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First, there is a non-security argument in favor of option 2.: if you can cache the AES key across key exchanges, you can save time in key setup. Whether that's relevant I'll leave for you to decide. CTR fails when the same key-nonce pair is used twice. Let's assume the nonces are always unique, and that key derivation and mixing is strong. Birthday bound ...


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A while ago, I spent time playing with modern field/pen & paper ciphers, especially with Card-Chameleon. Card-Chameleon needs two separate full alphabet permutations as a key. As it's a field/pen & paper cipher, I tried to find a computer-less, math-less, way to generate these permutations from passwords. My solution is a two steps process. Let's ...


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Is it fair to say a PBKDF is a specialization of KDF? Sure. A PBKDF is a KDF, just one that uses a password/passphrase as the entropy source. OTOH, a KBKDF (key-based KDF, if you want to call it that) is also a specialization of a KDF. A different specialization, which is why it may not be a good idea to treat them as a single thing. Will ...



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