Home / Uncategories / Describe what types of encryption algorithms are recommended. What are unsalted hashes?
Unsalted Hashes Used to Protect Passwords- Hash functions are commonly used to create a one-way password file. When a user enters a password the hash of that password is compared to the stored hash value for verification. This approach to password protection is used by most operating systems. Instead of storing a user's password you can store the hash of the password. 2 strengths of hashes are also their largest potential weakness which is they are to small to store and quick to generate so you need to use a fixed length salt value not just a hash as a password. In other words the password and salt are inputs to the hashed algorithm in turn creating a fixed length hash code. The salt and supplied user password are utilized as input to then encryption schema and if the result matches the stored value the password is accepted. A salt is used to significantly reduce dictionary attacks because for each salt of a specified length the multitude of potential passwords is increased by a factor of two with the salt squared. Also what also makes salting affective is that lets say for example two people even make use of the same password their salt values will be different so there hash values will be different. So unsalting as you can see is inept. Also in reference to the types of encryption the one that is most recommended is Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) whose security strength is equal if not better than 3DES. Initially NIST recommended that AES must be a symmetric block cipher with a block length of 128, 192 and 256 bits. Inclusive of course is security, flexibility, memory requirements, hardware/software suitability and computational efficiency in general. In further referencing DES it takes a plaintext block of 64 bits and a key of 56 bits producing a ciphertext block of 64 bits . The reason they went with Triple DES (3DES) is because of concerns over over the (AES) algorithm itself but even more so the key length. 3DES is really just repeating the DES algo 3 times hence the name Triple DES which now used either two or three unique keys for a key size of 112 or 168 bits. The only drawback was that the initial DES was designed more for hardware implementation so when it came to software 3DES made it run alot slower because it required three times as many calculations as DES.