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Questions tagged [key-generation]

Key generation is the process of generating keys for cryptography. A key is used to encrypt and decrypt whatever data is being encrypted/decrypted.

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7answers
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How do certification authorities store their private root keys?

Knowledge of a CA private key would allow MitM attackers to transparently supplant any certificates signed by that private key. It would also allow cyber criminals to start forging their own trusted ...
156
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4answers
166k views

SSH key-type, rsa, dsa, ecdsa, are there easy answers for which to choose when?

As someone who knows little about cryptography, I wonder about the choice I make when creating ssh-keys. ssh-keygen -t type, where type is either of dsa,rsa and ecdsa. Googling can give some ...
136
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7answers
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Best Practice: ”separate ssh-key per host and user“ vs. ”one ssh-key for all hosts“

Is it better to create a separate SSH key for each host and user or just using the id_rsa key for all host to authenticate? Could one id_rsa be a malpractice for the privacy/anonymity policies? ...
32
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6answers
26k views

What does key signing mean?

What exactly does the "key signing" mean? So for example I have a private/public GPG key so that people could send me encrypted e-mail, because they know my public key. But: what does key signing ...
31
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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 ...
27
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2answers
41k views

Creating user specific authentication methods in SSH

I have configured sshd on an Ubuntu server to use key authentication and it is working fine. I had to disable password authentication for key authentication to work. Server is always accessed via ...
27
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1answer
15k views

JSON Web Tokens - How to securely store the key?

I was building a RESTful Web Service when I came across JSON Web Tokens as an alternative to traditional cookies for authentication. The conceptual core of this method is that the server is the only ...
25
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1answer
11k views

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? ...
23
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4answers
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Why OpenSSL can't use /dev/random directly?

I couldn't find the answer for the reason anywhere, even the wiki page doesn't explain it. This seems like using a PRNG for seeding an another PRNG. The first one (/dev/random) may itself be seeded by ...
22
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4answers
9k views

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 ...
21
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5answers
4k views

Alternatives to HTML's deprecated <keygen> for client certs?

The keygen tag is used to make browsers generate private keys and POST the resulting CSR to the server, which can then issue a certificate. It's now been deprecated, for rather stupid reasons but that'...
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4answers
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Is there any reason someone wouldn't use a longer key?

Larger key sizes are said to be more difficult to bruteforce; is there any reason someone would then decide to instead use a smaller key? Is there any negative effect in using a larger key size, such ...
16
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2answers
395 views

What research suggests that user's mouse movements are (not) sufficiently unpredictable for secret key generation?

I have not been able to find any credible source which tried to prove or disprove the randomness of mouse movements. A Google Scholar search for "mouse movement entropy" gives surprisingly few ...
15
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4answers
11k views

What are you doing when you move your mouse randomly during a truecrypt volume creation?

Is that called a 'round' every time you move your mouse when creating a new volume? I'm talking about the screen with the random numbers during the volume creation process. What is the purpose of ...
14
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5answers
11k views

Generate a PGP key with more than 4096 bits?

I would like to know if generating a PGP key with a number of bits higher than 4096 is possible and if so how?
13
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3answers
18k views

What is the DUKPT Key Derivation Function?

I'm tasked with decrypting ciphertext acquired from an encrypted card reader. The card reader utilizes DUKPT(derived unique key per transaction) scheme and 3DES encryption. I don't have a problem with ...
13
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3answers
2k views

How many iterations of Rabin-Miller should be used to generate cryptographic safe primes?

I am generating a 2048-bit safe prime for a Diffie-Hellman-type key, p such that p and (p-1)/2 are both prime. How few iterations of Rabin-Miller can I use on both p and (p-1)/2 and still be ...
13
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3answers
735 views

Can I use the same password both for SRP and for client-side encryption?

Suppose a less-than-trusted server is used to store users' confidential data (encrypted at the client side), and both tasks - authentication and encryption/decryption - should be doable with a single ...
13
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1answer
2k views

MPPE-Send and Receive key derivation from MS-CHAPv2

I am trying to get the MS-MPPE-Send-key and MS-MPPE-Recv-key from the MS-CHAPv2 challenge material. I am able to follow the RFCs 2548 3078 and 3079 to the step of getting the GetNewKeyFromSHA() it is ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Can the human brain generate cryptographically secure random numbers?

A security conscious friend of mine was attempting to generate entropy using random dice rolls to generate a random password, and I became curious about the security of random number generators and ...
12
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2answers
19k views

What is the difference between DHE and ECDH?

I learned that perfect forward secrecy is implemented through DHE and ECDH but what is the difference between these 2 key exchanges? Also can someone explain how perfect forward secrecy works? I've ...
11
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4answers
4k views

What's the best length for randomly generated passwords? (Security vs. compatibility)

It's generally recommend to use a unique password for each online service, a random password generator to create them and a password manager to store them. I've started to replace all my online ...
11
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3answers
3k views

Is TDEA (TripleDES) invulnerable to the weak keys of DES?

The key space of DES includes some keys that are weak, which results in a ciphertext that is extra vulnerable to cryptanalysis. Is TDEA (also known as TripleDES) invulnerable to those weak keys? Or, ...
10
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1answer
3k views

What is the exact meaning of “Keying material”?

I have seen this term in many docs on IKE and ISAKMP. These docs seems to be written for Security experts but not everyone who needs to setup an IPSec tunnel needs to be a security expert :-) So what ...
10
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1answer
4k views

Using HMAC to generate secret keys

I am developing a platform that uses several secret keys for several usages: key1 for hashing passwords (using pbkdf2-hmac-sha256), key2 to generate non-repeating unpredictable uuids (using aes-128 ...
9
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6answers
2k views

Should I hash a password if it is randomly generated

The best practice is we should hash a user password using algorithms such as bcrpyt to protect the user, however, given the following conditions, is hashing in the backend still matters? the password ...
9
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2answers
2k views

What happens if two parties have a same pair of public&private keys

we know that we have to create Private key on server and generate its public key and create a certificate. But what if we get a private key which someone already has. Isn't the security becomes weak ...
9
votes
3answers
439 views

How can I allow access to encrypted data if only 2 out of 3 users provide a secret?

