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Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2014 00:56:31 +0000
From: Peter Gutmann <>
To: "" <>
Subject: Re: [PHC] Are password trailing 0's a problem?

Taylor Hornby <> writes:

>I'm amazed the designers of PBKDF2 either didn't realize it, or knew about it
>published it anyway. I'm also amazed that I never knew about it until now.

I'm pretty sure the designers of PBKDF2 knew about it because I remember grumbling
about it at the time:

  /* If the key size is larger than tha SHA data size, reduce it to the
     SHA hash size before processing it (yuck.  You're required to do this
     though) */

Or maybe it was the designers of HMAC that I grumbled to, it was a long time
ago.  In any case the solution is to hash the marshalled data block that the
password is part of rather than the raw password, so you've got length
information included in the password.  This is what e.g.TLS-PSK does:

  uint16	otherSecretLen
  byte[]	otherSecret     -- DH value for DHE-PSK, zeroes for pure PSK
  uint16	pskLen
  byte[]	psk


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