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49
votes
7answers
30k views

Google is using RC4, but isn't RC4 considered unsafe?

Why is Google using RC4 for their HTTPS/SSL? $ openssl s_client -connect www.google.com:443 | grep "Cipher is" New, TLSv1/SSLv3, Cipher is RC4-SHA Isn't RC4 ...
45
votes
2answers
10k views

Why is SHA-1 considered broken?

Is there a known pair of distinct bit strings (A,B) such that SHA-1(A) == SHA-1(B)? If the answer is no, then how can SHA-1 be considered broken?
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Security of Schnorr signature versus DSA and DLP

The Schnorr signature scheme is a randomized signature scheme with appendix. The signature is $3t$-bit for conjectured $t$-bit security in a chosen-messages setup, with at most $2^{t/2}$ queries to a ...
26
votes
1answer
5k views

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 ...
20
votes
5answers
7k views

Desirable S-box properties

What desirable properties should an S-box have? My current standard selection process is to just pick them at random and verify that they fit the following criteria: The probability that any random ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Creating a small number from a random octet string

I'm trying to figure out the best way to generate a cryptographically secure random number between 0 and 200 (inclusive) from a cryptographically secure random string of bytes (ie. read from /dev/...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does key generation take an input $1^k$, and how do I represent it in practice?

In my lecture, the lecturer said: Let $K$ be the key generation algorithm. Given a security parameter represented in unary, $1^k$, $K(1^k)$ will output a keypair $(pk; sk)$, known as the public ...
18
votes
1answer
4k views

How exactly was the finalist chosen in the NIST AES competition?

I was just reading the Stick Figure Guide to AES and came across an interesting table explaining how the winner was chosen: Unfortunately the NIST site is down so I can't gain further information ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Cycles in SHA256

Let's say I start with a particular 256 bit value. Call this $v$. I then hash that value, and get another 256 bit value. Call this $\text{SHA256}(v)$. I take this value and get another 256 bit value. ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

After ECDH with Curve25519, is it pointless to use anything stronger than AES128?

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Combining multiple symmetric encryption algorithms - implications?

I was just wondering if I add more security by combining two or more symmetric encryption algorithms on a plain text. For example: ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Attack of an RSA signature scheme using PKCS#1 v1.5 encryption padding

My best interpretation of this question is that Java's crypto API has been subverted to perform RSA signature using PKCS#1 v1.5 encryption padding. Assume the signature $S$ of a message $M$ is ...
15
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is h(m||k) insecure?

Here is the post that explains the failure for doing h(k||m) and I understand it. But I don't understand how h(m||k) is subjected to collison attack, or birthday attack. Please explain?
6
votes
2answers
376 views

Proof that MAC and hash composition is insecure

Let $F$ be a secure PRF and $H$ a universal hash function. How can I exhibit a pair $(F,H)$ whose composition $$S'((k_1, k_2), m) = F(k_2, H(k_1,m))$$ is an insecure MAC (or an insecure PRF, since a ...
18
votes
3answers
3k views

Can I use a one time pad key twice with random plaintext?

I understand the basics of OTP: $|\text{key space}| = |\text{plaintext space}|$ implies perfect security, key reuse destroys this. Cryptanalysis on the $N$-Time Pad for $N > 1$ involves finding ...
14
votes
3answers
5k views

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-...
10
votes
1answer
813 views

Entropy when iterating cryptographic hash functions

Consider a cryptographic hash function that maps $n$-bit strings to $n$-bit strings: $$ \DeclareMathOperator{\H}{H} \DeclareMathOperator{\SHA}{SHA-256} \H(x) : \left\{0,1\right\}^{n} \mapsto \left\{0,...
8
votes
1answer
156 views

Is it possible to generate backdoored DH parameters?

I know it has been already asked and answered whether it's possible to generate weak DH parameters. But "recentely" we experienced the Logjam attack, which makes use of the pre-computation ...
1
vote
4answers
10k 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.
-2
votes
2answers
668 views

What is the probability of any two users generating the same 128, 256, 2048 bit key?

There are some protocols that require the user to generate some random key locally (client-side) with no server authority to "approve" or "reject" their key and are based on the assumption that it's ...
151
votes
10answers
37k views

Why is writing your own encryption discouraged?

Say I want to write an encryption algorithm to communicate between me and my friend for this private use. How is that bad? E.g. I can take the word Hello and ...
94
votes
2answers
16k views

What is the new attack on SHA-1 “SHAttered” and how does it work?

There's a new recent Attack on SHA-1 named "SHAttered" by Google and some researchers. I understand that it uses some fancy new techniques, but not the details. My question is: How? How does the ...
48
votes
4answers
112k views

Difference between stream cipher and block cipher

I read that A typical stream cipher encrypts plaintext one byte at a time, although a stream cipher may be designed to operate on one bit at a time or on units larger than a byte at a time. (...
58
votes
2answers
36k views

Impacts of not using RSA exponent of 65537

This RFC says the RSA Exponent should be 65537. Why is that number recommended and what are the theoretical and practical impacts & risks of making that number higher or lower? What are the ...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

How to publish a cipher (concept)?

In the last months I was searching for a subject for my bachelor thesis. I came up with an idea for a new cipher concept that works by combining already known techniques in a (hopefully) new way. So ...
15
votes
3answers
28k views

Chinese Remainder Theorem and RSA

Wikipedia has a nice section regarding the speedup of the RSA decryption using the Chinese Remainder Theorem here. I need to understand the implementation of a similar speedup for the encryption ...
29
votes
4answers
4k views

How to fairly select a random number for a game without trusting a third party?

