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Date: Mon, 4 May 2015 20:09:38 +0300
From: Solar Designer <>
Subject: Re: [PHC] Maximising Pseudo-Entropy versus resistance to Side-Channel Attacks

On Mon, May 04, 2015 at 02:37:48PM +0200, wrote:
> Having spent much of my academic life on performing cryptanalysis, i.e., 
> on attacking schemes, the idea to rely on the randomness of the salt 
> doesn't quite convince me, though.

I just recalled an earlier discussion in here where Christian Forler
felt it was OK for Catena to absolutely rely on salt uniqueness for a
feature, and I felt otherwise:

While uniqueness isn't randomness, the similarity is in strong reliance
on a property of the salts.

I think this shows my pragmatism.  When this kind of reliance isn't
absolutely required for a security feature (there was another way to
specify the feature in question), I am against it.  When there's a
tradeoff between a not-yet-practically-relevant weakness and a currently
practically relevant one, I may well choose to accept the former and
mitigate the latter.

Arguably, this also shows Catena team's inconsistency. ;-)  If it's so
bad to rely on some historically not assumed property of salts (e.g.,
with crypt()'s 12-bit salts occasional collisions were assumed), then
just don't, for anything.


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