I want to encrypt data, but make sure that no single user can decrypt the data. Further, it is important not to require ALL users to be present to decrypt. This will allow for some flexibility and ...
9
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1answer
3k views

HKDF and key stretching

I thought that all key derivation functions would do a key stretching phase, by iterating some kind of process. But I can't see that process in HKDF. HKDF doesn't do key strengthening? If I have a ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Would it make sense to use Bcrypt and PBKDF2 together?

I've read various opinions about whether Bcrypt or PDBKF2 is a better key derivation hashing method. The answer seems to depend on a lot of complicated factors that are not easy to analyze. Would ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

How can you securely generate keys on AWS?

Our application needs to generate secure keys for long term storage on AWS using openssl. But I've seen some instance where entropy falls dangerously low on AWS machines and this doesn't appear to be ...
9
votes
1answer
551 views

Is a 43 character GPG (symmetric) passphrase as secure as a 256-bit key?

A 43 character securely randomly generated mixed case alphanumeric password (with 2 extra chars to give 64 possibilities per character) would constitute 258 bits of entropy (6 * 43 = 258). Since the ...
8
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1answer
2k views

Is a 2047-bit prime weaker than a 2048-bit prime?

I have a safe prime generator I'd like to speed up. I can benefit from a significant performance gain if the high order bit in the returned prime can be either 1 or 0. The returned prime would be ...
7
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4answers
8k views

Calculate time taken to break AES key

A 256 bit AES key is required to be broken using the brute force method on a 2GHz computer. How long would it take to break the key in the best case and in the worst case situations? Assume that 1000 ...
7
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7answers
1k views

Is it possible to make a more secure random number generator algorithm by XORing two or more less secure random number algorithms?

Is it possible to make a more secure random number generator (e.g. for cryptologic purposes) by combining two or more less secure random number generator algorithms using XOR? Here is an example of ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

Where does StartSSL generate the cerificate, server or client-side?

I.e. do really only I have the private key or do I have to trust that StartSSL (or any other provider) don't store it themselves?
7
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1answer
21k views

Create RSA public, private key pair having numbers generated already

I want to know how to generate working RSA key pairs, with the correct syntax. Let's say I have already generated somehow my numbers for a 512bit key, which are: e = 00065537 d = ...
7
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2answers
13k views

Is your PGP passphrase used to decrypt an encrypted private key, or needed in conjunction with the private key to decrypt the message?

If the former, then if the private key can be used to digitally sign messages, why doesn't your client offer to encrypt this highly sensitive piece of data? If the latter, then if someone had access ...
7
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1answer
296 views

Preparing to change over to new GPG-key - what to do with my old ones?

I've just created a new off-line GPG-key with a sign/certify master-key and two sub-keys - one for signing and one for encrypting. 5 yr expiration for the master, 2 yr for the subs. My master-key got ...
7
votes
1answer
694 views

RSA key generation: gpg vs openssh

When I generate RSA key for ssh (both server-side and client-side): dpkg-reconfigure openssh-server ssh-keygen the key generation is completed instantly. However, when I generate RSA key for gpg, ...
7
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4answers
2k views

Relationship of password strength and key strength

I have just started educating myself about cryptography, and while it is mostly making sense, a few things are still eluding me. One being: In systems that take a user's pass-word/-phrase in order to ...
6
votes
3answers
508 views

How much added security do I really get with a longer key size?

Imagine I have a cipher which supports keys of 128, 192 or 256 bits. Suppose that there are no vulnerabilities in the cipher regardless of key length. I'm going to use it to encrypt something, and I'...
6
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3answers
3k views

Can the salt for PBKDF2 be a hash of the user-entered password?

I want to derive a key from a password in a client application that will be used as a master key that decrypts a data key. As far as I understand the salt should be private knowledge. Would it be ...
6
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1answer
5k views

ssh-keygen: What is the passphrase for?

When using ssh-keygen: What is the passphrase for? Why is it optional? What are the security implications of specifying (or not specifying) one? Below is an excerpt taken from a shell session (...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Best practice for password-protecting a secret key

What approaches are generally accepted for generating a password-protected symmetric key? My intuition is to generate and store a random string of appropriate length as the password-protected key, ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

SSH: reusing public keys and known-man-in-the-middle

Usually, people recommend to use a single private-public key pair everywhere (if we're not talking about a possibility of compromising the private key): Best Practice: “One per-user ssh key” or “...
6
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1answer
1k views

Security issues related to public keys and SSH

Do I have to mind something specific when using public keys and SSH? Well of course, I have to keep my private key secret (and therefore I should choose a strong pass phrase). But is there something ...
6
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1answer
3k views

Select a TripleDES key so that it effectively behaves as regular DES

I'm working with a smartcard (DESFire) that supports both TripleDES and DES. In the specs it is stated that both modes of operation use 16 bytes keys. When the first 8 bytes in the key are identical ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Is this a safe way to verify public keys?

I want to verify a public key like this: Alice generates a public/private key pair for encryption Alice generates a public/private key pair for signing Alice signs a random 4-letter word + the public ...
6
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1answer
4k views

Key generation: Differences between GnuPG classic, stable, modern?

I plan to create a 4096 bit RSA&RSA key pair: gpg --gen-key --personal-digest-preferences SHA512 --cert-digest-algo SHA512 Is there any difference in generated key quality between versions 1.4 (...