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# Questions tagged [entropy]

Entropy is a measure of how predictable the outcome of a random process is, or how much uncertainty one has about an unknown quantity in one's state of knowledge, defined in terms of the probability distribution on possible outcomes or quantities.

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### Splitting a password for dual roles [duplicate]

I would like to prompt users for a single passphrase to establish trust with separate, normally (but not always) complementary systems from one password input. I'm essentially looking for a box where ...
3 votes
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### What aspects of information theory are used in modern cryptography? [closed]

In studying modern (and classical) cryptography, many notions from information theory crop up. Unicity distance, min-entropy, compression, encoding, etc. What parts of information theory should be ...
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### How to calculate entropy of a combined key

I know how to calculate the entropy of a key that relates to its selection process. For example if the key space is $1000$, entropy of a randomly chosen key is $1000$. Suppose now you have two keys $X$...
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### Estimating random number entropy for input into 256 bit hash

Assuming a random number generation process outputs lots of numbers between 0-9. First I gathered up a bunch of the numbers, converted them to binary and created a bitmap. Not so random as you can ...
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6 votes
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### Is this a good entropy collector and whitening technique?

I'm just reviewing a program someone wrote to provide high quality random data using an entropy collector and a hash based whitening technique. I'll try summarize the process: Collect entropy from ...
1 vote
3 answers
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### Extracting only the entropy

(I cleaned up the question a bit, It was previously titled "extracting entropy without hashing" .. thus some of the comments / answers) I'd like to extract the entropy of data without injecting "...
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### Estimating bits of entropy

I know there are different statistical tests out there (NIST, Dieharder, etc), which all do different ways of analyzing entropy. What I'm having a hard time finding is any particular literature ...
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### How much entropy is lost via hashing when you add known or low entropy data?

(I updated the title, as I think there was some confusion as to the question) Here's the question: For example, if I have a bit stream that is 64K bytes long and there is about 16 *8 bits worth of ...
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### Using SHA3 as an entropy pool

Has any work been done on analyzing the SHA3 sponge construction for use as an entropy pool (e.g. /dev/random)? All the use cases I've heard of consts of a ...
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27 votes
5 answers
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### Could RDRAND (Intel) compromise entropy?

I was recently discussing the issue of RDRAND in Intel chips and the whole issue about how NSA could potentially be influencing Intel to weaken or create backdoors in their design. This petition was ...
8 votes
1 answer
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### Is there a cryptographic function or system in which it becomes HARDER to break as time passes?

Is there a function or system which is time depending in which the effort required to brute force the decryption increases with time? It is easy to break encryption from many years ago because ...
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### Does it necessarily mean that an RSA moduli generated with poor randomness is not random?

In 2012 a group of researchers collected a large amount of RSA moduli and calculated their greatest common divisor in order to find common factors between them. By finding a common factor they could ...
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17 votes
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### What to watch for with openssl generating weak keys? (low entropy)

(Disclaimer: I am regular software engineer with only basic crypto knowledge, so helpful if can be explained for a layman.) I am concerned about generating weak keys on a shared linux box with ...
5 votes
1 answer
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### estimating entropy/randomness as fail-safe mechanism

Real-world encryption systems are often not broken algorithmically but because the implementation has a bug. Sometimes the bug only happens in circumstances that could not have been foreseen, such as ...
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### PAK Diffie-Hellman vs. sharing high-entropy key

In order to setup an authenticated shared secret key between two clients, I am faced with the choice between two possibilities: Let users set a (low-entropy) shared password and then perform some ...
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11 answers
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### Algorithm: How to use x and y mouse movement co-ordinates to generate random data?

Background: I'm making a program for fun as a learning exercise. I want to generate some actual random key material (not pseudorandom) from a JavaScript program. For my program is just for encrypting/...
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### When using HMAC, does key encoding matter?

Given: H is a good hash function with block size L. K is a key of length >= L (recommended by RFC 2104). Khex and Kbase64 are ASCII encodings of K. In the HMAC algorithm, is there a good reason ...
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### Is entropy affected by time?

I'm quite new to cryptographic systems, and today we discussed entropy at work. Since entropy is used to ensure the difficulty for an attacker to break in, I was wondering if the more time the high ...
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### Perfect secrecy and change of plaintext probability distributions [closed]

How to prove that if a cryptosystem has perfect secrecy for a given plaintext probability distribution then it will have perfect secrecy for all other possible plaintext probability distributions? Do ...
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### Given a certain entrophy per character, how long should a passphrase be to guarantee key strength?

Given an entrophy of 1.5 bits per character, how long does a passphrase have the be to guarantee a key strength of a 128 bit random key? Assuming an alphabet of 26, one character takes log2(26)=4.7 ...
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1 answer
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### Measuring Shannon's diffusion

Shannon's idea of diffusion is fundamental to cryptography. Besides being a descriptive idea, is there any work on measuring or expressing it? Saying something like "System A has more diffusion than ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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### Entropy in natural language texts

I have a couple of related questions: I read about an estimate, ascribed to Shannon, of the entropy of English text to be between 0.6 and 1.3 bits per letter. The modern day corpus, including the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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### Exhausting the entropy of a hash function

In the case of password storage, consider the following: I have an idea that one can exhaust the entropy of input to the MD5 function by using a 128 bit random value as the password (indeed, any hash ...
0 votes
1 answer
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### Does a playlist of songs or movies mixed together contain enough random enough for OTP key material?

