106
votes
6answers
17k views

Should we MAC-then-encrypt or encrypt-then-MAC?

Most of the time, when some data must be encrypted, it must also be protected with a MAC, because encryption protects only against passive attackers. There are some nifty encryption modes which ...
23
votes
2answers
18k views

How does one attack a two-time pad (i.e. one time pad with key reuse)?

My question might appear the same as the question Taking advantage of one-time pad key reuse?, but actually I did read all the answers and none of them helped me with the details I need. I am new to ...
45
votes
7answers
4k views

Guarding against cryptanalytic breakthroughs: combining multiple hash functions

Assume I want to design a protocol (or data format or similar) including some cryptographic hash, and want it to be as future-proof as possible, i.e. I want to avoid that breakthroughs in cryptography ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it feasible to build a stream cipher from a cryptographic hash function?

A few years ago I devised a symmetric-key system that worked like so: ...
32
votes
2answers
3k views

What makes a hash function good for password hashing?

Using a cryptographic hash to store e.g. passwords in a database is considered good practice (as opposed to storing them plaintext), but is subject to attacks on said cryptographic hash, assuming the ...
28
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the “Random Oracle Model” and why is it controversial?

What is the "Random Oracle Model"? Is it an "assumption" akin to the hardness of factoring and discrete log? Or something else? And why do some researchers have a strong distrust of this model?
6
votes
2answers
250 views

How to do a literature search

How do I do a literature search of the research literature on cryptography? Assume there's some topic in cryptography I'd like to learn more about; how do I search the cryptographic research ...
27
votes
7answers
16k views

Taking advantage of one-time pad key reuse?

Suppose Alice wants to send encryptions (under a one-time pad) of $m_1$ and $m_2$ to Bob over a public channel. Alice and Bob have a shared key $k$; however, both messages are the same length as the ...
32
votes
4answers
12k views

What are the practical differences between 256-bit, 192-bit, and 128-bit AES encryption?

AES has several different variants: AES-128 AES-192 AES-256 But why would someone prefer use one over another?
10
votes
4answers
849 views

Why should I make my cipher public?

As I understand it, the less people know about the internals of my protocol or cipher, the more secure the protocol is. However Kerckhoffs's principle states that A cryptosystem should be secure ...
77
votes
20answers
11k views

Time Capsule cryptography?

Does there exist any cryptographic algorithm which encrypts data in such a way that it can only be decrypted after a certain period of time? The only idea that I can think of, is something like this: ...
31
votes
5answers
4k views

How big an RSA key is considered secure today?

I think 1024 bit RSA keys were considered secure ~5 years ago, but I assume that's not true anymore. Can 2048 or 4096 keys still be relied upon, or have we gained too much computing power in the ...
28
votes
3answers
7k views

How can I use asymmetric encryption, such as RSA, to encrypt an arbitrary length of plaintext?

RSA is not designed to be used on long blocks of plaintext like a block cipher, but I need to use it to send a large message. How can I do this?
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Definition of Textbook RSA

What is the definition of Textbook RSA? What are some of the properties of textbook RSA? How does it differ from other RSAs?
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Can one generalize the Diffie-Hellman key exchange to three or more parties?

Does anyone know how to do a Diffie-Hellman or ECDH key exchange with more than two parties? I know how to do a key exchange between 2 parties, but I need to be able to have a key agreement between 3 ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Is SHA-512 bijective when hashing a single 512-bit block?

It's been said that CRC-64 is bijective for a 64-bit block. It the corresponding statement true for SHA-2?
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Using CBC with a fixed IV and a random first plaintext block

What if, instead of using CBC mode in the normal way with a random IV, I used this approach: Use a fixed IV (like a block of 0's). Before encrypting, generate a random block and prepend it to the ...
46
votes
6answers
10k views

How much would it cost in U.S. dollars to brute force a 256 bit key in a year?

I am often told that any key can be broken and that it is only a matter of time and resources for any key to be broken. I know that this it technically true. However, I think that there is probably a ...
27
votes
6answers
3k views

Is there a secure cryptosystem that can be performed mentally?

I, myself, do not plan on getting into a situation where I would be unable to use a computer in order to communicate securely. However, I can think of many practical situations in which mental ...
28
votes
7answers
14k views

Google is using RC4, but isn't RC4 considered unsafe?

Why is Google using RC4 for their HTTPS/SSL? $ openssl s_client -connect www.google.com:443 | grep "Cipher is" New, TLSv1/SSLv3, Cipher is RC4-SHA Isn't RC4 ...
14
votes
4answers
6k views

Why is AES resistant to known-plaintext attacks?

At least it's my understanding that AES isn't affected by known-plaintext. Is it immune to such an attack, or just resistant? Does this vary for chosen-plaintext?
12
votes
3answers
6k views

Should we sign-then-encrypt, or encrypt-then-sign?

We often want to send messages that are both (a) encrypted, so passive attackers can't discover the plaintext of the message, and (b) signed with a private-key digital signature, so active attackers ...
22
votes
2answers
788 views

What security authorities and standards reject $e=3$ in RSA, when, and with what rationale?

In RSA, some security authorities and/or standards allow the public exponent $e=3$, others require or recommend $e>2^{16}$ (or perhaps some other minimum). I gathered the following: PKCS#1 allows ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

How to fairly select a random number for a game without trusting a third party?

Several people are playing a game with random events and require a way to produce a random number. (Such as dice rolls or a lottery.) Can this be done such that each player has the power to be ...
12
votes
2answers
536 views

Attacks of the MAC construction $\mathcal{H}(m||k)$ for common hashes $\mathcal{H}$?

