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10

This depends on the public-key system (algorithm). For RSA, technically the private and public key (i.e. the exponents, the keys share the same modulus) are symmetric, you can swap them, and it still works. But you usually don't want to do this: The public exponent is usually a small number (like $3$ or $2^{16} + 1$) in order to speed up ...


9

In terms of marketing hype, that statement rates about a 9 in a scale from 0-10. The reason is that we don't choose the encryption algorithm based on how many bits the CPU can handle at once. Instead, we choose a secure algorithm, and then implement it using the resources that the CPU provides us. There aren't any algorithms we cannot implement on a 32 ...


6

Using a MAC on the plaintext may potentially leak information about the plaintext (MAC algorithms do not necessarily ensure confidentiality of the data they are applied to, although some MAC algorithms like HMAC seem pretty safe). If you want to avoid this (theoretical) problem, then you should encrypt the MAC on the plaintext (i.e. MAC-then-encrypt, not ...


6

OpenPGP as defined by RFC 4880 knows two different encodings. Binary encoding Obviously, there is no reasonable limitation to an (ASCII) character subset in binary encoding. Radix 64 Radix 64 is also often entitled ASCII armored. In the end, it is a base64 encoding with a checksum. The content may consist of [a-zA-Y0-0+/=]. ASCII-armored OpenPGP ...


5

Saying that the large numbers you can handle with 64 bits allow for better encryption is misleading. 64 bits is too short for modern cryptographic algorithms. Those algorithms which do rely on large numbers, need numbers much larger than 64 bits. For those, the computation have to be split up and processed in smaller parts. But being able to process 64 bits ...


4

It mainly depends on how the algorithm was selected. If it was selected by a public competition like for AES, then it is likely to be secure. If it was forced in by the NSA such as Dual-EC random number generator, then you may have some doubts. Other questions you may want to ask yourself are: Is this an "original" algorithm or was the problem that it ...


4

You can get what you want programmatically. No special ciphers or modes needed. You say there is a single, continuous subset that needs to be encrypted. Thus, you could have a function where the programmer specifies the start of the portion of the plaintext that needs to be encrypted and the number of bytes to encrypt. The function could pull that part out, ...


4

As long as you're using any modern encryption algorithm (and you're using it correctly: random key, new random or unique IVs for each message, depending on the mode of operation, etc.) then you'll be fine. In fact, you'd be fine even if an attacker got to choose which plaintext you encrypted and got to see the result; this information would not help him ...


2

Small addition: You do not lose integrity when using encrypt-then-MAC. Since encryption is an injection, distinct plaintexts produce distinct ciphertexts, so plaintext forgery implies ciphertext forgery, which is hard if encrypt-then-MAC is secure.


2

In the case of RSA, the key element is modular exponentiation. Modular means that you are doing all computations modulo a given integer n: whenever you add, subtract, or multiply integers together, you then do a division of the result by n, and you keep only the remainder. For instance, if you multiply 8 with 11 modulo 15, you first get 8×11 = 88, and 88 ...


2

Symmetric encryption works with a single key because the function that is used to encrypt/decrypt is symmetric: f(f(x)) = x. In asymmetric encryption, you have two functions that inverse each other (called inverse functions). You get security only from the fact that only one of these functions is public, and the other one is hidden. To make it more ...


1

Basically, "length" increases the time a brute force or other generic attack takes, while "complexity" makes it more difficult or less likely to find attacks faster than those. However: The length in question varies depending on the algorithm or operation. It can be the length of keys, the block size of a block cipher, the state size of a PRG or the ...


1

My personal opinion: "proven secure" is more of an advertising slogan than anything else. The one-time pad and certain multiparty protocols can be shown to have some kind of information-theoretic security; these are exceptions to the rule. "Don't roll your own crypto" is still sensible advice however. For the rest of this discussion, I'll try and stick to ...


1

Is it necessarily a peer review process? Does an algorithm need to withstand exploit attempts for N amount of time by M many experts? Or, is there a mathematical proving process that security experts can apply on their own to evaluate an algorithm? Yes, yes, and sometimes. Some algorithms can be proved secure under certain assumptions. However, ...


1

GPG is an implementation of OpenPGP, which is a higher level protocol than e.g. mcrypt. So use GPG for PGP compatibility and mcrypt or related libraries for more direct - lower level - access to algorithms. AES is Rijndael for a block size of 128 bits and the 128, 192 or 256 bit key sizes. So you are OK there. Learn about modes of operation and something ...


1

There are good reasons to think an algorithm being in Suite B is evidence NSA thinks it's secure (they are used to protect classified materials). There are also reasons to think algorithms they recommend for others may not be (it's happened before). So I don't think you can objectively say much about an algorithm either way just on the basis of whether it's ...


1

One way to look at public / private key-pairs is to view it as yin and yang. The yin can encrypt things that only the yang can decrypt. At the same time The yang can encrypt things that only the yin can decrypt. This is used by public key cryptography We publish our public keys. We keep our private keys private. We can send messages that only the ...


1

There is some confusion in your question, because a signature in a public key cryptosystem is (usually) not just a hash, but a hash of the message that is signed using the private key. E.g. in RSA it would be a hash value padded and raised to the private exponent. There are two ways to have an authenticated encryption in a public key system: Should we ...



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