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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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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How would you store a 4 digit pin code securely in the database?

I'm familiar with password hashing, using salts, bcrypt etc. But it doesn't seem like this would work to store a 4 digit pin code since the attacker could try all 10,000 combinations quite quickly. ...
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What is the purpose of frequently rotating TLS certificates without changing underlying keys?

I read in the OWASP cheat sheet regarding certificate / public-key pinning that “Google rotates its certificates … about once a month … [but] the underlying public keys … ...
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Why is Bruce Schneier recommending symmetric crypto over public key crypto

I just read the article written by Bruce Schneier, the crypto guru. In the article, he says : Prefer symmetric cryptography over public-key cryptography. But, he doesn't shed any light as to why. ...
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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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Do salts have to be random, or just unique and unknown?

First of all, my motive is to avoid storing the salt in the database as plain text. As far as this question is concerned, the salt is not stored in the database. After discussion in comments and in ...
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Can an HTTPS server accidentally leak its private key?

Are there any known cases of HTTPS websites leaking the private key of their SSL certificate? Is it even technically possible for a bad website admin to misconfigure a site to send the private key as ...
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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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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 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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Why are there few (none?) easy to use encryption libraries?

If I search stack overflow for how to safely encrypt data, one of the first hits is someone's custom encryption scheme. I've seen several similar questions on this site, and in general they are all ...
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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 ...
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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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Why did TLS 1.3 drop AES-CBC?

I was watching this video about TLS 1.3: "Deploying TLS 1.3: the great, the good and the bad (33c3)" and was somewhat surprised to see that in their effort to provide "fewer, better choices" they ...
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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 web services (over TLS/SSL). For security, we use Certificate Revocation List checking (or CRL-...
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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 using ...
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What ways are there to verify a self-written protocol?

Before everyone goes yelling: "NEVER DO YOUR OWN CRYPTO", I haven't, technically (I'm still half way), but apart from that I am making a TLS-like protocol, but way lighter. I needed to secure ...
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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 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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What does “key with length of x bits” mean?

I'd like to know what it means to say "the cryptosystem C uses keys with a length of x bits". I do not understand what the bits length means... doesn't it depend on the encoding? The same word encodes ...
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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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When to use HMAC alongside AES?

One of my clients wants to provide an URL to each of his customers to register in a system. This URL would contain a query string parameter with some data (e.g. code, email and name) from his clients ...
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Can ECC be used without infringing on patents?

Can ECC (Elliptic Curve Cryptography) be safely used without infringing on Certicom's patents? I would like to make use of ECC in an embedded system to establish a secure channel. But, I am concerned ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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Relationship between RSA, Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange, PKI and X.509?

I am getting confused with RSA, Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange, PKI and X.509v3. I took a look of RSA's mathematics algorithm, it seems like a encryption algorithm, right? Generating public key and ...
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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 ...
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Has SHA-3 Arrived?

I know NIST called for contenders (in 2007) regarding the new hash algorithm to replace SHA-2. Has there been a selection, or finalists selected?
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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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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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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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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 ...
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Why was DES with 112 bit keys (IBM) reduced to 56?

On the French wikipedia page about DES it says that the original DES algorithm from IBM used 112 bit keys. Why did they reduce this to 56 bits? Edit: ok NSA convinced IBM but today it seems like a ...
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Using SHA-256 to preprocess password before bcrypt?

I would like to allow users of my web application to have long passwords, if they so wish. Today I became aware of bcrypt's password length limitation (72 characters, the rest truncated). Would it be ...
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Is Schneier's “Applied Cryptography” current?

I've been recommended Bruce Schneier's 1994 book Applied Cryptography as an introduction to the use and the inner workings of cryptography. Is this book still current and a good introduction?
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What is the difference between DH and DHE?

I have been reading Bulletproof SSL and TLS Diffie Hellman is a key exchange mechanism, in which each of server and client share secret i.e. gx and gy respectively with each other where g is ...
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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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What is the benefit with using encrypted RAM?

I sometimes hear that encryption is used for the RAM, but I don't really understand why this is needed. Why is RAM needed to be encrypted? And is this done by the hardware, the operating system 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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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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How will security need to be changed if P=NP?

If we suppose that it is found that P=NP, how will security measures need to be changed? I'd like to know the major security measures that are affected, and how they would need to be changed. We can ...
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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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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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Recommendations for a Certificate Management tool for Linux [closed]

A client is looking to roll out OpenVPN to all its mobile employees and will use certificates on both the server and all clients. This creates a new challenge to manage all these certificates and ...