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When you use a PRF to derive a key, there is the potential for collisions. If you derived a 128-bit key from each possible 128-bit number, you'd expect some of them to collide. Specifically, you'd expect only about 63% of all the inputs ($1-e^{-1}$) to appear as outputs. That means you lose less than a bit of entropy even if the original key had the full ...


3

A key derivation function lets you derive keys from others. In this case I would use HKDF, which means using HMAC in a predefined way. Your key material is the keys $X$ and $Y$, so you can concatenate those to get the PRK for HKDF-Expand. An output key would then be $\operatorname{HMAC}(X||Y, \text{info} || \text{0x01})$, if the size of the HMAC is long ...


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HMAC is considered the most secure way of combining two keys, as compared to a single round of SHA256. hmac is designed to fold in the key material in 2 hash operations, which helps resist chosen plaintext attacks on sha-256, although SHA256 has no known chosen plaintext attacks at this time. Symmetric ciphers are considered less reliable than hashes for ...


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HMAC: The hmac version is considered slightly more secure than sha-256, assuming it's also based on SHA-256, because the HMAC formulation folds in the key material with 2 rounds of hashing, making it harder to use a chosen plaintext attack on the digest. SHA-256: SHA-256 should be relatively secure against chosen plaintext attacks, but it's better to be ...



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