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21

These types of cryptographic primitive can be distinguished by the security goals they fulfill (in the simple protocol of "appending to a message"): Integrity: Can the recipient be confident that the message has not been accidentally modified? Authentication: Can the recipient be confident that the message originates from the sender? Non-repudiation: If ...


14

This is an active area of research. There have been attempts at creating usable security tools and lots of user studies of existing tools (typically with critical results). A good anthology for work in this area (a few years old now) is Security and Usability edited by Lorrie Cranor and Simson Garfinkel. There is also a workshop every year called Symposium ...


13

A few observations: RC4 suffers from related key attacks. This means your idea of concatenating a 224 bit key and a 32 bit IV is not a good idea. You should rather use $\operatorname{SHA-256}(Key||IV)$ Remember that a (Key, IV) pair must not be reused, ever. A 32 bit IV can work if it's a counter, but IMO such a scheme is unnecessarily fragile. I'd rather ...


12

Mathematically it work just fine. "Encrypt" with the private key, "decrypt" with the public key. Typically, however, we say sign with the private key and verify with the public key. As stated in the comments, it isn't just a straight forward signing of the message $m$. Typically a hash function and padding is involved. Also, often one has a separate key ...


11

If k is a constant, such as 3, it becomes possible to select a pair (N,g) such that the discrete log of k to the base g is known, which would enable the two-for-one guessing attack again.


10

Cryptography is being a lot of places already and people might just know about it. For example, whenever you access an HTTPS page, that's cryptography protecting you. For desktop applications, many people use the Truecrypt application to protect their files. You also see a similar application in Windows BitLocker. As for why more people aren't using ...


10

Asymmetric encryption and signing are entirely distinct concepts. The security and construction requirements are completely different. (Encryption for instance, needs to be an injection, whereas signature verification needs to be a surjection towards the verified message space. As a further hint of how they are intrinsically different, note that it lasted ...


10

There's an obvious solution using DH: Alice has a private key $a$ and a public key $g^a$; Bob has a private key $b$ and a public key $g^b$. When Bob sends a message, he computes the shared secret value $(g^a)^b$, converts that into a MAC key (possibly using a nonce to prevent key reuse), computes the MAC of the message, and sends the message and the MAC ...


9

No, RC4 is not completely broken. It is possible to use it properly. It's just not very likely that an average developer will do so. RC4 is not a good choice for new systems. It is tricky to use properly. There are some serious pitfalls which, if you're not an expert cryptographer, can bite you in the butt. In fact, if you take a quick look in the ...


8

You could encrypt them using some key derived from the user's password (to your site). Of course, this assumes that you get your user's passwords in plain text (or in any form which is always the same) - thus you need to have an encrypted connection to your user. Do not allow any non-SSL login. You can use some key derivation function like PBKDF or bcrypt ...


8

The main weakness in cryptography is that people are involved. I'm also wondering why the allegedly secure websites (financial/healthcare) that I use, still use password access and still have "security questions" in case I forget my password, where the security questions aren't very secure. There are more secure schemes, however they cost money. ...


8

In voting schemes, there is the three-ballot system, if you can consider this as part of crypto (I do).


8

No, you are not leaking any information except how to MAC those specific values with the specific key you are using. Using a short message is exactly as secure as using a long message. For the following, remember the definition HMAC (K,m) = H((K ⊕ opad) || H((K ⊕ ipad) || m)). There are two hashes here, an outer hash and an inner hash nested inside the ...


7

If your password database will never be compromised, you can store plaintext passwords and nobody will be bothered. The only thing about plaintext passwords is that they can be accidentally remembered by admins who see them - a simple base64 will fix that. Equivalently, MD5 or SHA1, with salt or without, is just as fine. If your password database is ...


7

The two keys $(e,m)$ and $(d,m)$ in the RSA key pair are fully equivalent, in that $e$ and $d$ can be arbitrarily chosen integers (in the interval $0..m-1$) as long as they fulfill the well-known congruence $ed \equiv 1 \mod \phi(m)$. You can swap them and nothing will change. A key becomes public the moment you (as the key generator) decide to disclose it, ...


7

What happens if the sender is at another point in the sequence? ... the key is pressed while out of range to the car. In a rolling code (code hopping) system, the keyfob transmitter maintains a synchronization counter C, incremented every time a button is pushed. The car receiver stores the most recent validated synchronization counter it has received ...