Several people are playing a game with random events and require a way to produce a random number. (Such as dice rolls or a lottery.) Can this be done such that each player has the power to be ...
14
votes
1answer
37k views

How are the AES S-Boxes calculated?

I'm trying to understand how the AES S-Boxes are calculated. I understand how the multiplicative inverse is calculated over $GF(2^8)$, but I'm confused by the description of the affine transformation. ...
30
votes
5answers
20k views

What is the difference between CSPRNG and PRNG?

What is the difference between CSPRNG and PRNG? Is there performance differential between them? For example: We use PRNG for key generation which is very expensive and CSPRNG for IV/nonce in block ...
40
votes
2answers
10k views

What do the magic numbers 0x5c and 0x36 in the opad/ipad calc in HMAC do?

Wikipedia lists the following pseudocode for HMAC: ...
17
votes
2answers
21k views

In RSA, why is it important to choose e so that it is coprime to φ(n)?

When choosing the public exponent e, it is stressed that $e$ must be coprime to $\phi(n)$, i.e. $\gcd(\phi(n), e) = 1$. I know that a common choice is to have $e = 3$ (which requires a good padding ...
14
votes
3answers
7k views

Is using a predictable IV with CFB mode safe or not?

While writing this answer, I noted that NIST SP 800-38A says that (emphasis mine): "For the CBC and CFB modes, the IVs must be unpredictable. In particular, for any given plaintext, it must not be ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Proving knowledge of a preimage of a hash without disclosing it?

We consider a public hash function $H$, assumed collision-resistant and preimage-resistant (for both first and second preimage), similar in construction to SHA-1 or SHA-256. Alice discloses a value $...
20
votes
2answers
3k views

Is HMAC needed for a SHA-3 based MAC?

HMAC does nested hashing in order to prevent Length Extension Attacks. Given that you use the SHA-3 hash (which is resistant against length extension attacks), would you still need to go through that ...
18
votes
4answers
4k views

Is compressing data prior to encryption necessary to reduce plaintext redundancy?

As explained in William Stallings' Book, in PGP encryption is done after compression, since it reduces redundancy. I couldn't relate encryption strength with redundancy. Could anyone explain more on ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

What does a “real” quantum computer need for cryptanalysis and/or cryptographic attack purposes?

The cryptographic world has been buzzing the word "quantum" for a while now (even the NSA is currently preparing itself for a post-quantum crypto world) and quantum-related hardware engineering is ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Can a computationally unbounded adversary break any public-key encryption scheme?

Assume there is a public-key encryption scheme $(KeyGen, Enc, Dec)$ with perfect correctness (i.e., for all messages M and valid key-pairs (PK,SK), we have $Dec_{SK}(Enc_{PK}(M))=M$). Will there ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

The effect of truncated hash on entropy

Suppose I have a 128-bit random binary string (128 bits of entropy), then I hash it using SHA-256, then I take the first 128 bits of the output hash. Does the taken bit string still have (almost) 128 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Calculation of the avalanche effect coefficient

Given a strict avalanche criterion matrix/dependence matrix for a hash function,how do I calculate the avalanche coefficient for it. I want to calculate a single parameter(value) which represents the ...
20
votes
4answers
9k views

How many RSA keys before a collision?

I was wondering how many possible private/public keys exist? If a million people – for whatever reason – would try to generate 5 keys each in the same minute (on the same date and time) is there a ...
14
votes
2answers
5k views

Pre-image resistant but not 2nd pre-image resistant?

Are there any cryptographic hash functions for which there is a known pre-image attack, or a known second pre-image attack, but not both? The attack doesn't have to be practical - just anything that ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Why does Shamir's Secret Sharing Scheme need a finite field?

I read ampersand's question "Necessity for finite field arithmetic and the prime number p in Shamir's Secret Sharing Scheme", where he asked why Shamir's Secret Sharing Scheme uses arithmetic in a ...
4
votes
1answer
624 views

Is there are a metric based on collisions to compare bad hash functions?

Bad hash functions are not so perfect as in the "general collision probability" hypothesis... And a general concept of "collision resistence" not need the constraint of independence between the ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

How bad it is using the same IV twice with AES/GCM?

I understand that initialization vectors (IV) should not be used twice when using AES/GCM. I am using a counter as an initialization vector. Every time I send out a new packet (I am developing an UDP ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

A simple block cipher based on the SHA-256 hash function [duplicate]

I've come up with this little routine for doing encryption using the SHA-2 (in this case SHA-256) hash function. As such it is a block cipher with a 256 bit (32 byte) block size and an arbitrary key ...
79
votes
6answers
72k views

How can I generate large prime numbers for RSA?

What is the currently industry-standard algorithm used to generate large prime numbers to be used in RSA encryption? I'm aware that I can find any number of articles on the Internet that explain how ...
25
votes
5answers
45k views

What is the lowest level of mathematics required in order to understand how encryption algorithms work?

What mathematical fields of knowledge would be required in order to get a good understanding of encryption algorithms? Is it basic algebra, or is there a "higher education" mathematical field ...
28
votes
4answers
25k views

How can one securely generate an asymmetric key pair from a short passphrase?

Background info: I am planning on making a filehost with which one can encrypt and upload files. To protect the data against any form of hacking, I'd like not to know the encryption key ($K$) used for ...
25
votes
1answer
35k views

What is Attribute Based Encryption?

Can someone explain what attribute based encryption is? I was searching for a book or something that can help me in this regard but so far I have found none. Google also returns practically nothing ...
33
votes
2answers
13k views

How does order-preserving encryption work?

Order-preserving encryption (OPE) is, apparently, a method of encrypting data so that it's possible to make efficient inequality comparisons on the encrypted items without decrypting them. I've been ...

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