Cryptography is the practice and study of logical means used to achieve information confidentiality, integrity and authenticity. It covers, among other things, encryption (making some data unreadable except for those who know a given secret element, called a key), data hashing (in particular for ...

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Criteria for Selecting an HSM

A very sensitive application has to protect several different forms of data, such as passwords, credit cards, and secret documents - and encryption keys, of course. As an alternative to developing a ...
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2answers
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HMAC - Why not HMAC for password storage?

Nota bene: I'm aware that the good answer to secure password storage is either scrypt or bcrypt. This question isn't for implementation in actual software, it's for my own understanding. Let's say ...
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8answers
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Why would salt not have prevented LinkedIn passwords from getting cracked?

In this interview posted on Krebs on Security, this question was asked and answered: BK: I’ve heard people say, you know this probably would not have happened if LinkedIn and others had salted ...
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4answers
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How to achieve non-repudiation?

If I have a message that I need to send to another person, how do I achieve non repudiation ? Is digitally signing the message sufficient ?
29
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4answers
6k views

How can PrivateSky not see your data?

PrivateSky is a website that promises encrypted "cloud-like" secure information exchange. They promise that except the sender and receiver, nobody can see your data. After testing it yesterday, I do ...
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2answers
3k views

What actually happens in “low voltage fault attacks”

I understand they are an attack on crypto algorithms as implemented on various processors, but how do they work? The online papers are too complex for me to understand.
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9answers
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Feeding /dev/random entropy pool?

Which way of additionally feeding /dev/random entropy pool would you suggest for producing random passwords? Or, is there maybe a better way to locally create fully random passwords?
29
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6answers
31k views

Asymmetric vs Symmetric Encryption

I am currently taking a principles of information security class. While talking about different encryption methods a large number of my classmates seem to believe that Asymmetric Encryption is better ...
29
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3answers
7k views

symmetric encryption session keys in SSL/TLS

This question concerns the session send and receive keys used in SSL/TLS protocol. my understanding is that this key uses symmetric encryption (DES, AES, BlowFish, etc.) I'm wondering, if ...
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8answers
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If someone breaks encryption, how do they know they're successful?

Let's say I have a file containing a random bunch of bits and then I encrypt it using some modern algorithm (Blowfish, AES, or whatever). If someone captures the file and mounts a brute force attack ...
29
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4answers
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How does PGP differ from S/MIME?

Is S/MIME an abstracted system for general MIME type encryption, whereas PGP is more for email? Why would I want to choose one over the other, or can I use both at the same time?
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4answers
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How can I export my private key from a Java Keytool keystore?

I would like to export my private key from a Java Keytool keystore, so I can use it with openssl. How can I do that?
28
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7answers
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Where can I learn cryptography/cryptanalysis the hard way, without going to school ? Any good book?

I'm not so bad at mathematics: I know what are p-list and p-combinations, I know matrix algebra, I know what a XOR is, I know how to tell if number is a prime, etc: I'm not the programmer who hates ...
28
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5answers
12k views

Why AES is not used for secure hashing, instead of SHA-x?

As far as I understand, AES is believed to be extremely secure. (I have read somewhere that it would certainly not be broken in the next 20 years, but I am still not sure if the author was serious.) ...
27
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3answers
3k views

Is there any advantage to splitting a password?

I've been reading about the LANMAN (LM) hash and I'm curious about a particular part of the algorithm. The LM hash is computed as follows: The user’s ASCII password is converted to uppercase. ...
27
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2answers
1k views

Does versioning an encrypted file make it less secure?

Suppose I use KeePassX as a password manager, and I store the kdb file in Sparkleshare folder as a way for backing up and syncing with multiple devices. The kdb file in itself would be encrypted, but ...
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8answers
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Why is password hashing considered so important?

After reading this article, I can see the benefits of password hashing as a second layer of defence, in the event of an intruder gaining access to a password database. What I still don't understand is ...
26
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5answers
3k views

How valuable is secrecy of an algorithm?

