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Questions tagged [key-size]

Key size is the size measured in bits of the key used in a cryptographic algorithm.

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How big an RSA key is considered secure today?

I think 1024 bit RSA keys were considered secure ~5 years ago, but I assume that's not true anymore. Can 2048 or 4096 keys still be relied upon, or have we gained too much computing power in the ...
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What are the practical differences between 256-bit, 192-bit, and 128-bit AES encryption?

AES has several different variants: AES-128 AES-192 AES-256 But why would someone prefer use one over another?
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Security strength of RSA in relation with the modulus size

NIST SP 800-57 §5.6.1 p.62–64 specifies a correspondence between RSA modulus size $n$ and expected security strength $s$ in bits: ...
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How strong is the ECDSA algorithm?

Some cryptographic algorithms are as strong as the size of their key is, while other have some weaknesses that limit their strength (such as SHA-1). How strong is the ECDSA algorithm, and does that ...
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Is 80 bits of key size considered safe against brute force attacks?

I came across the KATAN family of ciphers for small domain input blocks. They cipher arbitrary block lengths: 32, 48 and 64, but their key size is 80 bits only. Is 80 bits of key size considered ...
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What is the history of recommended RSA key sizes?

One can find up to date recommended key sizes for RSA at http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-131A/sp800-131A.pdf for example. In short it suggests a key size of at least 2048 bits. Is it ...
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Why are RSA key sizes almost always a power of two?

I know that other bit sizes are possible, e.g. this HTTPS server seems to have a 9000 bit key https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=qqq.gg, but it's very rare that one sees a key not of size ...
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Are there practical upper limits of RSA key lengths?

Suppose one wanted to use RSA encryption for the sole purpose of sending key bits for use in symmetric crypto systems, a dedicated key exchange system so to speak. And say you didn't think that the ...
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Why does the recommended key size between symmetric and asymmetric encryption differ greatly?

In various articles it is mentioned that for secure communications, the recommended key sizes are 128-bit key size for symmetric encryption (which makes it $2^{128}$ possible keys?) and 2048-bit key ...
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Password entropy much lower than entropy of encryption keys. Why is this acceptable?

When talking symmetric encryption, a 56 bit key is known to be so weak. If you use it for your encryption, you are considered a goner. When talking passwords however, the standard these days is ...
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How do I get the equivalent strength of an ECC key?

I know how to calculate the comparable symmetric strength of an RSA modulus: calculate the running time for a field sieve. This is how NIST gives approximate symmetric sizes for asymmetric algos in ...
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Is there any benefit from using SHA-512 over SHA-256 when AES just truncates it anyway?

I am still not very clear on how AES-256-CBC can use SHA-512 bit keys, but I assume that it just truncates the 512bit hash down to 256bit. In software like GnuPG and OpenPGP, is there any real benefit ...
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AES Key Length vs Block Length

This answer points out that certain key and block lengths were a requirement for the AES submissions: The candidate algorithm shall be capable of supporting key-block combinations with sizes of 128-...
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Argon2 output length and parameter storage?

I just started using the libsodium port for .net today and the output length parameter kind of confused me (I'm using the argon2i implementation). With my limited exposure to hashing, whatever hash ...
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What size should the HMAC key be with SHA-256?

I'm trying to generate a secret key to be used for HMAC SHA-256 signature processing. I've seen many sample of keys with variable length from 32 characters to 96 characters. What is the ironclad rule ...
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How much can we compress RSA public keys?

I am wondering to what degree we can define an RSA variant, with a security argument that it is as safe as regular RSA with a given modulus size $m$ (e.g. $m=2048$), in which the public key has a ...
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What should be the size of a Diffie-Hellman private key?

I'm implementing the SRP-6 protocol, which relies on discrete logarithms for it's security (essentially Diffie-Hellman). The RFC documents state: The private values $a$ and $b$ SHOULD be at least ...
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How secure is AES-256, but with an effective key length of 56-bits?

I need to encrypt a few drives using Kaspersky Total Security. I however noted something peculiar, Kaspersky's description of their cipher is: Data will be protected using AES-256 encryption with ...
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1 Billion Bit Encryption?

So, browsing through YouTube, I stumbled on this video interview of John Draper (Captain Crunch), one of the first "hackers". He talks for about 3 minutes (until 27:48) about his home rolled ...
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What is the minimum and maximum value of an RSA private exponent?

Is it possible to calculate the minimum and maximum value of the private exponent for an RSA key, for example for a 1024 key size? In other words, what is the range of values in which the private ...
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What is the purely mathematical definition of encryption strength?

An encryption function can be used to obfuscate pieces of information and later on retrieve them. What is the yardstick for measuring how well the function encrypts the information ? Given any ...
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Key Size for Symmetric Homomorphic Encryption Over the Integers

In the paper Fully Homomorphic Encryption over the Integers, it mentions a symmetric key scheme on page 1 and 2. Key Generation: Pick a random odd number $p \epsilon [2^{N-1},2^N)$ Encrypt A Bit m: $...
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Is there a public key encryption scheme with optimal key size?

Symmetric encryption schemes such as AES have known security levels equal to their key sizes (i.e. breaking an encryption with an $n$ bit key needs about $2^n$ work steps). Elliptic curve encryption ...
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How many keys does the Playfair Cipher have?

I was just studying the Playfair cipher and from what I've understood, it is just a slightly better version of a Caesar cipher, in that it isn't actually mono-alphabetic but rather the 'digrams' are ...
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How were the AES key and block length subsets of Rijndael selected?

