Let's suppose I have a 1MB high-resolution photo and I want to hash and create a 1536-bits key.

I know that I could just use SHAKE-256 as its a pre-enginered way for doing that.

There is also Skein that can emit outputs of any sizes (up to 2^64-1).

But Skein has a internal state of 1024-bits.

If I decide to use Skein to generate the 1536-bits key, would I have the same security of that of SHAKE-256 despite Skein internal state being shorter than the key size? Would the key have guaranteed 1536-bits of security?

PS: I read the entire Skein manual and I could not find anything that can answer this question.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ What does it matter? Anything of over 128 bit of security (against any adversary) is unbreakable unless the algorithm gets broken. You can go to 256 bit if you're overly careful. Anything above that basically has the same security. I'd me more worried about the entropy of the input source (i.e. the photo) and why you'd want a 1536 bit key. $\endgroup$
    – Maarten Bodewes
    Commented Nov 25, 2022 at 23:30
  • $\begingroup$ @MaartenBodewes I know that any key size greater than 256-bits is paranoia, but I want to create a disk encryption program in the future that allows selection of very large key sizes. Obviously I would hash a particular kind of file, such as a video/photo carefully and caring about the input file a lot. Here I use AES with secret S-Boxes, in this scenario large keys are needed. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 26, 2022 at 1:41
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    $\begingroup$ "Here I use AES with secret S-Boxes"; nope, no such thing exists. You are doing home-brew crypto $\endgroup$
    – poncho
    Commented Nov 26, 2022 at 16:11
  • $\begingroup$ @poncho github.com/veracrypt/VeraCrypt/blob/master/src/Crypto/… -- github.com/veracrypt/VeraCrypt/blob/master/src/Crypto/… -- I created my own S-Box (and its inverse) and replaced the AES S-Box of Veracrypt with it, then I compiled and I have been using for some days, at least is more secure than pure AES I think. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 26, 2022 at 17:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @phantomcraft The AES S-boxes are very carefully chosen to have certain differential characteristics. Using random key-dependent S-boxes might actually reduce security. $\endgroup$
    – forest
    Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 22:53


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