Consider a common practically-collision-resistant hash function $\mathcal{H}$ (e.g. SHA-1, SHA-256, SHA-512, RIPEMD-160), perhaps based on the Merkle–Damgård construction as are the first three. We ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Why RSA encryption key is based on modulo $\varphi(n)$ rather than modulo $n$

While calculating RSA encryption key we take modulo $\varphi(n)$ rather that modulo $n$. I couldn't understand why its so?
11
votes
2answers
939 views

Using same keypair for Diffie-Hellman and signing

Are there any security risks using a single key-pair for both key-exchange and signing? I'm mainly interested in using Curve25519 for key-exchange and Ed25519 for signing. But similar combinations, ...
17
votes
6answers
11k views

How does asymmetric encryption work?

I've always been interested in encryption but I have never found a good explanation (beginners explanation) of how encryption with public key and decryption with private key works. How does it ...
9
votes
1answer
739 views

Replacing the Rijndael S-Box?

The Rijndael S-Box design generates a permutation cycle of type $2+27+59+81+87$. What effect would replacing that permutation with a cycle of type $256$ have on the security of AES?
8
votes
2answers
6k views

Many time pad attack [duplicate]

I've already sent my correct solution to a homework exercise from Dan Boneh's Introduction to Cryptography class on Coursera: "Let us see what goes wrong when a stream cipher key is used more than ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Pre-image resistant but not 2nd pre-image resistant?

Are there any cryptographic hash functions for which there is a known pre-image attack, or a known second pre-image attack, but not both? The attack doesn't have to be practical - just anything that ...
13
votes
3answers
782 views

Can I use a one time pad key twice with random plaintext?

I understand the basics of OTP: $|\text{key space}| = |\text{plaintext space}|$ implies perfect security, key reuse destroys this. Cryptanalysis on the $N$-Time Pad for $N > 1$ involves finding ...
8
votes
2answers
508 views

Why is h(m||k) insecure?

Here is the post that explains the failure for doing h(k||m) and I understand it. But I don't understand how h(m||k) is subjected to collison attack, or birthday attack. Please explain?
8
votes
4answers
881 views

What tests can I do to ensure my PRNG is working correctly?

In the past I have used the Chi-squared test to check the statistical randomness of my generator. Is this a good test to use? Are there other tests?
14
votes
1answer
895 views

Should I use the first or last bits from a SHA-256 hash?

I have the need for a hexadecimal token that is smaller than the normal length of the hexadecimal representation of a SHA-256 hash. Should I take the first bits or the last bits? Which of them ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

A simple block cipher based on the SHA-256 hash function [duplicate]

I've come up with this little routine for doing encryption using the SHA-2 (in this case SHA-256) hash function. As such it is a block cipher with a 256 bit (32 byte) block size and an arbitrary key ...
13
votes
3answers
6k views

Recommended skills for a job in cryptology

First let me apologize if this is an ill posed question. Let me also note that I do not in any way seek a comprehensive answer, simply your thoughts on what makes for a valuable asset to a company ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Galois fields in cryptography

I don't really understand Galois fields, but I've noticed they're used a lot in crypto. I tried to read into them, but quickly got lost in the mess of heiroglyphs and alien terms. I understand they're ...
11
votes
3answers
39k views

How secure is AES-256?

The cipher AES-256 is used among other places in TSL/SSL across the Internet. It's considered among the top ciphers. In theory it's not crackable since the combinations of keys are massive. Although ...
10
votes
2answers
958 views

Deriving Keys for Symmetric Encryption and Authentication

So here's the concept. Rather than storing 2 keys and using a random IV, which presents its own problems (key rotation, ensuring no key is used in more than 2^32 cycles, sharing the keys, etc), is it ...
8
votes
3answers
14k views

RSA encryption with private key and decryption with a public key

When using the RSA cryptosystem, does it still work if you instead encrypt with the private key and decrypt with the public key? What about in the case of using RSA for sender authentication?
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Is compressing data prior to encryption necessary to reduce plaintext redundancy?

As explained in William Stallings' Book, in PGP encryption is done after compression, since it reduces redundancy. I couldn't relate encryption strength with redundancy. Could anyone explain more on ...
8
votes
2answers
513 views

creating a small number from a cryptographically secure random string

i'm trying to figure out the best way to generate a cryptographically secure random number between 0 and 200 from a cryptographically random string of bytes (ie. read from /dev/urandom or some such) ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is H(k||x) not a secure MAC construction?

If H(m) is a secure hash function, can't we implement a MAC using H(k||m)? However, it seems the more widely used MACs, such as NMAC and HMAC (both originally defined in Keying hash functions for ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the most secure hand cipher?

By "hand cipher", I mean a symmetric cipher for which encryption and decryption can can both be performed with a pencil on graph paper, consuming about 10-20 seconds per character by a proficient ...
14
votes
2answers
7k views

How long does it take to crack DES and AES?

Suppose that a single evaluation of a block-cipher (DES or AES) takes 10 operations, and the computer can do $10^{15}$ such operations per second. How long would it take for to recover a DES key, ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it possible to obtain AES-128 key from a known ciphertext-plaintext pair?

I have a file, which was encrypted with AES-128 in ECB mode. I know the format of the original file and know that all files in this format have the same headers. So, I have an encrypted block and the ...
4
votes
5answers
846 views

Software implementation of a commutative cipher?

I've got an application (detailed below) that calls for the use of a cipher that is commutative. I've been doing some googling & reading, and there are two algorithms that seem to get mentioned ...
16
votes
5answers
898 views

Is it feasible to build an index of prime factors?

Would it be possible to break an RSA key, in for example 1 week of time, if the cracker have already spent X number of years building an index of primes by performing every permutation of existing ...
3
votes
4answers
438 views

Verify product without revealing multipliers

Situation: Several participants contribute encrypted random numbers. These numbers will be used to generate community-agreed random (by simple multiplication). Question: Is there any way to detect ...

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