On the surface, the inadvisability of security through obscurity is directly at odds with the concept of shared secrets (i.e. "passwords"). Which is to say: if secrecy around passwords is valuable, ...
26
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6answers
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Could SQRL really be as secure as they say?

I just came across https://www.grc.com/sqrl/sqrl.htm With Secure QR Login, your phone snaps the QR code displayed on a website's login page . . . . and YOU are securely logged in. This ...
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5answers
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Where to get an SSL certificate for personal website?

I would like to use https to login to my personal webpage (which is on shared hosting). So I went over to google and started searching for sollutions. Eventualy I found out that I need an SSL ...
26
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2answers
1k views

Are URLs viewed during HTTPS transactions to one or more websites from a single IP distinguishable?

For example, say the following are HTTPS URLs to two websites by one IP over 5 mins: "A.com/1", "A.com/2", "A.com/3", "B.com/1", "B.com/2". Would monitoring of packets reveal: nothing, reveal only ...
26
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6answers
25k views

Most secure password hash algorithm(s)?

What is/are currently the most cryptographically secure hashing algorithm(s)? (available in PHP) Speed is irrelevant, because I'm iterating the hash over a fixed time (rather than a fixed number of ...
25
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5answers
21k views

What ciphers should I use in my web server after I configure my SSL certificate?

There are many great questions that ask what is the best certificate to use for a website; but once the certificate is purchased, there is also the possibility to choose or edit the Cipher list. ...
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9answers
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Do secure phone lines exist?

I could be out of context here about security, but , I would like to know if phone lines or phone calls over VOIP could be made secure . I know that Skype and other VOIP service providers have to ...
25
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3answers
13k views

Which SSL/TLS ciphers can be considered secure?

The OpenSSL website provides a long list of different ciphers available for SSL and TLS. My question is, which of those ciphers can be considered secure nowadays. I am especially interested in HTTPS, ...
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12answers
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Can a file contain its md5sum inside it?

Just wondering if it is possible to create a file which has its md5sum inside it along with other contents too.
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2answers
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What are the risks of self signing a certificate for SSL

Let's say I sign a SSL certificate for myself, and I'm not using a certified CA. What are the risks and/or threats of doing it?
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5answers
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Never spell a word the same way twice?

A long time ago I was reading about Renaissance-era ciphers and I remembered this quote: David Kahn, author of The Codebreakers, quotes Giovanni Battista Porta who published, in 1563, a famous ...
23
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2answers
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What is the difference between a Hash Function and a Cryptographic Hash Function?

I mean, is it just a matter of "how difficult is it to reverse the function with the current technology"? Or is there a mathematical concept or property that makes them different? If it is a matter ...
23
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2answers
2k views

What is the purpose of frequently rotating TLS certificates without changing underlying keys?

I read in the OWASP cheat sheet regarding certificate / public-key pinning that “Google rotates its certificates … about once a month … [but] the underlying public keys … ...
23
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5answers
3k views

Why is Bruce Schneier recommending symmetric crypto over public key crypto

I just read the article written by Bruce Schneier, the crypto guru. In the article, he says : Prefer symmetric cryptography over public-key cryptography. But, he doesn't shed any light as to ...
23
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3answers
2k views

How does Convergence (CA replacement) prevent its notaries from being MITM'd as well?

I have been looking into Convergence and how it works, but I cant figure out how it is effective against a MITM attack that happens near the target system. My understanding is that Convergence works ...
23
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5answers
6k views

What does Amazon's S3 Server-side encryption protect against?

Amazon's S3 storage service offers server-side encryption of objects, automatically managed for the user (Amazon's Documentation). It's easy to enable so I'm thinking "why not?", but what kind of ...
22
votes
7answers
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Why don't people hash and salt usernames before storing them

Everyone knows that if they have a system that requires a password to log in, they should be storing a hashed & salted copy of the required password, rather than the password in plaintext. What I ...
22
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4answers
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how long does it take to actually generate rainbow tables?

