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 ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms

15
votes
3answers
2k views

What is a cryptographic oracle?

I came across the term "cryptographic oracle" and despite a bit of googling I was unable to come across a clear, concise definition. What is a cryptographic oracle and what does it do? Can anyone ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

In what ways does Full or Partial Homomorphic Encryption benefit the cloud?

Can someone explain, in plain English, the practical ways FHE and PHE can be leveraged in the cloud? Some interesting (and confusing) links include this Microsoft Research PDF and this wiki entry. ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

The aescrypt implementation hashes a password 8192 times to generate the key. Is this necessary?

I'm considering encrypting some small files (hundreds of kb apiece) using the aescrypt reference implementation. Looking at the source, it seems that the encryption key is derived from the IV and the ...
15
votes
3answers
479 views

Storing passwords in reversible form - a genuine use-case

What's wrong with you, you crazy fool, you're not supposed to be able to retrieve a password in plain text! I know. Hear me out. Assume I've got a service that's similar to Mint.com. For those that ...
15
votes
4answers
421 views

Why aren't digital signatures the standard way to authenticate web clients?

The web is a mess of incompatible cookie schemes, asinine requirements ("your password must contain letters, numbers, and at least one symbol from !()-_., and must begin with a letter, and once you ...
15
votes
3answers
480 views

What is gained by hashing the last block on-device?

Recently I encountered the notion of "hashing the last block on-device". It means that when computing a digital signature, the hash that serves as input for the actual signature computation is not to ...
15
votes
3answers
594 views

If I have two identical linux virtual machine images, will they generate identical random numbers?

A really noob question, I know, but something I was wondering about this morning. If this were the case, would they encrypt things identically? Or maybe someone could direct me to a helpful research ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

GnuPG/OpenPGP Key Practices

I'm looking for input on GnuPG (gpg) best practices. It's been discussed some on the gnupg-users mailing list, but I wanted to get as diverse a view as possible, so I thought to bring the topic to ...
14
votes
6answers
1k views

Principle of asymmetric algorithm in plain english

I was giving a presentation to my colleagues about cryptography basics in which I explained about asymmetric algorithm and its use. One of the common question from the audience about asymmetric ...
14
votes
2answers
954 views

Salting password with the first 8 bit of the password itself

Do you guys think salting password with the first 8 bit of the password itself will have same result as using stored salt to hash password? [Clarification] I am not storing salt but creating from the ...
14
votes
8answers
2k views

Is advanced mathematics relevant to security beyond cryptography?

Short question. The title says it all... is advanced mathematics (i.e. beyond the classic college level calculus sequence) relevant to any field of computer security besides cryptography? By relevant, ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Looking for example of well-known app using unsalted hashes

Does anyone know of a well-known application that still uses unsalted hashes for password storage? I'm looking for an example for an upcoming lecture on Rainbow Tables, and I think it would add ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the chances to generate the same ssh key?

I could generate ssh keys on the client like (without password): ssh-keygen -b 8192 -t rsa -f /home/THEUSER/.ssh/id_rsa -P '' -v and copy the generated id_rsa.pub to the server: ssh-copy-id -i ...
14
votes
4answers
11k views

how digital signature verification process works

I am not able to understand that how the digital signature is verified. I know that digital signature will be attached to the message and sent by sender to receiver. then receiver uses the public key ...
14
votes
6answers
560 views

Primary Key as Salt?

Is it okay to use the primary key as the salt in a Users table? The only disadvantage that I can see is if the PK changes (unlikely), then the passwords break. What are your thoughts?
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Forced into using a static IV (AES)

We've had to extend our website to communicate user credentials to a suppliers website (in the query string) using AES with a 256-bit key, however they are using a static IV when decrypting the ...
14
votes
4answers
8k views

Is it possible to securely store passwords using reversible encryption?

Everyone says that you need to use a non-reversible hash when you store passwords so that even if your database is leaked, the passwords themselves are still safe. I'm wondering if there is anyway to ...
14
votes
4answers
942 views

Doubling up or cycling encryption algorithms

I've occasionally read the suggestion to enhance security by either doubling up on encryption algorithms (encrypt a message once with one algorithm, then encrypt the ciphertext again with a different ...
14
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Timing attacks on password hashes

Timing attacks can have a devastating impact in scenarios where the secret is involved, often in cases where byte-wise array comparison is used. Now there are those that advertise using constant ...
14
votes
1answer
596 views

Are there any security problems with Google false start for TLS?

Google recently announced false start in Chrome browsers which increased TLS performance by 30% http://news.softpedia.com/news/Google-Chrome-s-SSL-False-Start-201253.shtml I know TLS has been poked ...
14
votes
1answer
6k views

Does Windows really still use unsalted MD4 for password storage?

I find it quite difficult to believe that the passwords in Active Directory for Windows 2008 R2 are still stored using the unsalted MD4 (aka "NT Hash") algorithm. Can it really be true? I've been ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Flaw in encryption through pseudorandom number stream (from gpg documentation)

I was reading PGP docs and came upon a part written by Phil Zimmermann (PGP's creator) that piqued my curiosity: When I was in college in the early 70s, I devised what I believed was a brilliant ...
13
votes
7answers
736 views

Online Government Elections System - Is it possible?

I am from Bulgaria and currently some groups here are promoting the idea of referendum among the people, about the possibility for establishing a system for ONLINE GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS. The idea is ...
13
votes
7answers
6k views

What are the realistic, and most secure crypto for Symmetric, Asymmetric, Hash, Message Authentication Code ciphers?

