Questions tagged [symmetric]

Symmetric cryptosystems assume two communicating entities share a pre-established secret key.

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18
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4answers
26k views

Is using the same IV in AES similar to not using an IV in the first place?

So if I understand how an IV works with AES, I'm supposed to generate a different IV for every message because using only a key, I will get the same encryption if the message was encrypted twice (...
40
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2answers
20k views

Why do we use encrypt-decrypt-encrypt (EDE) in 3DES, rather than encrypting three times?

I'm wondering why we use encrypt-decrypt-encrypt (EDE) sequence in 3DES (also known as DES-EDE, TDES or TDEA) with three keys instead of three times encryption (EEE) with three different keys?
33
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1answer
10k views

What is a tweakable block cipher?

Pretty simple question - but I can't seem to find much information about it. What exactly is a tweakable block cipher? How do they differ from traditional block ciphers? What is the 'tweak'? Is it ...
16
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1answer
3k views

After ECDH with Curve25519, is it pointless to use anything stronger than AES-128?

Is the following reasoning correct: After ECDH with Curve25519, the resulting shared secret will be an EC public key with a bit strength of 128 bits. This public key would then be hashed (let's say ...
28
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2answers
30k views

Why is asymmetric cryptography bad for huge data?

I've been told that asymmetric cryptography requires that the message to be encrypted be smaller than its key length. Why is this? I know about hybrid encryption, which uses symmetric encryption to ...
5
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4answers
25k views

Can I find the encryption key if I know the plain text and the encrypted text (DES and AES)?

If I have the plain text and its output after encryption with a key K1, is it algorithmically feasible to find K1? I am specifically interested in the cases of DES and AES encryption algorithms.
45
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3answers
29k views

Why is public-key encryption so much less efficient than secret-key encryption?

I'm currently reading Cryptography Engineering. After giving a high level explanation of the difference between secret-key encryption and public-key encryption, the book says: So why do we bother ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Is it okay to use an HMAC of the plaintext and a (possibly distinct) key as the IV for symmetric cryptography?

I was thinking of how to create an IV for a block cipher that doesn't require stored state, and I came up with the idea of using an HMAC of the (padded) plaintext and a (possibly distinct) key as the ...
22
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2answers
7k views

Deriving Keys for Symmetric Encryption and Authentication

So here's the concept. Rather than storing 2 keys and using a random IV, which presents its own problems (key rotation, ensuring no key is used in more than 2^32 cycles, sharing the keys, etc), is it ...
27
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9answers
10k views

Why not the one-time pad with pseudo-number generator

I am very new to cryptography (so be kind), but I have a question that may seem silly. If the one-time pad is the perfect cipher and impossible to crack, why would the following algorithm not be one ...
4
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2answers
11k views

Why is hybrid encryption more effective than other encryption scheme?

Currently I am learning about Hybrid Encryption but I was not able to find any good study material. Below is my understanding: One of the reason why we use ...
45
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7answers
10k views

How can we reason about the cryptographic capabilities of code-breaking agencies like the NSA or GCHQ?

I have read in Applied Cryptography that the NSA is the largest hardware buyer and the largest mathematician employer in the world. How can we reason about the symmetric ciphers cryptanalysis ...
14
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2answers
6k views

What is the correct way to implement PBKDF2 + AES CBC + HMAC?

I've been doing a lot of reading on the proper way to implement AES CBC mode with HMAC authentication. I've seen many explanations, however, I've had a hard time finding an actual real example (with ...
9
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5answers
16k views

Why do we need asymmetric algorithms for key exchange?

In SSL protocols, both symmetric and asymmetric algorithms are used. Why is it so? The symmetric algorithms are more secure and easier to implement. Why are asymmetric algorithms usually preferred in ...
16
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5answers
10k views

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 ...
12
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1answer
4k views

Sending KCV (key check value) with cipher text

I was wondering why it is not more common to send the KCV of a secret key together with the cipher text. I see many systems that send cipher text and properly prepend the IV to e.g. a CBC mode ...
3
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2answers
1k views

Decrypt Base64 Encoded Monoalphabetic Cipher

I'm attempting to decrypt a body of ciphertext which has been encrypted using a monoalphabetic cipher. The trouble I'm having is that the plaintext was base64 encoded before being encrypted. In this ...
17
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3answers
6k views

Why does SHA-1 have 80 rounds?