Ok hypothetical scenario. Lets say I want to generate a lot of key material quickly for a one-time pad. This key material will be divided up and used for many different messages in the future. I ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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### Seed a PRNG with random data and a password

I'd like to combine a random key file with a password to generate a secure seed for a CSPRNG. The key file is assumed to have very high entropy, but the password will be whatever the user provides. ...
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1 vote
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### Conditional entropy

Suppose I have a file with random binary strings of the same length in each line. If I'm computing the conditional entropy $H(Y|X)$ where $Y$ is the variable string of fixed length $l$ which is ...
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### Is my password entropy calculation correct?

I have a password with a prescribed format: 111 + (2 Random lowercase letters) + (random digit) As you can see, it starts with a fixed value of ...
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1 answer
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### What happens to the entropy of a password when you hash it?

For example, if the entropy of a password is 30 bits, what is the entropy of the password when you hash it with MD5?
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1 answer
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### How could block encryption in counter mode be secure from viewpoint of entropy?

A good block cipher e.g. AES running in counter mode is commonly considered to be secure. Assuming a perfectly random key, one could in this case from $128$ bits generate up to $2^{128}·128$ bits for ...
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6 answers
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### Are picture files "random enough" to be usable as a one-time pad?

Say you have a picture with 1 megapixels taken at random and with $2^{24}$ possible colours per pixel (RGB-24). That image would be unique and the possible combinations $(2^{24})^{10^6}$ immense. ...
6 votes
2 answers
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### Using chi square for distinguishing between compressed and random data

I am trying to find some measurement for identifying and distinguishing between compressed and random data. I tried this first by computing the entropy of such data, the entropy value is extremely ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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### Is just a bit of random, "fully random"?

I understand that hashing a datetime is a pseudo-random number, and not good in a security context. But what about hashing a datetime plus a truly-random but constant string (just a string that an "...
3 votes
3 answers
909 views

### Entropy of system data - use all and hash, or trim least significant bits?

I'm working on a background entropy collector for key generation that monitors hardware and produces an entropy pool. Here's my list of sources: Mouse position Keyboard timings (i.e. time between ...
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14 votes
3 answers
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### Why is ciphertext from low entropy plaintext not compressible?

This comes following a discussion with a colleague. My plaintext file plain consists of a about 100,000 lines of "all work and no play...". It's size is: 2.2 MB. ...
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### Are there any authoritative definitions of "key stretching"?

This is mostly a terminology question, but I suppose that it is best asked and answered here. After browsing the Internet I have come across a fair number of completely different definitions of the ...
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1 answer
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### Shannon entropy calculation: is $H(A|R·A) = H(A)$?

Suppose I generate a random $m×m$ matrix $R$, where each of its elements belongs to $\mathbb Z_n$. I ensure that $R$ is invertible in $\mathbb Z_n^{m×m}$. Now I take a non-random $m×m$ ...
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### Seeking special-use fingerprinting/hashing algorithm

For a project I wonder if there exists some kind of fixed-size checksumming/fingerprinting function in which based on this fingerprint given data block 1, it is easy to generate more data blocks that ...
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6 votes
4 answers
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### Stretching a random seed to maximize entropy

I'm using a random number generator that requires me to pass it a big (several kilobytes) pool of random data for initialization. I've gathered entropy from various system metrics (free memory, ...
6 votes
2 answers
622 views

### Feedback on rolling my own entropy gatherer

First of all, I don't recommend doing this. This was something I created when I didn't know better and didn't have a solution available to me. Long ago I created my own entropy gather for a ...
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### Measuring entropy for a ciphertext only attack

When bruteforcing a password (e.g. the common attacks on DES), where you have ciphertext only, you need a way to assess whether a decrypted plaintext is the right one. I believe the EFF DES machine ...
9 votes
2 answers
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### Brute forcing CRC-32

I'm working on a cryptosystem which uses IDEA. The designer made the mistake of including a CRC-32B hash of the password unencrypted in the header, so that the system can quickly reject bad passwords....
6 votes
3 answers
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### Using an RSA private key simultanously as an AES encryption key to generate random numbers?

Currently I'm implementing a PRNG for an embedded system. Using the RFC 4086 I've decided to use the X9.17 - to be more specific the successor X9.31- standard to implement my PRNG. X9.17 uses DES, but ...
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43 votes
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### What is entropy?

We discuss a lot of topics and use measures of entropy to determine how difficult it is for an attacker to be successful. What does entropy mean in the context of cryptography? How is entropy ...
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### How should I calculate the entropy of a password?

If part of the password is a whole regular English word, does the entropy of that part depend on the number of English words in existence, the number of English words known by the choosing algorithm, ...
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14 votes
4 answers
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### Tactics available to help prove security of a new system?

I believe that the accepted tactic to "prove" a system as secure is to allow the crypto-community to review it and if no vulnerabilities are found over a long period of time (5 or 6 years), then a new ...
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33 votes
1 answer
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### Should I use the first or last bits from a SHA-256 hash?

I have the need for a hexadecimal token that is smaller than the normal length of the hexadecimal representation of a SHA-256 hash. Should I take the first bits or the last bits? Which of them ...
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