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61

The risk of collision is only theoretical; it will not happen in practice. Time spent worrying about such a risk of collision is time wasted. Consider that even if you have $2^{90}$ 1MB blocks (that's a billion of billions of billions of blocks -- stored on 1TB hard disks, the disks would make a pile as large of the USA and several kilometers high), risks of ...


27

SHA-512 truncated to 256 bits is as safe as SHA-256 as far as we know. The NIST did basically that with SHA-512/256 introduced March 2012 in FIPS 180-4 (because it is faster than SHA-256 when implemented in software on many 64-bit CPUs). SHA-224 is just as safe as using 224 bits of SHA-256, because that's basically how SHA-224 is constructed. What bits are ...


22

If taking the first or last bits of a SHA-256 output made any difference, it would be viewed as a serious blow against the security of SHA-256. Right now, no such weakness is known in SHA-256. So, as far as we know, you can use whatever bits you want. If you need a more "administrative" answer, have a look at SHA-224 (also specified in FIPS 180-3). This is ...


20

This isn't necessarily unexpected. 32-bit platforms vs 64-bit platforms can make a significant difference, as well as the amount of data you're hashing. $ uname -m x86_64 $ openssl speed sha256 sha512 The 'numbers' are in 1000s of bytes per second processed. type 16 bytes 64 bytes 256 bytes 1024 bytes 8192 bytes sha256 ...


16

Would you use HMAC-SHA1 or HMAC-SHA256 for message authentication? Yes. That is a semi-serious answer; both are very good choices, assuming, of course, that a Message Authentication Code is the appropriate solution (that is, both sides share a secret key), and you don't need extreme speed. How much HMAC-SHA256 is slower than HMAC-SHA1? Those ...


16

SHA-512 has 25% more rounds than SHA-256. On a 64-bit processor each round takes the same amount of operations, yet can process double the data per round, because the instructions process 64-bit words instead of 32-bit words. Therefore, 2 / 1.25 = 1.6, which is how much faster SHA-512 can be under optimal conditions. Of course there is memory overhead, ...


11

If you want to use Skein (one of the SHA-3 candidates) anyway: it has a "mode of operation" (configuration variant) for tree hashing, which works just like your method 2. It does this internally of the operation, as multiple calls of UBI on the individual blocks. This is described in section 3.5.6 of the Skein specification paper (version 1.3). You will ...


10

With the message padding scheme of SHA-2/SHA-256 as it stands (add one 1 bit, a minimal number of 0 bits so that the overall padded message will end on a block boundary, then the original message length over some fixed number of bits), I know no attack enabled by allowing a different IV. However, allowing an arbitrary IV renders ineffective one of the two ...


10

Yes, SHA-256 is currently the de facto standard. The "why" is that MD5 and SHA-1 are unsafe and the only algorithm left which has been extensively studied and deployed and which nobody has found a significant attack against is SHA-256. (There is also SHA-512, but people seem to regard it as being overkill.) There is widespread uncertainty about whether ...


10

Actually a tree-based hashing as you describe it (your method 2) somewhat lowers resistance to second preimages. For a hash function with a n-bit output, we expect resistance to: collisions up to 2n/2 effort, second preimages up to 2n, preimages up to 2n. "Effort" is here measured in number of invocations of the hash function on a short, "elementary" ...


10

SHA-256 uses an internal compression function $f$ which takes two inputs, of size 512 and 256 bits respectively, and outputs 256 bits. Hashing works like this: Input message $M$ is first padded by appending between 129 and 640 bits (inclusive), resulting into a padded message $M'$ whose length (in bits) is a multiple of 512. $M'$ is split into $n$ ...


10

The risk of collision is only theoretical; it will not happen in practice. Except in one particular instance. The description given implies that this system is going to be some form of de-duplicating filesystem or backup system. For most users, the collision risk is tiny. But, for one particular class of users, there is a much larger risk. Those ...


8

The definitions given in FIPS 180-4 are $$\mathtt{Maj}(x, y, z)=(x∧y)⊕(x∧z)⊕(y∧z)$$ $$\mathtt{Ch}(x,y,z)=(x∧y)⊕(¬x∧z)$$ where $∧$ is bitwise AND, $⊕$ is bitwise exclusive-OR, and $¬$ is bitwise negation. The functions are defined for bit vectors (of 32 bits in case fo SHA-256). I'm positive $\mathtt{Maj}$ stands for majority: the result is set according to ...


8

The Bitcoin mining algorithm can not be simplified by exploiting any weakness in the SHA-2 hashing algorithm with the current state of the art. The problem is manyfold. From the SHA-256 point of view, there is no (partial) preimage search algorithm that applies to the full hash function. Even worse, the attacks that penetrate a fewer number of rounds have ...