Why does SHA-1 algorithm have exactly 80 rounds? Is it to reduce collisions? If yes, then why do SHA-2 and SHA-3 have a lower number of rounds?
14
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6answers
14k views

What is the importance of Modular arithmetic in cryptography?

Why do we use modular arithmetic so often in Cryptography?
12
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4answers
3k views

Can I determine if a user has the wrong symmetric encryption key?

We're using the Objectivity/DB object database with a custom encryption plugin that encrypts serialized objects on disk. Encryption uses AES with a shared secret key held by all users. I would like to ...
11
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2answers
2k views

KCV and compatibility with block cipher modes of operation

There has been lately a question on KCV (key check value), value provided by many CRYPTOKI (PKCS#11) implementations. I don't particularly like KCV, but I decided to ask about proper use of KCV. ...
7
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2answers
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Does ChaCha20/Salsa have the same bit strength as AES for identical key sizes?

Does ChaCha20/Salsa have the same bit strength as AES for identical key sizes? In other words, does ChaCha20 with a 128-bit key theoretically require 2^128 attempts to brute force, as with AES-128? ...
4
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2answers
3k views

Symmetric vs. Asymmetric cryptographic approaches to data security

I know the basic differences between Symmetric vs. Asymmetric cryptography, but I'd love to know more details: Exactly why is the asymmetric approach slower than the symmetric? Why does it make use ...
3
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2answers
143 views

Is the encryption more secure if we apply Pohlig-Hellman cipher twice with different keys but with the same modulus?

To encrypt a message $M$, we compute $C=M^k \bmod p$ and to decrypt a Cipher-text we compute $M=C^{k^{−1} \bmod (p−1)} \bmod p$ But if we use Pohlig Hellman twice like $C_1=M^k \bmod p$, and then $...
24
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3answers
15k views

Is 128-bit security still considered strong in 2020, within the context of both ECC Asym & Sym ciphers

Given that much of our ECC crypto primitives provide “only” 128-bit security when defined over a 256-bit curve due to pollard-rho, is it then still safe in 2020 to consider 128-bit security safe for ...
9
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4answers
30k views

How is the key shared in symmetric key cryptography?

Symmetric key cryptography is an encryption system in which the sender and receiver of a message share a single, common key that is used to encrypt and decrypt the message. Is the key public or it is ...
27
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3answers
5k views

Information leakage from the ecryptfs filesystem

I'm wondering what information might be leaked from the ecryptfs filesystem. This is what Ubuntu uses if you check the box for "encrypted home directory" when using the desktop installer, so is ...
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2answers
3k views

Open source implementations of Symmetric Searchable Encryption and Order Preserving Encryption [closed]

Are there open source implementations of SSE and OPE? Can anyone please point to sample codes, if available. EDIT If cryptDB is not an option, what other options are available? (Indeed, these ...
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2answers
3k views

What exactly does s2k do in gpg

So I recently discovered the --s2k mode in gpg. Sadly it is not very well-documented. I mean, what is ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Why is RSA usually limited to messages up to 1 block [duplicate]

I'm wondering why RSA encryption usually is only used for messages that fit into one block. For larger messages hybrid encryption in combination with symmetric ciphers like AES seem to be the solution ...
7
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2answers
3k views

Are CFB and OFB really meant for streaming?

CFB, OFB and other modes are meant for streaming and don't require padding. Are there still limitations such as the text needs to be greater than key length?
6
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1answer
872 views

Multi-target attacks on AES-CTR with a random nonce

128-bit block ciphers are vulnerable to multi-target attacks where the attacker seeks to attack a collection of keys instead of a single key. A simple example: Generate keys $k_1, k_2, ...,k_{2^{40}}...
3
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1answer
341 views

Does the key schedule function need to be a one-way function?

For some key schedule $e_n(e_{n-1}(k))$ (where $e_{n-1}(k)$ is the result of the previous round) , does $e$ need to be a one-way function? In the case of DES or Rijndael the key schedule doesn't ...
6
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2answers
4k views

Would a “Triple AES” (in the sense of how Triple Des works) serve for a dramatic increase in safety?

