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Cryptographic primitives are well-established, low-level cryptographic algorithms that are frequently used to build cryptographic protocols for computer security systems. These routines include, but are not limited to, one-way hash functions and encryption functions.

## Rationale

When creating cryptographic systems, designers use cryptographic primitives as their most basic building blocks. Because of this, cryptographic primitives are designed to do one very specific task in a highly reliable fashion.

Since cryptographic primitives are used as building blocks, they must be very reliable, i.e. perform according to their specification. For example, if an encryption routine claims to be only breakable with X number of computer operations, then if it can be broken with significantly less than X operations, that cryptographic primitive is said to fail. If a cryptographic primitive is found to fail, almost every protocol that uses it becomes vulnerable. Since creating cryptographic routines is very hard, and testing them to be reliable takes a long time, it is essentially never sensible (nor secure) to design a new cryptographic primitive to suit the needs of a new cryptographic system. The reasons include:

• The designer might not be competent in the mathematical and practical considerations involved in cryptographic primitives.
• Designing a new cryptographic primitive is very time-consuming and very error prone, even for experts in the field.
• Since algorithms in this field are not only required to be designed well, but also need to be tested well by the cryptologist community, even if a cryptographic routine looks good from a design point of view it might still contain errors. Successfully withstanding such scrutiny gives some confidence (in fact, so far, the only confidence) that the algorithm is indeed secure enough to use; security proofs for cryptographic primitives are generally not available.

Cryptographic primitives are similar in some ways to programming languages. A computer programmer rarely invents a new programming language while writing a new program; instead, they will use one of the already established programming languages to program in.

Cryptographic primitives are one of the building block of every crypto system, e.g., TLS, SSL, SSH, etc. Crypto system designers, not being in a position to definitively prove their security, must take the primitives they use as secure. Choosing the best primitive available for use in a protocol usually provides the best available security. However, compositional weaknesses are possible in any crypto system and it is the responsibility of the designer(s) to avoid them.

## Combining cryptographic primitives

Cryptographic primitives, on their own, are quite limited. They cannot be considered, properly, to be a cryptographic system. For instance, a bare encryption algorithm will provide no authentication mechanism, nor any explicit message integrity checking. Only when combined in security protocols, can more than one security requirement be addressed. For example, to transmit a message that is not only encoded but also protected from tinkering (i.e. it is confidential and integrity-protected), an encoding routine, such as DES, and a hash-routine such as SHA-1 can be used in combination. If the attacker does not know the encryption key, he can not modify the message such that message digest value(s) would be valid.

Combining cryptographic primitives to make a security protocol is itself an entire specialization. Most exploitable errors (i.e., insecurities in crypto systems) are due not to design errors in the primitives (assuming always that they were chosen with care), but to the way they are used, i.e. bad protocol design and buggy or not careful enough implementation. Mathematical analysis of protocols is, at the time of this writing, not mature. There are some basic properties that can be verified with automated methods, such as BAN logic. There are even methods for full verification (e.g. the SPI calculus) but they are extremely cumbersome and cannot be automated. Protocol design is an art requiring deep knowledge and much practice; even then mistakes are common. An illustrative example, for a real system, can be seen on the OpenSSL vulnerability news page at [1].