I've been reading up about rainbow tables as I think they're quite interesting cause they're actually a pretty simple concept. Anyway, I was wondering, has anyone been involved in actually generating ...
22
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7answers
1k views

At what level of abstraction should a developer work with with regards to cryptography?

I have recently came across an old blog post by Jeff Atwood which got me thinking. What could be easier than a EncryptStringForBrowser() method which has security and tamper-resistance built in, ...
22
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6answers
2k views

Shouldn't GPG key fetching use a secure connection?

If I run this for example: gpg --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 0xFBB75451 then does the importing occur in a secure way? I mean does it go over only secured connections? (HKP?) ...
22
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3answers
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Now that it is 2015, what SSL/TLS cipher suites should be used in a high security HTTPS environment?

It has become quite difficult to configure an HTTPS service that maintains "the ideal transport layer". How should an HTTPS service be configured to permit some reasonable level of compatibility while ...
22
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4answers
3k views

How would you store a 4 digit pin code securely in the database?

I'm familiar with password hashing, using salts, bcrypt etc. But it doesn't seem like this would work to store a 4 digit pin code since the attacker could try all 10,000 combinations quite quickly. ...
22
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3answers
2k views

What ways are there to verify a self-written protocol?

Before everyone goes yelling: "NEVER DO YOUR OWN CRYPTO", I haven't, technically (I'm still half way), but apart from that I am making a TLS-like protocol, but way lighter. I needed to secure ...
21
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9answers
2k views

What cryptographic algorithms are not considered secure?

What cryptographic algorithms are not considered secure, but yet are still widely used and available in standard libraries? If applicable, mention a secure alternative.
21
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6answers
8k views

Is AES encrypting a password with itself more secure than SHA1?

This isn't really a practical question, but more a question of curiosity. I heard a CS professor recommend stepping up from md5ing passwords not to SHA1, but to AES encrypting the password using ...
21
votes
5answers
3k views

Can ECC be used without infringing on patents?

Can ECC (Elliptic Curve Cryptography) be safely used without infringing on Certicom's patents? I would like to make use of ECC in an embedded system to establish a secure channel. But, I am concerned ...
21
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1answer
2k views

Has SHA-3 Arrived?

I know NIST called for contenders (in 2007) regarding the new hash algorithm to replace SHA-2. Has there been a selection, or finalists selected?
21
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5answers
3k views

PCI Encryption Key Management

(Full disclosure: I'm already an active participant here and at StackOverflow, but for reasons that should hopefully be obvious, I'm choosing to ask this particular question anonymously). I currently ...
21
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2answers
4k views

Is “real salt” the same as “initialization vectors”?

In the question about real vs. fake salt, the answers describe how real salt 'perturbs the encryption algorithm.' I know roughly how initialization vectors work; is this the same concept, or something ...
20
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6answers
2k views

What are the good use cases for disk encryption?

I've been researching disk/file system encryption, and on the surface it seems like a good idea for a lot of things. But as I dig further, the security it offers seems more mirage like than real. ...
20
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2answers
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Why are GPUs so good at cracking passwords?

What is it about GPUs that lets them crack passwords so quickly? It seems like the driving force behind adopting good key-derivation functions for passwords (bcrpyt, PBKDF2, scrypt) instead of ...
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5answers
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What's the practical limit for rainbow-table based bruteforce?

Say we have a hash of a password. The password can be considered to be made of of totally random characters and has a fixed length of N. The hash is SHA1(password+salt), where the salt is of length M. ...
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2answers
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Is HTTP compression safe?

The CRIME attack taught us that using compression can endanger confidentiality. In particular, it is dangerous to concatenate attacker-supplied data with sensitive secret data and then compress and ...