The system requires to be as paranoid as possible regarding security. One of the few contemplated changes to the current design is to use multiple encryption. First proposal was to use Serpent on top ...
5
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1answer
2k views

A “one time pad” can be thought of a Vigenere cipher with

A "One Time Pad" can be thought of a Vigenere cipher with... An infinitely long key A secure symmetric key Multiple ciphertext alphabets A columnar transposition I had this question come up ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Do any one-key-of-many cryptographic schemes exist?

I'm pretty sure I understand how public/private key cryptography works. Anybody can encrypt a message using a well-known public key, but only the person who holds the private key can decrypt it. My ...
4
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4answers
5k views

Initialization vector in symmetric-key encryption

Can we use symmetric-key algorithms without an initialization vector? I am making an app where both the sender and receiver share a key and there is no way to create an initialization vector for each ...
2
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2answers
728 views

IV Security Clarification

After doing lots of reading on SO and other websites relating to AES cryptography, I am trying to understand the security issues surrounding IV's. There seems to be a lot of confusion and ...
1
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1answer
1k views

When is public-key crypto used / when is symmetric crypto used?

I read in the book "Cryptography & Network Security" that it has almost been universally accepted that public-key cryptography is restricted to only being used for key management (Does this mean ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Is it necessary for the Rijndael polynomial to be primitive?

I am working on selecting a S-box for my Cipher (Similar to AES). I found out there are 30 irreducible polynomials and over 16 primitive polynomials of degree 8. Is it necessary to choose a primitive ...
6
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1answer
1k views

What is 'key agility' in relation to symmetric-key encryption?

I sometimes see, in discussions of symmetric ciphers, reference to the 'key agility' of a particular algorithm. It seems to be related to the difficulty of switching encryption keys, but I don't ...
5
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1answer
269 views

Why do block ciphers use key schedules instead of round constants? (Even-Mansour)

Let's take AES as an example. What would be wrong with just having a 256 bit key that you XOR into your input and then XOR into your output? No key expansion at all. I believe it's even known as the ...
4
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2answers
456 views

Is it safe to initialize secret keys by just reading /dev/random on Linux?

For a software, I don't want the user to choose weak keys, so I plan to just read the needed number of bytes from /dev/random to create the needed secret keys. Is it safe to do so?
3
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1answer
456 views

Is this MAC-then-encrypt scheme secure?

I have the following requirements: 64 bits (8 bytes) of data ($D$) that requires confidentiality and integrity; the data itself is a nonce, never need to authenticate/encrypt the same value twice (e....
3
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1answer
605 views

Can we decrypt in this order when the message is encrypted twice?

If we encrypt a message twice with symmetric key $k_1$ first and then $k_2$ like $E_{k2}\{E_{k1}\{m\}\}$ , ideally we should decrypt with $k_2$ first and then $k_1$ but is it possible to decrypt with $...
21
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1answer
21k views

How to choose a padding mode with AES

Depending on the framework you are using, there are various padding modes that can be used with AES encryption. For example, with .NET we can choose PKCS7, ISO10126, ANSIX923, Zeros or None. I ...
3
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2answers
668 views

Research question: usefulness of newly discovered symmetric key cryptosystem

both myself and my collaborators are pure mathematicians with only tangential experience in the study of cryptographic systems, so if this question is unclear or does not belong here, please do let me ...
2
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3answers
1k views

Example of a cut-and-paste attack on CBC

I am reading the cryptography book by Stamp and there is a cut-and-paste attack on $ECB$ and this is easy to follow because $ECB$ is relatively simple, the problem is that I would like to see an ...
7
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3answers
1k views

CBC - a canonical mode, even though there are streaming modes

Why is CBC considered the canonical mode when there are streaming modes available such as CFB and OFB? One thing that I can think of is that in CBC you can easliy do range-based decryption. All you ...
4
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1answer
8k views

What's the difference between the long term key and the session keys?

I'm currently studying secret key cryptography, and I've come across the terms "long-term key" and "session key". What's the difference between these two kinds of keys?