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Date: Mon, 07 Apr 2014 14:32:24 +0200
From: Christian Forler <>
Subject: Re: [PHC] Re: Mechanical tests

On 06.04.2014 10:07, Peter Gutmann wrote:

>> In message <>, Daniel Franke writes:
>>> The definition of weakly-secure KDF, given in
>> This is not a KDF-contest.
>> This is a password-scrambler contest.
> We know that, but they don't, no matter how big we write it on the web
> site/final specification/media announcement.  If we don't set KDF-style
> requirements then at some point someone is going to run the PHC-winner's
> output through Dieharder and announce on Slashdot/a conference paper/front
> page of the NY Times that the PHC chose a flawed algorithm, and no amount of
> trying to explain the difference between a KDF and a PHC will overcome that.
> So it had better act as a KDF, whether that was an original design goal or
> not.
I strongly agree. Some people will be very confused about the fact that
a "secure" password scrambler can not simply "turned into" a secure KDF.

BTW I do not know if you have already noticed, but we (the Catena design
team an others) try to establish the notion of "scrambling". It is a
"synonym" for "slow hashing". I think this is a good idea since the
notion of "password hashing" encourage people to derive a password hash
from a plain hash function, e.g., SHA-512..

Best regards,

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