Encryption is the process of transforming plaintext using a cipher to make it unreadable to anyone except those possessing the key.

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Block chaining modes to avoid

Everyone knows that ECB operation mode with a block cipher should be avoided because of clear and obvious weaknesses. But little attention is given to comparison of the other modes in the context of ...
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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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Multi-boot with full hard drive encryption and pre-boot authentication

How would I set up a multiboot system which supports full hard drive encryption and pre-boot authentication. I have a system with Ubuntu, Windows 7, Windows XP, and I would like to install Red Hat. ...
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Does holding an AES-encrypted string and its cleartext from a database help an attacker in decrypting other parts of the database

I have a question regarding Encryption. Say an attacker stole my entire database. In that database all the data was encrypted. If the attacker took one piece of encrypted data and for some reason knew ...
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Why is security through obscurity not a good option for encryption? [duplicate]

I feel like there must be a simple explanation, but I've been looking around haven't found any wholesome answers. Take for example my name is Alice and my best friend Bob and we want to communicate ...
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Why should one not use SSL? [duplicate]

I see a lot of posts all over the web asking whether or not they should be using SSL to secure their website, or if it's really necessary to do so when the content of their site does not contain or ...
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TLS Bicycle Attack - What cipher is free from flaws to use?

Recently a novel attack on TLS stream ciphers was developed by Guido Vranken, dubbed Bicycle and referenced in this Websense's blog post. It was based on a characteristic of stream ciphers that says ...
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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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Backing up sensitive data - pitfalls and best practices

Obviously, securely backing up sensitive data is a challenge. A remote backup is important for surviving a variety of disasters. What are some of the "gotcha's" lurking out there, and what best ...
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In PGP, why not just encrypt message with recipient's public key? Why the meta-encryption?

It's described very well by this diagram. It seems like the process used is convoluted and more round-about than it needs to be. Why is an intermediate random key generated for the payload's ...
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2answers
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Why is Amazon's home page not encrypted? [closed]

I've been working on my very first web application and I usually refer to Amazon.com as my role model. I'm very interested in deploying my web application with SSL/TLS. However, there is one thing ...
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How does a crypter for bypassing antivirus detection work?

I am talking about crypters used to encrypt files like viruses and keyloggers for the sole purpose of bypassing antivirus detection. How do they work?
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How does non-ephemeral Diffie-Hellman key exchange become compromised in SSL when the RSA private key is leaked?

From my understanding, one of the major reasons we recommend Diffie-Hellman Ephemeral (e.g. DHE or ECDHE) over non-ephemeral DH, for SSL / TLS, is that compromise of the RSA private key (i.e. private ...
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5answers
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Is it alright to tell everyone your encryption information?

I have an account in an online banking system and they have the FAQ with something like this: How secure is the <Online Banking System Name>? Each page you view and any information ...
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5answers
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Does using the same encryption algorithm multiple times make a difference?

In TrueCrypt I noticed the option to encrypt a volume with multiple encryption algorithms i.e. AES-Twofish-Serpent. Would it be useful to encrypt something with the same algorithm multiple times? For ...
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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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Is there anything standing in the way of email encryption going mainstream? [closed]

PGP has been around for almost 20 years, but email encryption is not used by most 'regular people'. At the moment, with Snowden's NSA revelations (which should not be a huge surprise to anyone), the ...
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6answers
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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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9answers
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Are there any systems out there that use a one-time pad?

I'm still new to information security, but I have read a bit about the one-time pad. The point that sticks out to me the most is that it is supposedly unbreakable. Has this method of encryption ever ...
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3answers
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Will my hosting provider be able to see my SSL private keys?

I'm trying to learn the best way to implement a secure web and e-mail server. Getting SSL certificates is a must, but what happens with the private keys? I've seen that you have to store them on the ...
18
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4answers
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Checklist on building an Offline Root & Intermediate Certificate Authority (CA)

Microsoft allows a CA to use Cryptography Next Generation (CNG) and advises of incompatibility issues for clients that do not support this suite. Here is an image of the default cryptography settings ...
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Which Instant Messaging services use or allow secure protocols, and what do those protocols cover?

We all know there's a myriad of Instant Messaging (IM) services out there. But, which of these services uses or permits protocols that actually secure your communications? For those that do, what ...
18
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Doing a dictionary attack on RSA if you have the public key?

