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Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2014 22:06:05 +0100
From: Dmitry Khovratovich <>
To: "" <>
Subject: Re: [PHC] How important is salting really?

Even though for some hashing schemes/implementations salts may collide, the
PHC call explicitly requires 128-bit salts. If the salt generation
algorithm still fails to make salts unique, it is an implementation bug,
and should remain so, like key collision or IV collision.

On Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 8:10 PM, Brandon Enright <> wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> On Fri, 12 Dec 2014 18:39:57 +0800
> Ben Harris <> wrote:
> > On 12 December 2014 at 17:53, epixoip <> wrote:
> >
> > > Thus the salt table shrinks with each successful
> > > crack, and the effective speed of the attack increases with each
> > > eliminated salt.
> >
> > A rather confusing way to describe things.
> I don't think epixoip's description is confusing at all.  It's a
> description of how cracking salted lists is traditionally implemented.
> > If we are attacking all password hashes, one password at a time (from
> > the most common down). Then each time we find a match, the pool of
> > hashes decreases and subsequent passwords can be search faster.
> Your description ignores an important optimization in the case where
> some hashes share a salt.  If you have N unique hashes and M unique
> salts then the work per candidate password is O(M) rather than O(N).
> All cracking tools use a unique salts table because in many realistic
> scenarios M < N so what matters is not eliminating hashes from the hash
> table, it's eliminating unique salts from the salt table.
> The remainder of my reply is a rant:
> This salt discussion highlights by biggest problem with the PHC. Most
> of our academic members clearly have no practical experience attacking
> real world hash dumps. Without that experience they don't know how to
> weigh various attacks and in many cases tend to worry about theoretical
> but unrealistic attacks and dismiss practical attacks.  If we're going
> to choose good proposals we (engineers and academics) need each other.
> Brandon
> Version: GnuPG v2
> iEYEARECAAYFAlSLPbkACgkQqaGPzAsl94IFQwCgw+g0goXozPYsqZnt6E3ULeC8
> JNMAn15ao1mgKRUrS71cvkNISt2fPxTL
> =2uFI

Best regards,
Dmitry Khovratovich

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