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Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2016 21:08:41 -0700
From: Andy Lutomirski <>
To: discussions <>
Subject: Re: [PHC] hash encryption

On Mar 22, 2016 8:41 PM, "Solar Designer" <> wrote:
> Hi,
> I am planning to release yescrypt 1.0 later this year.  One planned
> feature that stayed on my to-do list so far is builtin support for
> (re-)encryption of hashes.
> One way to do it would be to use a block cipher like AES.  However,
> yescrypt does not normally use any block cipher, and bringing in an
> extra crypto primitive just for this one feature is not great.
> Another way would be to reuse the salt as IV when reusing an already
> available hash function as a stream cipher.  However, this increases
> reliance on salts being unique.
> Yet another way would be to create a block cipher out of a hash, using
> the Luby-Rackoff construction.  This is my current preference.
> Attached is an implementation of a 256-bit block cipher based on
> SHA-256 (which yescrypt has anyway).  I'd appreciate a review.

My recollection of the different security properties of different numbers
of Luby-Rackoff rounds is a bit vague, but they have nothing to do with
bits of security or work factor.  Can you justify them?

if (keylen <= 16) {
if (keylen)
target = 3; /* 4 rounds, 128-bit security */
return; /* no key => no encryption */

IMO the error case should not result in the identity function.  Abort or
memset-to-zero would be better.

Hashing the key length in before the key would avoid needing to think about
related-key attacks that might lose you one round or so of security under
some circumstances.  Using a short-key variant as an oracle against a
long-key variant would be nasty

Otherwise this looks generally reasonable.

> Thanks,
> Alexander

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