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344
votes
13answers
113k views

Should we MAC-then-encrypt or encrypt-then-MAC?

Most of the time, when some data must be encrypted, it must also be protected with a MAC, because encryption protects only against passive attackers. There are some nifty encryption modes which ...
68
votes
3answers
64k views

How does one attack a two-time pad (i.e. one time pad with key reuse)?

My question might appear the same as the question Taking advantage of one-time pad key reuse?, but actually I did read all the answers and none of them helped me with the details I need. I am new to ...
183
votes
7answers
83k views

How much would it cost in U.S. dollars to brute force a 256 bit key in a year?

I am often told that any key can be broken and that it is only a matter of time and resources for any key to be broken. I know that this is technically true. However, I think that there is probably a ...
34
votes
3answers
68k views

Calculating RSA private exponent when given public exponent and the modulus factors using extended euclid

When given $p = 5, q = 11, N = 55$ and $e = 17$, I'm trying to compute the RSA private key $d$. I can calculate $\varphi(N) = 40$, but my lecturer then says to use the extended Euclidean algorithm to ...
39
votes
1answer
15k views

Easy explanation of “IND-” security notions?

There are many schemes that can advertise themselves with certain security notions, usually IND-CPA or IND-CCA2, for example plain ElGamal has IND-CPA security but doesn't provide IND-CCA security. ...
74
votes
2answers
15k views

What is the “Random Oracle Model” and why is it controversial?

What is the "Random Oracle Model"? Is it an "assumption" akin to the hardness of factoring and discrete log? Or something else? And why do some researchers have a strong distrust of this model?
50
votes
6answers
8k views

Kerckhoffs’ principles – Why should I make my cipher public?

As I understand it, the less people know about the internals of my protocol or cipher, the more secure the protocol is. However Kerckhoffs's principle states that A cryptosystem should be secure ...
88
votes
7answers
80k views

Taking advantage of one-time pad key reuse?

Suppose Alice wants to send encryptions (under a one-time pad) of $m_1$ and $m_2$ to Bob over a public channel. Alice and Bob have a shared key $k$; however, both messages are the same length as the ...
109
votes
5answers
70k views

Should we sign-then-encrypt, or encrypt-then-sign?

We often want to send messages that are both (a) encrypted, so passive attackers can't discover the plaintext of the message, and (b) signed with a private-key digital signature, so active attackers ...
110
votes
2answers
98k views

What is the main difference between a key, an IV and a nonce?

What are the main differences between a nonce, a key and an IV? Without any doubt the key should be kept secret. But what about the nonce and the IV? What's the main difference between them and their ...
104
votes
7answers
63k views

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 ...
84
votes
8answers
11k views

Guarding against cryptanalytic breakthroughs: combining multiple hash functions

Assume I want to design a protocol (or data format or similar) including some cryptographic hash, and want it to be as future-proof as possible, i.e. I want to avoid that breakthroughs in cryptography ...
37
votes
5answers
13k views

Does RSA work for any message M?

I decided to read the original RSA paper A Method for Obtaining Digital Signatures and Public-Key Cryptosystem because of a question I had about RSA (which is not the question I'm about to ask, but ...
20
votes
4answers
4k views

Is it feasible to build a stream cipher from a cryptographic hash function?

A few years ago I devised a symmetric-key system that worked like so: ...
46
votes
6answers
34k views

Why is AES resistant to known-plaintext attacks?

At least it's my understanding that AES isn't affected by known-plaintext. Is it immune to such an attack, or just resistant? Does this vary for chosen-plaintext?
19
votes
2answers
8k views

Which attacks are possible against raw/textbook RSA?

The PKCS#1 standard defines multiple padding schemes for signature generation/verification (EMSA-PSS and EMSA-PKCS1-v1_5), and encryption/decryption (EME-OAEP and the less safe EME-PKCS1-v1_5). ...
16
votes
2answers
18k views

Is it possible to obtain AES-128 key from a known ciphertext-plaintext pair?

