We have to comply with third-party security requirements for the loading of 3DES keys. I'm a little confused about the reason behind why Key Check Values (KCVs) can't be full length. As KCV are hashes, I'm wondering what the security implication and risks are?

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the reply and clarification. Can you provide any details on a double length 3DES key probably being safe? Is there any impact if the full-length KCV of all the shares and the full-length key are all known? $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2017 at 12:06

1 Answer 1


The usual (or at least traditional) blockcipher KCV is not a hash but rather the truncated encryption of zero; see How to obtain KCV from the key and KCV and compatibility with block cipher modes of operation

If 3DES (TDEA) key components K1,K2,K3 (i.e. single-length) (or their shares) are checked separately, a full-length (64-bit) check value on a 56-bit key component is practical to bruteforce, with small chance of ambiguity. Similarly for AES-128 where block size equals key size, if 2^128 bruteforce were practical you would be unlikely to get more than a very few candidate keys, which in most situations is a break. For a double-length or triple-length 3DES key, the key is longer than a (full) data block, by 48 or 104 bits; the former is probably safe and the latter definitely so.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.