I'm trying to learn exactly how RSA works. Currently I have a very, very simplictic overview that goes like this. Having the public key allows you to encrypt things. Encrypting the same message ...
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Decrypting TLS in Wireshark when using DHE_RSA ciphersuites

How can I decrypt TLS messages when an ephemeral Diffie-Hellman ciphersuite is used? I am able to expose the premaster secret and master secret from the SSL Client. Using that, how to decrypt the ...
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Does Android encryption really prevent law enforcement access?

Google recently announced that in Android L encryption would be turned on by default: For over three years Android has offered encryption, and keys are not stored off of the device, so they ...
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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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Can a nation-state adversary perform a MITM attack by compelling a CA to issue them with fake certs?

As I understand it, with any encryption system based on a trust chain / CAs (eg SSL, TLS, S/MIME), it would be possible for a nation-state adversary (such as the NSA) to compel the CA to issue them ...
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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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Linux, TRESOR and XTS

I want to switch from using LUKS for full disk encryption to TRESOR. TRESOR tries to prevent cold boot attacks by storing the encryption key in the CPU's registers. It uses the kernel's crypto API for ...
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How can I determine the encryption strength of an SSL connection

If I've connected to a https url, how can I determine the cipher strength of the connection? My understanding is that after the asymmetric public-key handshake the information is encrypted using a ...
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8answers
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Is it possible to construct a passively self-destructing message?

Is it possible to construct a message that passively degrades over time without requiring an external factor to destroy it? Things that are similar, but not what I mean: A hard drive that degrades ...
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How secure is 7z encryption?

I have a text file in which I store all my bank details. I compress and encrypt it with 7-Zip using the following parameters: Compression parameters: Archive format: 7z Compression level: ...
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Is TrueCrypt safe enough to store clear-text-passwords?

The reason: I want to be able to use a portable USB drive to access my passwords on any machine and OS. TrueCrypt seems to be the only program that has sufficient support on all major platforms. So I ...
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Is “Why Should You Avoid AES In MySQL?” true?

From a 2012 Smashing Magazine article quite a bold statement is made to avoid AES in MySQL itself. Or as they put it "Why Should You Avoid AES In MySQL?". However, if you search for SQL encryption, ...
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GPG File size with multiple recipients?

If I encrypt a file for multiple users how does the file size change? Does the size of the output double for two users. How about 10 or 100 users?
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Encrypting email for gmail

My friend who is an accountant was asking me what the best way to exchange documents with clients. He was trying to tell me that just sending via email was sufficient and I told him he was insane. I ...
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How to encrypt database connection credentials on a web server?

OWASP advise against storing DB credentials in plain text: https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Password_in_Configuration_File However, they don't provide suggestions of how to encrypt the DB access ...
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How do I prevent copying of my PDF files?

One time while I was printing my documents at a copy center, I saw they dragged-and-dropped my PDFs from my flash drive to their desktop. How do I protect my files without using password? Is there a ...
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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 differences between MD5, SHA and RSA?

MD5 tools output hexadecimal values. In the same manner, do SHA and RSA together produce a hexadecimal (or any other) output? What are the differences between the MD5, SHA and RSA algorithms?
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Hide the fact of e-mail communication

Bob has a mistress. Her name is Alice. Bob`s wife Eve knows Bob is unfaithful, but she does not know who the mistress is. Alice does not know Bob is married. Bob needs to communicate with Alice over ...
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Is it safe to write the salt AND/OR the IV at the beggining of an encrypted file?

I want to encrypt a file with AES in CBC mode (maybe another mode is better for file encryption...I don't know, but suggestions are welcome!). What I usually do is that I first write a few random ...
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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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The AES Crypt 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 AES Crypt reference implementation. Looking at the source, it seems that the encryption key is derived from the IV and the ...
16
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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 ...
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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 ...
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What changed between TLS and DTLS

What did the DTLS (TLS over UDP) authors have to change so that it could run without TCP? Bonus points: Do any of the protocol difference affect the way it should be used, both in terms of interface ...
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SQL field level encryption, how safe is it?

I am considering encrypting my database and/or encrypting only certain columns in a few tables. Is it worth the time? I mean, how much of a burden would it be on someone if they were to get a hold of ...
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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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When using AES and CBC, is it necessary to keep the IV secret?

If I encrypt some data with a randomly generated Key and Initialization Vector, then store all three pieces of information in the same table row; is it necessary to encrypt the IV as well as the Key? ...