I have a file, which was encrypted with AES-128 in ECB mode. I know the format of the original file and know that all files in this format have the same headers. So, I have an encrypted block and the ...
47
votes
3answers
29k views

Definition of textbook RSA

What is the definition of textbook or "raw" RSA? What are some of the properties of textbook RSA? How does it differ from other schemes based on RSA?
73
votes
4answers
76k views

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?
52
votes
2answers
15k views

What makes a hash function good for password hashing?

Using a cryptographic hash to store e.g. passwords in a database is considered good practice (as opposed to storing them plaintext), but is subject to attacks on said cryptographic hash, assuming the ...
31
votes
4answers
26k views

Why is CBC with predictable IV considered insecure against chosen-plaintext attack?

I just learned that using CBC encryption with an IV which is predictable is not secure. From what I understand, using certain plain texts, and then guessing the IV that it uses, the attacker can ...
33
votes
4answers
6k views

Why is plain-hash-then-encrypt not a secure MAC?

It seems that even in MAC-then-encrypt systems like SSL, something like HMAC is used rather than a plain hash. Why? Suppose we use some stream cipher; then why can't we use $Encrypt(m | H(m))$ as ...
21
votes
5answers
6k views

Using CBC with a fixed IV and a random first plaintext block

What if, instead of using CBC mode in the normal way with a random IV, I used this approach: Use a fixed IV (like a block of 0's). Before encrypting, generate a random block and prepend it to the ...
52
votes
3answers
68k views

Why shouldn't I use ECB encryption?

I'm using Java to generate encrypted strings, and I get this warning at build time: ECB encryption mode should not be used So I'm wondering why I shouldn't use ECB and what I can use instead?
26
votes
3answers
4k views

Are common cryptographic hashes bijective when hashing a single block of the same size as the output?

It's been said that CRC-64 is bijective for a 64-bit block. It the corresponding statement true for typical cryptographic hashes, like MD5, SHA-1, SHA-2 or SHA-3? For example, would SHA-512 be ...
59
votes
1answer
41k views

Can you explain Bleichenbacher's CCA attack on PKCS#1 v1.5?

I've studied that the Bleichenbacher's CCA attack on PKCS#1 v1.5. is a base to many versions of attacks in the area. I'm trying to understand that attack, but every explanation I saw starts with the ...
49
votes
2answers
13k views

Why is $H(k\mathbin\Vert x)$ not a secure MAC construction?

If $H(m)$ is a secure hash function, can't we implement a MAC using $H(k\mathbin\Vert m)$? However, it seems the more widely used MACs, such as NMAC and HMAC (both originally defined in Keying hash ...
44
votes
2answers
5k views

What security authorities and standards reject $e=3$ in RSA, when, and with what rationale?

In RSA, some security authorities and/or standards allow the public exponent $e=3$, others require or recommend $e>2^{16}$ (or perhaps some other minimum). I gathered the following: PKCS#1 allows $...
41
votes
4answers
19k views

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: ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

Attacks of the MAC construction $\mathcal{H}(m\mathbin\|k)$ for common hashes $\mathcal{H}$?

Consider a common practically-collision-resistant hash function $\mathcal{H}$ (e.g. SHA-1, SHA-256, SHA-512, RIPEMD-160), perhaps based on the Merkle–Damgård construction as are the first three. We ...
162
votes
20answers
23k views

Time Capsule cryptography?

Does there exist any cryptographic algorithm which encrypts data in such a way that it can only be decrypted after a certain period of time? The only idea that I can think of, is something like this: ...
43
votes
5answers
8k views

Is there a secure cryptosystem that can be performed mentally?

I, myself, do not plan on getting into a situation where I would be unable to use a computer in order to communicate securely. However, I can think of many practical situations in which mental ...
18
votes
1answer
10k views

What are the odds of collisions for a hash function with 256-bit output?

