# 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 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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### How can I determine key length for message encrypted by many-time-pad?

For message $m$ and key $k$ I get encrypted message $c$ ($m \oplus k = c$) where $length(k) < length(m)$. Additionally I know that message $m$ is English text. Instead of using pure ...
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### Does a key derivation function always generate an even distribution of bits in the resulting key?

I am a student of crypto. During our study course, we went into the AES-128 algorithm. All the examples given used an initial key k, 128 bits and we only briefly touched on the key derivation of ...
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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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### Why are the bit lengths of keys and digests equal in Lamport signatures?

In Lamport's one time signature scheme: One way function to convert a pseudo random number private key to a public key takes $\{0,1\}^n$ and returns $\{0,1\}^n$. Cryptographic hash function to ...
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### Master keys' strengh

If I am going to use a master key to generate a session key, why the master key must be "stronger" than the session key? Like should not be distributing 128-bit AES keys derived from a 56-bit DES key....
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### Choosing primes in the Paillier cryptosystem

In the first step of key generation phase in Paillier cryptosystem given here. It's given that $$\operatorname{length}(p) = \operatorname{length}(q) ) \implies \operatorname{gcd}(pq,(p-1)(q-1))=1$$ ...
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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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### Block cipher block and key sizes

Is there any point in making block size less than key size in block cipher? For example, Russian GOST symmetric cipher uses 256-bit keys to encrypt 64-bit blocks. That means there are many keys which ...
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### How to calculate key size of a security algorithm?

There are lots of security algorithms. One of the way to measure security of a cryptography algorithm is to find out its key size. There are many key size of a single algorithm. ECC (Elliptic ...
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### Should the most significant byte of a cryptograhic key be nonzero?

Is it safer to give a non zero value to the most significant byte (MSB) of a cryptographic key to ensure its length (not 31 instead of 32 for an EC private key on a 256-bit curve for example)? Or is ...
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### Why is Rijndael key length restricted?

Why is Rijndael restricted to key length in $\lbrace 128, 160, 192, 224, 256\rbrace$ bits (and not larger)? The algorithm looks to me like it would support an arbitrary-sized key (multiple of $32$). ...
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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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### Does it make sense to have a 4000 bit long key?

My question is about the key length of a asymetric algorithm. How is it possible to memorize or remember a key that is about 4000 bits long?
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### When NIST disallows the use of 1024-bit keys, what effect will that have on SHA-3 (with max. 512 bits)?

Quoting the article Gone in 60 Months or Less: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has disallowed the use of 1024-bit keys after 31 December 2013 because they are insecure. ...
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### RSA incorrectly translates for small keys [duplicate]

I've been learning about RSA and wrote my own implementation. I don't pretend to have intuitive understanding of RSA or that I understand why it works, but I believe to have some basic understanding ...
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### What part of an RSA key is referred to by the number of bits? [duplicate]

When we speak about 4096- or 2048-bit RSA keys, what part of the key is this number of bits? The public key comprises both the modulus and the public exponent, and the strength of the key can also be ...
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### Are private and public key sizes of Elliptic curve related?

I'm new to elliptic curve cryptography. I just want to know in the case where I take a random number (private key) and find its associated public key, does the size of the public key depends upon ...
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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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### The benefit of PBKDF2 for big keyfile?

The man page of cryptsetup says: Whenever a passphrase is added to a LUKS header (luksAddKey, luksFormat), the user may specify how much the time the passphrase processing should consume. The ...
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### Calculating the average key search time of DES

I am trying to understand how to calculate the average key search time given a specific scenario: Suppose we have a program that uses standard DES with 56 key bits, and we can test 10^6 keys per ...
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### Does the length of the keyword used for keytable for Playfair matter?

So for Playfair, we choose a keyword and put that in the keytable with no duplicates. Then, we fill the rest of the table with alphabets in order that are not in the keyword without 'J'. Does the ...
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### How to generate backup key for PBKD functions?

I would like to encrypt some files using AES, Ill derive key from password using some standard PBKD function and use that as AES encryption key. My question is, if user forgets the main password, ...
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### Is there a standard format for compact 56-bit DES keys?

DES keys are traditionally stored as 8-byte blobs, with only the high 7 bits of each byte being meaningful to the algorithm; the low bit of each byte is set so that the population count of the byte is ...