## References

• Levente Buttyán, István Vajda : Kriptográfia és alkalmazásai (Cryptography and its applications), Typotex 2004, ISBN 963-9548-13-8
• Menezes, Alfred J : Handbook of applied cryptography, CRC Press, ISBN 0-8493-8523-7, October 1996, 816 pages.
 64 videos foundNext >
 btc.edu part 1: Cryptographic primitives and the proof of work blockchainTadge Dryja presents a developer centered course which will be a deep exploration of the evolution of the cryptographic primitives underlying the bitcoin ... Combining Cryptographic Primitives to Prevent Jamming Attacks in Wireless Networks 2013 IEEE JAVATo get this project in ONLINE or through TRAINING Sessions, Contact: JP INFOTECH, 45, KAMARAJ SALAI, THATTANCHAVADY, PUDUCHERRY-9 Landmark: ... Combining Cryptographic Primitives To Prevent Jamming Attacks In Wireless NetworksChennaiSunday Systems Pvt.Ltd We are ready to provide guidance to successfully complete your projects and also download the abstract, base paper from our ... Presentation over Cryptographic Primitives (RC4) ( Personal-Portfolio )A presentation explaining the RC4 algorithm through animation. Coded with Flash AS3.0. The specification and required algorithms were already provided by ... 27C3 - Automatic Identification of Cryptographic Primitives in Software27th Chaos Communication Congress Automatic Identification of Cryptographic Primitives in Software In this talk I demonstrate our research and the ... #6 cryptographic primitives - encryption cipherssymmetric - asymmetric - stream ciphers - CBC mode Exercise: combining cryptographic primitives to solve a specific problem. Automatic Identification of Cryptographic Primitives in Software [27C3]Automatic Identification of Cryptographic Primitives in Software In this talk I demonstrate our research and the implementation of methods to detect cryptographic ... k-Nearest Neighbor Classiﬁcation over Semantically Secure Encrypted Relational Datak-Nearest Neighbor Classiﬁcation over Semantically Secure Encrypted Relational Data-IEEE 2015-2016 ABSTRACT: Preserving data conﬁdentiality in clouds is ... Space-efﬁcient Veriﬁable Secret Sharing Using Polynomial InterpolationSpace-efﬁcient Veriﬁable Secret Sharing Using Polynomial Interpolation-IEEE 2015-2016 ABSTRACT: Preserving data conﬁdentiality in clouds is a key issue. Energy-Efﬁcient Fault-Tolerant Data Storage and Processing in Mobile CloudEnergy-Efﬁcient Fault-Tolerant Data Storage and Processing in Mobile Cloud-IEEE 2015-2016 ABSTRACT: Preserving data conﬁdentiality in clouds is a key ...
 64 videos foundNext >
 5 news items
 TelecomTV ETSI to focus on Quantum Safe Cryptography TelecomTV Mon, 30 Mar 2015 04:12:59 -0700 European telecoms standards group ETSI has launched a new Industry Specification Group (ISG) that will focus on Quantum Safe Cryptography (QSC), in order to better safeguard the next generation of quantum computers against threats. At its first meeting ... Register Quantum-classical crypto sends secret vote from Switzerland to Singapore Register Mon, 04 Nov 2013 18:58:08 -0800 “Bit commitment” is a cryptographic primitive, in which Bob creates a bit, communicates it to Alice – but doesn't “open the envelope” until a specific time. In its simplest form, bit commitment looks exactly like a secret vote, but it's a thornier ... Threatpost Audit Aims to Put Concerns Over Dubious TrueCrypt License to Rest Threatpost Mon, 28 Oct 2013 15:17:13 -0700 “Let's be honest—when NIST literally recalls a published cryptographic primitive and 'strongly recommends against using' it, over evidence of deliberate efforts to weaken encryption standards by US intelligence operatives, we have entered a whole new era. 90.5 WESA What Lies Beneath: The Internet's Dark Side 90.5 WESA Wed, 17 Jul 2013 13:25:21 -0700 These protected interfaces, specifically one called “Tor,” work by using a cryptographic primitive mix network. This occurs when users travel in and out of multiple addresses at an extremely fast speed such that the original IP address is impossible to ... ExtremeTech Unbreakable crypto: Store a 30-character password in your brain's subconscious ... ExtremeTech Thu, 19 Jul 2012 07:23:03 -0700 The most important aspect of this work is that it (seemingly) establishes a new cryptographic primitive that completely removes the danger of rubber-hose cryptanalysis — i.e. obtaining passkeys via torture or coercion. It also gives you deniability ...
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