7

CRAM-MD5 is a protocol to demonstrate knowledge of a password. In the context of email, it is sometime used by an email client to authenticate to a POP, IMAP, or/and SMTP server. Basically, the password is used as the key of HMAC-MD5 in a challenge-response protocol. Among positive things there are to say about CRAM-MD5: The password is not exchanged in ...


7

The GQ identification scheme is essentially a zero-knowledge proof of a value $x$ such that $x^\mu \equiv J \pmod N$ where $N$ is an RSA modulus and $(\mu,N)$ are system parameters and $J$ is known to the verifier and $x$ only known to the prover. Now your question is not directly concerned with the aforementioned proof where a user shows the possession of ...


6

I'm considering switching to ECDSA, would this require less space with the same level of encryption? The answer to that question is yes, both ECDSA signatures and public keys are much smaller than RSA signatures and public keys of similar security levels. If you compare a 192-bit ECDSA curve compared to a 1k RSA key (which are roughly the same security ...


6

Disclaimer: I am writing this based only on what you write and my own guesswork. Last I saw something about "encrypted tokens", it was about server load. When an app uses such a token, the token must be verified against what can be described as a big database of all existing valid tokens. Possibly, some people could have begun to try "random tokens" just in ...


6

For Diffie-Hellman, adequate security is achieved provided that: we work modulo a prime $p$ big enough to resist discrete logarithm (1536 bits are sufficient); the order of the subgroup generated by $g$ is a multiple of a big-enough prime integer $q$ ($q$ should have length $2n$ bits to achieve $2^n$ security); the private exponents are randomly chosen in ...


6

You didn't mention at what level you're hoping for, so I'll provide a few resources, and you can figure out which ones best meet your needs. UMAC: Fast and secure message authentication. John Black, Shai Halevi, Hugo Krawczyk, Ted Krovetz and Phillip Rogaway, CRYPTO 1999. (This research paper describes UMAC, a fast Carter-Wegman style hash. It also gives ...


6

Sysadmins have switched from one password hash algorithm to another many times. There is a standard process for this switch. The Modular Crypt Format (MCF) is the standard scheme for formatting encrypted passwords, as used by passwd, crypt, etc. (see Why are there $ signs in my passwd file? ). MCF uses a single column to store the password hash algorithm ...


6

From the court decision, we find out that the researchers didn't in fact reverse engineer the key transponders themselves, but a piece of software called "Tango Programmer" which is a third party tool (software and hardware) used to make transponders. Tango Programmer is readily available, but it appears that it needs to be bought alongside a physical ...


6

If this is simply the AES permutation on a single block, it's hard to find such a pair. If it's AES-ECB with multiple blocks, you can pick each block from either (x1,y1) or (x2,y2), producing a new message that contains parts from each of them. With other modes it depends on that mode, but with many modes there will be a similar mixing attack as for ECB.


6

A is acting as a square-root oracle in that protocol. We can use that oracle to factor $n$ and break the scheme. Suppose you are an attacker that wants to impersonate A. You: Pick a random $m$; Send $m^2$ to A; Compute $p = \gcd(m_1 - m, n)$, thus factoring $n$. This works with probability $1/2$ for each attempt.


5

Basically, salting a password means that you compute a hash value which depends on the password and on a salt (a non-secret random value of sufficient length, e.g, 64 bits). Remember that salting a password allows to better resist attacks such as dictionnary attacks or time-memory tradeoffs (e.g., rainbow tables), i.e., attacks involving an offline ...


5

This question comes up often enough in the context of cryptography that it probably is relevant in a practical sense. I suspect we'll hear even more about it if homomorphic encryption raises interest in "computation in an adversarial setting". It's not just theoretically unsolvable. A great many software development organizations have tried to keep data ...


5

If the CA issued something with a CSR as the dominant part of the To-Be-Signed field, it wouldn't be a X.509 certificate and hardly any existing software would know what to do with it. I guess the original CSR could be added as an extension, though. Therefore, I suppose you are really asking why the X.509 certificate format wasn't originally specified to ...


5

HMAC is much faster to compute. Also, HMAC might still be secure, even if the underlying hash function is broken. This is not true for RSA + a broken hash function.



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