the secret (private) key and release {e,n} as the public key but as d ...
626 views

### encrypt message with one digest 0-9 instead of 01-26

How much will the security of one-time pad decrease if I use one digit from 0-9 instead of 1-26? for example plaintext = "blue" and ...
898 views

### Is storing original file size in an encrypted file header a bad idea?

I'm encrypting a file using AES-256 in CBC mode. I'm padding to the 16-byte input multiple by using the PKCS#7 limit. The problem I'm currently having is that if I'm transferring or reading the ...
919 views

### Benefit of combining classical substitution ciphers with modern cryptography

I know that a simple monoalphabetic substitution cipher is considered extremely weak, on account of linguistic frequency-analysis attacks. However, assume the following: cleartext is encrypted (...
738 views

### ABC Conjecture's Impact on RSA Encryption

A recent proof of the ABC Conjecture has been released by one Shinichi Mochizuki. Now, I'm not well versed in mathematics but it would appear that this proof implies that finding prime factors could ...
355 views

### Is the Blum Blum Shub PRNG suitable to create initialization vectors?

Is it a good idea to use a Blum Blum Shub Generator to create my initialization Vector (IV) in AES-OFB (Output Feedback Mode)?
540 views

### Decrypting a blowfish cipher with three keys

Disclaimer: I'm pretty new to cryptography and I don't have a strong mathematical background. I apologize in advance if I missed something blatantly obvious. I participated in a security CTF this ...
78 views

### Why is Diffie-Hellman used instead of just RSA in key-exchange (TLS, IKE)?

Why should a key exchange protocol (such as in TLS or IKE) use Diffie Hellman? Why not just use RSA? For example: Alice picks a random session key, signs it, encrypts it with Bob's public key, and ...
58 views

### Insecurity of CBC-MAC

Can anyone explain why CBC-MAC is not secure for variable length message? I read many books, but there are still some confusion. Such as the highlighted parts in previous pictures Questions: why ...
166 views

### How to disguise ciphertext

If I want to have a secret conversation, then I can encrypt it (with OTR etc). However, since big brother watches all communication, sending encrypted data will likely raise flags. Does anyone know of ...
638 views

### Why is hybrid encryption more effective than other encryption scheme?

Currently I am learning about Hybrid Encryption but I was not able to find any good study material. Below is my understanding: One of the reason why we use ...
201 views

### Why do 1st and 3rd key have to be the same in 2 key 3DES?

From this answer: However, that wasn't the only situation they had in mind; they also considered the case where someone implemented 2 key 3DES in hardware (which the first and last subkeys ...
205 views

### Hash email address with a non-random salt for moderate security?

Crypto noob here. I have an application that has only moderate security requirements (internal use, limited audience). I want to send a unique url with a token in it to each user. If anyone has the ...