Questions tagged [cryptography]

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 password storage) and digital signatures (provable integrity and authenticity with non-repudiation).

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25
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10k views

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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Why do you need a 4096-bit DSA Key when AES is only 256-bits?

This is something which I have been wondering and trying to find an answer for, but yet to come even remotely to one. Why do you need a 4096-bit DSA/El-Gamal key when AES uses only 256-bit keys?
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7answers
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Certificate based authentication vs Username and Password authentication

What are the advantages and drawbacks of the certificate based authentication over username and password authentication? I know some, but I would appreciate a structured and detailed answer. UPDATE ...
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Why most people use 256 bit encryption instead of 128 bit?

Isn't 128 bit security enough for most practical applications?
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2answers
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How secure is Ubuntu's default full-disk encryption?

How secure is the encryption offered by ubuntu (using the disk utility)? What algorithm is used underneath it? If someone could at least provide a link to some documentation or article regarding that ...
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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 ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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How does WEP wireless security work?

I want to know more about how WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) protocol for wireless security. From this Wikipedia article I have got a basic Idea. But what is the initialize vector? Is some kind of ...
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6answers
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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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2answers
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What are private key cryptography and public key cryptography, and where are they useful?

I don't understand the real world usage scenarios of these cryptography methods. Can any one please explain how they work, with examples and also their usage in the real world?
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What is the difference between SSL vs SSH? Which is more secure?

What is the difference between SSH and SSL? Which one is more secure, if you can compare them together? Which has more potential vulnerabilities?
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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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3answers
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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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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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Why is WPA Enterprise more secure than WPA2?

In personal mode WPA2 is more secure than WPA. However, I have read that WPA Enterprise provides stronger security than WPA2 and I am unsure exactly how this is achieved.
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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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6answers
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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?) ...
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7answers
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Prevent denial of service attacks against slow hashing functions?

I've been thinking about bcrypt recently, and what I wonder is if there's a way to deal with the inherent (D)DoS problems with slow hashing functions. Namely, if I set up bcrypt so my machine takes ...
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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 ...
17
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4answers
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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 ...
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CryptoWall 3 - how to prevent and how to decrypt?

My father's computer is now infected with CryptoWall 3, according to the link below. http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/cryptowall-ransomware-information#CryptoWall Is there a way to ...
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SHA, RSA and the relation between them

SHA is the hashing mechanism. However, RSA is the encryption algorithm. So does RSA algorithm use SHA hashing mechanism to generate hashing keys which in turn is used to encrypt the message?? ...
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Should RSA public exponent be only in {3, 5, 17, 257 or 65537} due to security considerations?

In my project I'm using the value of public exponent of 4451h. I thought it's safe and ok until I started to use one commercial RSA encryption library. If I use this exponent with this library, it ...
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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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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 ...
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OS with encrypted RAM?

Are there any applications, JIT frameworks or operating systems that focus on encrypted virtual memory, or perhaps virtual machines that do something similar? I know there are processors (albeit old, ...
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1answer
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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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Why do you need message authentication in addition to encryption?

I've been reading up on Authenticated Encryption with Associated Data. The linked RFC states: Authenticated encryption is a form of encryption that, in addition to providing confidentiality ...
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How can I enumerate all the saved RSA keys in the Microsoft CSP?

I have an application that is creating several keys and storing them in various stores (in this case the Machine store). How can I enumerate all the keys on a given Windows system? ...
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3answers
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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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1answer
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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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2answers
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What are the differences between the versions of TLS?

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that SSLv3 and TLSv1 is just a rename of the earlier protocol... but TLSv1 adds the ability to have secured and unsecured traffic on the same ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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How are chosen plaintext attacks against ECB implemented in the real world?

Reading up on attacks against AES i have seen countless examples of why ECB is bad, and the logic behind it i can understand, but i can't get my head around how these attacks actually work in the real ...
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Are the encryptions “broken” with great computing power?

http://www.dwavesys.com/en/pressreleases.html#lm_2011 Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) has entered into an agreement to purchase a quantum computing system from D-Wave Systems Inc. I'm just ...
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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 Most ...
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1answer
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Will double encryption increase the security of cipher vs bruteforce?

Assume I have a function encrypt(mes,key) where mes is the message, and key is the key. The length of key is 64 bits. Last but not least: assume the only way to crack my cipher is a brute-force attack....
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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 ...
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Any advantage to securing WiFi with a PSK, other than to keep out unauthorized

As I understand WiFi with a PSK, such as WPA(2)-PSK or WEP, anyone on the same network can decrypt anyone elses packets because everybody has the same key. In which case, if you are not going to ...
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2answers
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When using symmetric key encryption, do we need to sign?

Say we're using a shared key between two parties, that has been distributed using public key encryption, is it still necessary to sign any data that's encrypted using the shared key? Or is it enough ...
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Is cascading cryptographic algorithm better than using a single one?

Am I wrong to think that scrypt(bcrypt(password)) would be better than using sole (s|b)crypt? Especially when considering two different key for the two algorithms. I am also interested in some papers....
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1answer
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How do we estimate the time taken to crack a hash using brute force techniques

A German hacker famously managed to brute force crack a 160 bit SHA1 hash with passwords between 1 to 6 digits in 49 minutes. Now keeping everything constant (hardware, cracking technique - here brute-...
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ECDSA ciphers and forward secrecy question about key exchange

I have heard that with forward secrecy that the ECDSA ciphers generate different keys for "each session" because they are not dependent on the private key of the server. My question is how is "each ...