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To basically summarize Ricky Demer's answer, regardless of how "random-looking" your private key is, an attacker can always recognize the correct private key as long as they have access to at least one of the following: the public key, both the ciphertext and the plaintext of a message encrypted using the public key, or even only the ciphertext, as long as ...


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I'll start with a point corresponding to ddddavidee's edit: ‚Äč If there exists a PKE scheme, then there exists one for which private keys can trivially be distinguished from randomness. Just modify the key generation algorithm to append so that the new private keys end with length(original_private_key) zeros, and modify the decryption algorithm to ignore ...


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Usually choosing a safe password and standard parameter for the PBKDF2 key derivation would be enough protect your cipher. If PBKDF2 is correctly used, the symmetric key you get as output is well generated and attacking the ciphertext is infeasible. Protecting a private key as you're doing is a standard operation, usually the password is used (in PBKDF2) to ...



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