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I'm going to agree with @fgrieu's marvelous post above in a back-handed way. My answer is: No, you don't have to use an HMAC. Do it anyway. As you noted, some hashes, sush as SHA-3 (especially in its Keccak form), Skein (which I was a team member on), and others will work just fine. In the case of Skein, there is a one-pass Skein-MAC that has a proof of ...


Security The level of security is likely to depend on the cryptographic primitives - the actual hash function and cipher - used. It is very likely that you can construct a function that is insecure, e.g. where the cipher is used for both the hash function an encryption. So you need to prove that the hash function and the encryption primitive are not ...

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