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Questions tagged [symmetric]

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

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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 (...
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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?
alaamub's user avatar
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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 ...
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29 votes
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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 ...
K_X's user avatar
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18 votes
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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 ...
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43 votes
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Is AES-128 quantum safe?

I've been reading lately some contradicting messages with regards to the quantum-safe resistance of AES128. First, there are blog posts by Ericsson people like these ones: Can quantum attackers break ...
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4 answers
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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.
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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 ...
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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 ...
Demi's user avatar
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4 votes
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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 ...
python's user avatar
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29 votes
9 answers
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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 ...
dardawk's user avatar
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22 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
ircmaxell's user avatar
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46 votes
7 answers
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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 ...
jokoon's user avatar
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5 answers
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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 ...
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9 votes
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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? ...
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Explaining Chaotic Cryptography

I will venture myself into studying chaotic cryptography. However, I find it hard to explain what chaotic cryptography entails to those that have some knowledge of cryptography. Neither can I explain ...
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5 answers
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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 ...
Bailala's user avatar
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15 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
izzle's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
Maarten Bodewes's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
Jonah's user avatar
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3 answers
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Is CTR more secure than CBC?

In cryptography, a block cipher mode of operation is an algorithm that uses a block cipher to provide information security such as confidentiality or authenticity. A block cipher by itself is only ...
moyu's user avatar
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32 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
Woodstock's user avatar
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19 votes
6 answers
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What is the importance of Modular arithmetic in cryptography?

Why do we use modular arithmetic so often in Cryptography?
user5507's user avatar
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18 votes
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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?
tausif's user avatar
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14 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
Aria's user avatar
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12 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
Barry Wark's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
3k 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. ...
user4982's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
873 views

Are there any symmetric cryptosystems based on computational complexity assumptions?

Are there any symmetric cryptosystems which are provably secure in the sense that there exists a reduction from their security to the hardness of some underlying hard problem such as integer ...
Chris's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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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}}...
Tim McLean's user avatar
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5 votes
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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 ...
Mfon Kiwi Eti-mfon's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
247 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 $...
Ayush Gupta's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
889 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 ...
Jonny Wilson's user avatar
28 votes
2 answers
26k views

Why is Diffie-Hellman considered in the context of public key cryptography?

In all textbooks I used the Diffie-Hellman key exchange is under "public key cryptography". As far as I can see it is a method to exchange a key to be used with a symmetric cryptographic algorithm, ...
Mr_and_Mrs_D's user avatar
27 votes
3 answers
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 ...
Hamish Downer's user avatar
17 votes
1 answer
4k views

Difference between “ECDH with cofactor key” and “ECDH without cofactor key”?

I need to use “ECDH with a cofactor key” for generating symmetric key. I have a fair idea on how ECDH works, but I don’t understand the cofactor part. What is the difference between ”ECDH with a co-...
Kiran's user avatar
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15 votes
3 answers
3k views

Do key collisions for symmetric ciphers exist?

I'm not sure if I'm calling the thing (key collisions) correctly, and that's probably why I couldn't find any information about it on Google. Still, my question is as follows. Note that I don't work ...
Vladimir Matveev's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
15k views

Digital Signature using symmetric key cryptography

Generally digital signature is a public key cryptography concept.But it needs high overhead. So is there any publication or link available where 'digital signature using symmetric key' has been ...
saptarshi nag's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
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?
m33lky's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
Richard R. Matthews's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
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 ...
user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
6k 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 ...
Mamsaac's user avatar
  • 333
6 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
pg1989's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
Claudiu's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why does applying 56-bit DES twice only give 57 bits of security? [duplicate]

Given two 56-bit keys, $k_1$ and $k_2$, why does $E_{k_1}(E_{k_2}(M))$ only give 57 bits of security? So basically I'm unsure why it only gives 57 bits of security; I understand that one key will ...
user3411002's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
409 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 ...
Jack Maluniv's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
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 ...
pi-e's user avatar
  • 53
4 votes
2 answers
648 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?
daruma's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
Thomas Lieven's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
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 ...
jithin's user avatar
  • 189
3 votes
1 answer
660 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 $...
sashank's user avatar
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