There are some related questions on the net but I did not understand their solutions. I am reading in a textbook about methods of finding a collision. It states to consider a collision for a hash ...
19
votes
4answers
10k views

What tests can I do to ensure my random number generator is working correctly?

In the past I have used the Chi-squared test to check the statistical randomness of my generator. Is this a good test to use? Are there other tests?
64
votes
4answers
31k views

How can I use asymmetric encryption, such as RSA, to encrypt an arbitrary length of plaintext?

RSA is not designed to be used on long blocks of plaintext like a block cipher, but I need to use it to send a large (encrypted) message. How can I do this?
19
votes
1answer
3k views

What do the signature security abbreviations like EUF-CMA mean?

From time to time, one stumbles across formal security definitions. This includes security definitions for signature schemes. The most common ones are the *UF-* ...
10
votes
4answers
14k 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 (...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How reassuring is 64-bit (in)security?

In Feb 2017, CWI and Google announced SHAttered hash collision attack on SHA1, which took $2^{63.1}$ work estimated 6500 CPU years, to achieve. Therefore, 64-bit should be considered now an insecurity....
33
votes
3answers
90k views

Possible ways to crack simple hand ciphers?

We had a quiz in class today where we had to break the ciphertext with the key given, but not the algorithm. Suffice to say that I wasn't able to decrypt it within the allotted time of 12 mins and ...
16
votes
1answer
4k views

Security of KDF1 and KDF2 (hash based KDF's)

It's still common to come across implementations of KDF1 and KDF2. Basically these are KDF's that simply derive multiple keys from the key seed and a counter: $K_i = \operatorname{KDF}(K_{master}, i) ...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

Is SHA-256 secure as a CTR block cipher?

Generate a 256-bit random nonce. XOR it with a 256-bit reusable symmetric key. This is x. We represent numbers in simple binary instead of a counting function. <...
16
votes
1answer
3k views

Duration for attacking Two-Key Triple-DES Encryption using all RAM ever built?

I am considering attacks on Two-Key Triple-DES Encryption assuming $2^{32}$ known plaintext/ciphertext pairs (that's a mere 32MiB of ciphertext) by the method devised by Paul C. van Oorschot and ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the relationship between p (prime), n (order) and h (cofactor) of an elliptic curve?

I am reading up on ECC and having trouble understanding how these are related. In a finite field, all point operations are taken modulo $p$. $n$ is the order of the generator $G$ — which apparently ...
-3
votes
3answers
727 views

How to interpret the entropy results for a NIST test file?

There is test data derived from pi that is supplied by NIST for validating their entropy measurement formulae listed in NIST's Recommendation for the Entropy Sources Used for Random Bit Generation. ...
108
votes
5answers
88k views

Can you help me understand what a cryptographic “salt” is?

I'm a beginner to cryptography and looking to understand in very simple terms what a cryptographic "salt" is, when I might need to use it, and why I should or should not use it. Can anyone offer me a ...
18
votes
1answer
27k views

How to attack a “many-time pad” based on what happens when an ASCII space is XORed with a letter?

I've already sent my correct solution to a homework exercise from Dan Boneh's Introduction to Cryptography class on Coursera: "Let us see what goes wrong when a stream cipher key is used more than ...
14
votes
2answers
7k views

Is RSA encryption with a private key the same as signature generation?

It is often said that RSA encryption of a cryptographic hash with a private key is the same as signing (signature generation). And that verification consists of decryption using a public key. Is RSA ...
11
votes
4answers
8k views

Multiplicative inverse in $\operatorname{GF}(2^8)$?

I know how to do multiplication over ${\rm GF}(2^8)$: ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Mathematical formula for switching the key for OTP?

Instead of generating the random key for the one time pad cipher over and over again, is there a mathematical formula that allows you to switch the key to a new key? The new key must be as random and ...
41
votes
2answers
25k views

Understanding the length extension attack

I have been trying to understand exactly how a length extension attack works on SHA-1. I'll detail below what I've understood so far, so that I can convey my understanding of the same and hopefully ...

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