I'm interested in updating this two pronged question for 2011: What cryptology is most appropriate for low-powered devices (such as a cellphone), and yet still effective? What cryptology is most ...
13
votes
9answers
710 views

Anybody have additional information on the EMC RSA SecurID compromise?

The Security Advisory Press Release here doesn't have much information, the email that alerted me to this didn't help much more, and unfortunately I heard about the two Thursday evening conference ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

How quickly can these password schemes really be beaten?

If you use a quick hashing algorithm like MD5 or SHA-1 to hash passwords and you don't use any salt at all, how quickly could one expect a hacker to find my password out? If I use a truly random salt ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

How should passwords be stored if they must be recoverable?

By "encrypting" passwords you are violating CWE-257: Storing Passwords in a Recoverable Format. But this is exactly what the French government wants. They want to be able to obtain the passwords of ...
13
votes
5answers
554 views

What is the potential impact of the alleged OpenBSD IPSEC attack?

Recently there is a bit of concern over encryption back doors in IPsec and while the status of this has not been confirmed, I don't know what impact something like this might have. For instance, does ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Cracking a linear congruential generator

I was recently listening to the security now podcast, and they mentioned in passing that the linear congrunential generator (LCG) is trivial to crack. I use the LCG in a first year stats computing ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Computationally simple, lightweight replacement for SSL/TLS

Target hardware is a rather low-powered MCU (ARM Cortex-M3 @72MHz, with just about 64KB SRAM and 256KB flash), so walking the thin line here. My board does have ethernet, and I will eventually get ...
13
votes
3answers
7k views

Whats the difference between MAC vs hash

What is the difference between the two algorithms? One difference that I know of, is that MAC is keyed and hash is not.
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the most common password salting methods?

I learned that the Sun guys used the login name as salt for password hashing. Is this a common approach? What are the most common salt values?
13
votes
2answers
3k views

What should I know before configuring Perfect Forward Secrecy?

PFS has gained attention in our audit department because of its innate ability to limit our exposure if someone steals our private key. What pitfalls or common mistakes should I be aware of before ...
13
votes
2answers
625 views

Is it okay to sign a PGP key without an IRL meeting?

[PGP] can get paralyzed by excessive analness. — Phil Zimmermann Preamble I am in the process of building my own web of trust. That is, I want people (PGP users…) to be—fairly—sure that, by ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Evaluating the entropy gathering in a PRNG

I'm reviewing the random number generator (expected to be of cryptographic quality) on an embedded device. My point of view here is the operating system and crypto library implementer. I'm ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

What's the mathematical model behind the security claims of symmetric ciphers and digest algorithms?

Why can SHA-1 be considered a secure hash function? That's something I still wonder about. I understand the concepts of why modern asymmetric algorithms are deemed to be secure. They are founded on ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Is Steganography considered encryption and subject to USA export restrictions?

I have written an application for Apple's iOS which embeds messages in JPEG files using steganography (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steganography). For the purposes of this question lets assume ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

How would I implement “Broadcast Encryption”?

I have a stream that I want to encrypt for broadcast to 10,000 subscribers. I know I should encrypt this data using a symmetric key; and also intend that this symmetric key will be rotated every 30 ...
12
votes
6answers
7k views

Is PBKDF2-based System.Cryptology.RFC2898DeriveBytes() “better” for Unicode Password hashing than traditional methods?

When is it appropriate to use RFC2898DeriveBytes versus a typical hash? Update I now understand that a KDF is typically used to create a symmetric key for possible use in encrypting a stream. I ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Does prepending a salt to the password instead of inserting it in the middle decrease security?

I read somewhere that adding a salt at the beginning of a password before hashing it is a bad idea. Instead, the article claimed it is much more secure to insert it somewhere in the middle of the ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Multi-tenancy, SSL Certificates, and Subject Alternative Name

The X509 specification allows a CA to issue a single certificate for multiple hostnames, by using the "Subject Alternative Name" extension. From the spec: The subject alternative name ...
12
votes
5answers
4k views

How can I decrypt data with Java, without hard-coding the key?

I hope this is not a chicken-egg problem or reinventing the wheel but here goes. I have a Java application that needs to access a password protected file (actually during the application startup). The ...
12
votes
4answers
452 views

Encrypting data by parts vs encrypting the whole data

Suppose I have a file with records, and I have two options to encrypt it: encrypt the file as a whole encrypt each record separately and store them together. Which way is generally preferable and ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

Use RSA keypair for PGP encryption and decryption

Is there a way that I can use a RSA keypair with PGP? What I mean is that I have 2048 length keypair and i want to use that to encrypt and decrypt data. But all I have found is that the PGP uses some ...
12
votes
2answers
569 views

Is a large number of RSA-encrypted files a vulnerability?

Would having a large number (10^4) of RSA encrypted files make it easier for an attacker to find my private RSA key? Update: These files would be available to the attacker, and perhaps the content of ...
12
votes
1answer
326 views

What are the problems with encrypted but unsigned data?

In another question's answer, D.W. wrote: Make sure there is authenticity protection for the encrypted data (e.g., encrypt and then sign/MAC): you will need both confidentiality and authenticity ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

MS-SQL Password Storage

What would be your recommendation for replacement of an MD5 hash approach to password storage within an MS-SQL database be?
12
votes
1answer
2k views

TrueCrypt, Master password possible?

I recently was talking with somebody, and they said something along the lines of TrueCrypt having a "master key" password that certain authorities have. Now, from what I know about how TrueCrypt ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

How big salt should be?

I will be using scrypt to store passwords in my application. As such, I'll be using SHA-256 and Salsa20 crypto primitives (with PBKDF2). Having that in mind, how big salt should I use? Should it be ...