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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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 ...
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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 ...
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What to transfer? Password or its hash?

Let's say in my database I store passwords hashed with salt with a fairly expensive hash (scrypt, 1000 rounds of SHA2, whatever). Upon login, what should I transfer over the network and why? Password ...
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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. ...
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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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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 ...
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Secure Configuration of Ciphers/MACs/Kex available in SSH

Following on the heels of the previously posted question here, Taxonomy of Ciphers/MACs/Kex available in SSH?, I need some help to obtain the following design goals: Disable any 96-bit HMAC ...
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Convergence - an SSL replacement?

Today, Moxie Marlinspike, a security researcher famous for his research on Android and SSL and related protocols (author of sslstrip/sslsniff), released "Convergence" which says is "an agile ...
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Google Chrome “Your connection to website is encrypted with obsolete cryptography”

Google Chrome is showing new information in the certificate section. Is this a big deal? If so how can I fix it on the server end? EDIT: Thanks for the answers but I'm not skilled in cryptography ...
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How to encrypt in PHP, properly?

How do I encrypt data in PHP, properly, using symmetric-key encryption? I have a message M and a secret S. I'm looking for a solution that uses cryptography properly without making any of the usual ...
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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 ...
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How long should a random nonce be?

NIST provides good guidelines on the length of keys and hashes for various algorithms. But I don't see anything specifically on the length of a random or pseudo-random nonce (number used once). If ...
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WPA significantly less secure than WPA2?

I understand at least theoretically WPA2 is more secure than WPA, but in practice does it make any difference which one you use? From what I know there are no known attacks for either except for ...
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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 ...
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Why is it always `HASH( salt + password )` that we recommend?

Browsing over this site, many forums, online articles, there's always one specific way we're suggesting to store a password hash: function (salt, pass) { return ( StrongHash(salt + pass) ) } But ...
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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 ...
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How can I explain “zero knowledge proof” to an end user?

A ZKP allows proof of knowing the answer to a secret, without actually disclosing what that answer is. Is there any analogy that can help people put this concept into everyday practice? A "lie to ...
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What is the difference between “key length” and “bit strength”?

On occasion, I hear the terms "key length" and "bit strength" used interchangeably. Are these the same things? Or are they different?
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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 ...
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MySQL OLD_PASSWORD cryptanalysis?

The password hash used for MySQL passwords prior to version 4.1 (now called OLD_PASSWORD()) seems like a very simple ad-hoc hash, without salts or iteration counts. See e.g an implementation in ...
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What specific padding weakness does OAEP address in RSA?

It's been recommended to use OAEP when padding messages to be encrypted via RSA, to prevent known plain text attacks. Can someone elaborate this in better detail? I'd specifically like to know the ...
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What is the actual value of a certificate fingerprint?

In a x509 digital certificate there is a "certificate fingerprint" section. It contains md5, sha1 and sha256. How are these obtained, and during the SSL connection, how are these values checked for?
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Collision rate for different hash algorithms

Is there any collision rate measure for popular hashing algorithms (md5, crc32, sha-*)? If that depends only from output size, it's quite trivial to measure, but I suppose that depends also of ...
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IPsec (Internet Protocol Security) facts

Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) is a successor of the ISO standard Network Layer Security Protocol (NLSP). What are the advantages, disadvantages, other interesting facts regarding the protocol?
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How should API keys be generated?

I want to make sure requests can't be forged and sent on to my server. In order to do this I need to generate an API key per user on my system. The purpose of the key will be to sign requests on the ...
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Homomorphic encryption used for e-voting?

I was reading wikipedia about homomorphic encryptions, and one part got me a bit confused: "The homomorphic property of various cryptosystems can be used to create secure voting systems, ..." ...
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How does RSA encryption compare to PGP?

On this answer ck says RSA and PGP are different. What you are essentially asking is how do I run my petrol car on diesel? The answer is you can't. I would be interested in a more ...
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Rainbow table concept for Prime numbers

Is there a concept where pre-computed tables can be used for prime number factorization ? Is it possible that a computer can generate millions of prime numbers, store it and then effectively determine ...
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Encryption and the “security time decay” of prior encrypted data

This question is on the assumption that any data once encrypted, may (eventually) be decrypted through Brute force (compute power/time) Exploits in the cryptography used Theft of private keys ...
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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 ...
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Flaw in encryption through pseudorandom number stream (from PGP 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 ...
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501 views

What concrete parameters can I change to make my passphrase-protected private gpg key more secure

There are several questions which discuss the resistance of passphrase-protected private gpg keys against brute force attacks. It seems, this kind of discussion could go on forever. Rather than ...
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Is it dangerous to publicly share ciphertext?

Alice wants to share a message with Bob, but Alice and Bob can never be in the same place at the same time. We can assume they both know each others public keys (or agreed on a shared key, if that ...
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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 ...
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What happens when an Intermediate CA is revoked?

Currently I'm working on a certificate manager that allows our product to securely connect to remote webservices (over TLS/SSL). For security, we use Certificate Revocation List checking (or ...
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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. ...
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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.
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Generate cryptographically strong pseudorandom numbers in Javascript?

Is there any good way to generate cryptographically strong pseudorandom (or true random) numbers in Javascript? The crucial requirement: if a.com's Javascript generates some random numbers, no one ...
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How big should salt 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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How secure is Keychain on OS X?

Keychain is a built-in app on OS X that stores all of the user credentials, and allows for one to keep encrypted notes in an easily accessible way. Does anyone know how secure Keychain is? I know ...
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Does my PGP key really need to match the e-mail address for which I'll be using it?

In considering whether or not I want to join the big web o' trust and put my keys on a key server, I got to thinking about how it would affect my e-mail address' exposure. I generally try to keep my ...
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Why should I sign data that's already encrypted? [duplicate]

My question is about the difference between signing and encrypting. Why would you still sign something if you are already going to PKI encrypt it? Doesn't the PKI encryption inherently provide ...
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When changing a PGP passphrase, does it only affect the private key?

I am beginning to use GPG for email encryption. If I use gpg --edit-key [keyID] to change the passphrase, what files will this affect? Will it only affect my private key, and thus I only need to ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...