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Short answer: 32 bytes of full-entropy key is enough. Assuming full-entropy key (that is, each bit of key is chosen independently of the others by an equivalent of fair coin toss), the security of HMAC-SHA-256 against brute force key search is defined by the key size up to 64 bytes (512 bits) of key, then abruptly drops to 32 bytes (256 bits) for larger ...


First of all, the usual way to do this is to generate a new random AES key and then wrap it with the public key. Generally you don't encrypt with the private key at all. Yes, SHA-256 is a one way hash so you can do this. The problem is that you would still need to encrypt with a public key to let the other party know the AES key (unless you use the key to ...


yes, in the same way the hash of a password does help you recovering the password. If you have the hash you can test against it. This doesn't mean that the recovery is doable in a reasonable amount of time


The practical answer is "not really". With that said, here's a more nuanced answer: If you only have a single AES-256 plaintext/ciphertext pair (one block, that is), it's not actually possible to bruteforce the key. AES has a block size of 128 bits, so the probability of any given key having that plaintext/ciphertext pair should be $2^{-128}$. That number ...

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