8

If you mean exactly as likely, no, because the number of possible hashes is not a multiple of $100$. This is assuming all the hashes are exactly equally likely. You can come very close just by taking $SHA256 hash \pmod {100}$ This will be within one part in $\frac {2^{256}}{100}$, which is a very small number. If you want truly equal, check that the hash ...


7

Your cipher looks a bit like the output feedback mode of operation for block ciphers. While OFB for block ciphers is considered safe (as long as it is used right), OFB for a hash function like you are using it has the problem that the key is only used at the start, to generate the "initialization vector", not at each step of the algorithm. Thus, as ...


7

First of all, this no block cypher at all. It's a stream cypher. Thus you can use every key only once, and you can't use any cypher modes built on block cyphers. Your scheme is vulnerable to a known plaintext attack. If the attacker knows 32 aligned(or 63 unaligned) bytes of plaintext, he can calculate the state of your cypher: $ S_i = P_i \oplus C_i $ ...


7

This started as a comment to CodeinChaos's answer, but did not fit. I'm trying to regurgitate, in layman's terms, my understanding of the consequences on $\operatorname{SHA-256d}$ of the paper he quotes: Dodis, Y., Ristenpart, T., Steinberger, J., & Tessaro, S. (2012). To Hash or Not to Hash Again? (In) differentiability Results for H2 and HMAC. This ...


7

Uniformity is a tricky one. SHA-256 (as well as SHA-3 for that matter) follows a heuristic approach. That is, the design is not based on a hardness assumption (for example, the factoring or discrete-log assumption) but on criteria that have only been verified empirically. As such, also the study of uniformity is an empirical study. The development of ...


7

Some brief thoughts: Shared secret Generation: $$s=E_a(B)=E_b(A)$$ The shared secret is generated by encrypting the other users public key with your private key. This is effectively an ECDH step, which is very reasonable, and one of the key aims of C25519$^{[1]}$. Key Generation: $$s_0=\mathrm{SHA256}(s); s_i=\mathrm{SHA256}(s_{i-1})$$ First, using the ...


7

It is possible to turn a hash function into a stream cipher; there are several methods for that, and the simplest is to compute $h(K||IV||x)$ for hash function $h$, initialization vector $IV$, and successive values of a counter $x$. This yields an arbitrarily long sequence of pseudo-random blocks (32 bytes per invocation if $h$ is SHA-256). Then XOR that ...


7

The entropy for the output of SHA-256 truncated to its first $128$ bits when fed a random $128$-bit input is about $127.173$ bit, down from very close to $128$ bit before truncation (see final note). The truncation does not halve the entropy, because the halves are not independent. The right line of thought is that SHA-256 truncated to its first $128$ bits ...


7

Introduction BCrypt is a password-based KDF (far from state-of-the-art, but better than PBKDF2, because BCrypt requires sizable RAM, which greatly increases the cost of hardware-accelerated password search). Bcrypt is based on the blockcipher Blowfish, with the initial processing of the password reminiscent of Blowfish's key preprocessing. Bruce Schneier's ...


7

In computer science, and implementation of crypto, ROTL stands for ROTate Left. ROTL is also noted ROL, or RLNC for Rotate Left No Carry. On a $w$-bit word with bits numbered from $0$, bit number $j$ of the input of ROTL with a shift count of $n$ goes to bit $j+n\bmod w$ of the result; $n=1$ unless otherwise specified (and is the only value available on ...


7

SHA-512 (and SHA-384) is usually faster on 64-bit platforms, and SHA-256 is usually faster on 32-bit platforms.


6

The SHA-256 algorithm works by applying an encryption function in Davies-Meyer mode and Merkle-Damgård chaining. Merkle-Damgård works by first dividing the message to-be-hashed into chunks. In the case of SHA-256 these chunks are 64 octets long. Because Merkle-Damgård chaining is used, the internal state after processing the first 64 octet chunk depends only ...


6

Revised: The proposed construction is just fine, and in particular: at least as secure as SHA-256 against collision attacks, that is the ability for an adversary to construct two files with the same hash; likely about as secure as SHA-256 against both first and second preimage attacks, that is the ability for an adversary to construct (for first preimage) ...


6

To add to @poncho's answer: SHA-256 is a Merkle-Damgård construction, quite similar to SHA-1 and MD5, only with many more internal operations. When the attacks on MD5 were first published, there was some fear that they could be extended to similar hash functions, and they were indeed applied to SHA-1, but with much less success (the attack is still ...


6

First let's take care of your encoding related issues: You can't simply say one byte equals one char. You need an encoding to transform between these, where the properties depend on that encoding. When transforming between normal text and bytes, UTF-8 is a good choice. One character will correspond to a variable amount of bytes that way. You'd use this to ...


6

To have approximately a 50% chance of a collision, you'd need $2^{128}$ data blocks. This comes from the birthday problem. Are you anticipating your list to be that large? I would doubt it as that would be an astronomical amount of data (much, much more than a petabyte). That said, it is very, very unlikely that a collision for MD5 would also be a collision ...



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