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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35
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7answers
17k views

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 seems ...
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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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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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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 ...
35
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5answers
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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?? ...
35
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2answers
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How to start writing crypto software [closed]

This is just an academic question, I do not intend to write my own crypto software. Every time someone asks the question “How do I write my own Crypto?” the answer is don't. I'm currently studying ...
34
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4answers
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How does a hacker know how many times a password was hashed?

I've been reading a lot of questions about security and hash functions on this site and others. I am not an expert, just a curious mind and in my understanding the more iterations used to hash a ...
34
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1answer
6k views

How does OpenSSL generate a big prime number so fast?

In order to generate a 2048 bit RSA key pair, you need to generate two big prime numbers with 1024 bits length. As far as I know, OpenSSL chooses a random 1024 bit number and starts looking for a ...
34
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1answer
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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 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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5answers
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SSH - If Eve has the passphrase and public key, can she derive the private key?

I have used ssh-keygen for creating an RSA 4096-bit SSH private and public key pair. I used a passphrase for the private key. If an attacker, Eve, knows the passphrase in addition to the public key: ...
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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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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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3answers
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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 ...
32
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5answers
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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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4answers
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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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4answers
43k 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.
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1answer
17k views

Consequences of tampered /etc/ssh/moduli

What are the consequences if an attacker is able to modify the /etc/ssh/moduli file?
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1answer
30k views

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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4answers
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NSA Suite A Cryptography: Security through obscurity?

What is the opinion of scholars, cryptographers on NSA Suite A? Containing unpublished algorithms. Could it really be that much better than the published algorithms besides being obscure and not ...
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5answers
60k views

Compute the AES-encryption key given the plaintext and its ciphertext?

I'm tasked with creating database tables in Oracle which contain encrypted strings (i.e., the columns are RAW). The strings are encrypted by the application (using AES, 128-bit key) and stored in ...
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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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3answers
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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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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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6answers
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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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2answers
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Why haven't (most of) the Zodiac Killer's letters been decrypted? [closed]

The Zodiac Killer was a serial killer in the late 60's and early 70's. The twist is, he would frequently taunt the local press with cryptic letters. Four of these letters were actually encoded, but ...
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2answers
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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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4answers
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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 ...
29
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2answers
70k views

RSA public key and private key lengths

I'm having a problem understanding the size of an RSA public key and its private key pair. I saw different key sizes for RSA algorithm (512, 1024,... for example), but is this the length of public ...
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8answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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Describe an example of indistinguishability obfuscation or functional encryption

As described in Perfecting the Art of Sensible Nonsense, a major breakthrough in cryptography research was published in the summer of 2013: Candidate Indistinguishability Obfuscation and Functional ...
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5answers
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Encrypting a few TB of Data [closed]

I'm planning on encrypting a large media library of mine. Have looked into different solutions, but thought I should ask the community what your thoughts are. I don't want to encrypt each file ...
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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 ...
28
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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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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 ...
27
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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 ...
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7answers
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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, ...
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3answers
70k views

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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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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2answers
2k 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 ...
27
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1answer
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Where do I get prime numbers for Diffie-Hellman? Can I use them twice?

I realise it's very hard to generate suitable prime numbers and generators for the Diffie-Hellman key exchange. What is the best way to generate them? And if I have one, can I use it twice? ...
27
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4answers
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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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5answers
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What are the differences between an encryption seed and salt?

Today I had a hard time explaining the difference to a friend. I know seeds are used when generating "random" strings. And salts are used when providing different outcomes to a hash. What is a ...
26
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4answers
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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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1answer
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What is stronger - WPA2 Enterprise with 2048 bit key, or Personal with 63 character passphrase?

Which of the two following has a stronger cryptographic strength in withstanding brute-force attacks? WPA/WPA2 Enterprise using 2048-bit RSA public-key WPA/WPA2 Personal using 63-character ...
26
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2answers
4k views

Is “always use /dev/urandom” still good advice in an age of containers and isolation?

In short: Instead of another question asking about when to use /dev/random instead of /dev/urandom, I present the following scenario, in which I find myself in an application I'm building: A VM or ...
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5answers
14k views

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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6answers
9k views

What would be the key size for a picture used as a key?

I'm working on a cryptosystem that uses colour pictures as keys for encryption. I'm trying to guess what is the key size of my cryptosystem in order to find the feasibility of a brute force attack. My ...
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9answers
13k views

What cryptographic algorithms are not considered secure? [closed]

What cryptographic algorithms are not considered secure, but yet are still widely used and available in standard libraries? If applicable, mention a secure alternative.
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5answers
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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