My intuition tells me it's a trade off between speed and security, but how did the standardisation process select these three seemingly arbitrary key lengths (namely, AES-128, AES-192, AES-256).
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Why is the complexity of RSA-1024 80 bit and not 86 bit?

Why is the complexity of RSA-1024 80 bit and not 86.76611925028119 bit? Here is the complexity for the GNFS (pulled from the linked Wikipedia article): $$\exp\left( \left(\sqrt[3]{\frac{64}{...
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Why can ECC key sizes be smaller than RSA keys for similar security?

I understand how ECC is based on the discrete log problem and RSA on integer factorization. I've read several references that show how a solution to either of these problems can typically be adapted ...
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What is the maximum key size for a 128 bit AES?

What is the maximum key size for AES 128, Will using a key greater than maximum gives extra security or error? Is there a minimum key size? Suppose a key is 128 bit, does it means The key is of ...
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Export from US of crypto software with key-size > 56 bits still needs permission?

Elsewhere someone stated that he couldn't publish his crypto software on the Internet, because US Export Regulations require approval, if the key size is greater than 56 bits. I know that several ...
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Is RSA key size the size of private key exponent?

I have implemented a key pair generation scheme for RSA algorithm. I have taken the length of private key exponent as RSA key size, but then I've got to know that RSA key size is the size of the ...
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RC2, RC4, RC5 key length

While reading the Wiki page on RC4 I noticed that the key size must be in the range of 40–2,048 bits. So should I understand like this, that I can have a key that has length of, lets say 333 bits? (...
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What is the maximum size of the plaintext message for RSA OAEP?

OAEP is an important technique used to strengthen RSA. However, using OAEP (or any technique that adds randomness) reduces the size of plaintexts that can be encrypted. Assume for instance that OAEP ...
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Is it possible to change PGP / GPG Key Size on an exisiting key?

Is it possible for myself to change the key size (say from 2048 to 4096) on an EXISTING PGP / GPG key, and just republishing that key? Or do I have to generate a new key all together? I want to say ...
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Digital signature for an expiring password

I would like to create a publicly available tool that is used to generate a password that gives a limited time access to a resource. My idea is to digitally sign the current date with a private key ...
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Effective security of block cipher – equal the key size, or half the key size?

The Wikipedia “Key Size” article states: The security of an algorithm cannot exceed its key length (since any algorithm can be cracked by brute force), but it can be smaller. … … … Most symmetric-...
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SHA-256 and AES-128

Does it make an encrypted string more secure if I use SHA256(x) instead of x as the secret key for AES-128 encryption? I do know that SHA-256 produces 64 characters of hashed string regardless of what ...
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RC4 Keylength Limits

While reading the Wiki page on RC4 I noticed that the key size must be in the range of 40–2,048 bits. Why is that? Is there a reason it can't have a lower or higher length?
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Is there a practical security difference between XXX-bit encryption?

I know I'm treading in dangerous waters asking this - my comprehension of cryptography math is sorely lacking. On the flip side it gives me massive admiration for what many of you are able to do. ...
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Can there be a need for 1024-bit (symmetric) encryption?

I think we are all aware of the CAESAR-competition. Now the aim of this competition is to select a (portfolio of) winner(s) which provide authenticated encryption. I'll now assume that the results ...
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How long should a HMAC cryptographic key be?

In the top answer to this question the answerer says 'with a sufficently long key'. I am using a SHA1-HMAC (may switch to SHA256-HMAC) algorithm to verify cookies sent to clients as authentication ...
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Relation between key size and PRNG state size

Some (supposedly) cryptographically secure PRNGs have an internal state of only 160 bits or less. When the algorithm is otherwise properly designed, that seems like enough to generate a 128 bit key ...
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Brute-forcing Symmetric Keys

Random keys are often produced using high-quality random generators. Assuming a key produced for a symmetrical cipher, this means that the number of zeros and ones in the key will, on average, ...
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Staying PCI compliant while upgrading encryption

I am trying to migrate my encryption methods, currently I use RSA 1024 key size and hashing with SHA-1. This configuration is going to be deprecated soon, but 2048 key size will have my system so ...
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For RSA keys, is the safety of a given key-length different for signing vs encryption?

I'm wondering if considerations of key-length are different when thinking about signing vs encryption. If for some reason, it was safter to use smaller keys for signing that would be interesting.
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Special case of 3DES

3DES uses EDE as it is backward compatible to single DES, but consider the following case $K_1$=$K_2$=$K_3$ which one is more secure EDE or EEE.
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How does the key size in supersingular isogeny schemes relate to their security level?

I'm looking at the De Feo, Jao, and Plût 2014 paper: Towards quantum-resistant cryptosystems from supersingular elliptic curve isogenies. My understanding of section 3.2 Key Exchange, is that Alice'...
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Key Length vs KeySpace

I am a newbie here, this is my first post. I have searched the forum but I haven't found a clear answer to this. In general. What is the relationship between key length and the keyspace? (if there ...
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Why are there $2^{56}$ possible DES keys when there are 64 key bits?

On forums I read DES has $2^{56}$ possible keys so it takes x times to brute force it with hardware x. But there are 64 total bits of which are 8 parity bits. But those parity bits are a ...
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ECC vs RSA: how to compare key sizes?

I know and I have understood the details of RSA, elliptic curve cryptography, (EC)DH and (EC)DSA. I keep reading everywhere that (if we don't consider non-deterministic computers) "ECC can achieve ...
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what are the NTRU keysize and application in industry?

I'm a student currently working on a research project on the NTRU cryptosystem, I've read some papers about this cryptosystem, and in those papers they are talking about keysize, is it the size of the ...