How Do Brute-Force Attackers Know They Found The Key?

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Brute force attackers guess passwords, passphrases, and private keys in an attempt to eventually get the right answer and crack the security of a system. They systematically guess every combination. For example, if they were guessing telephone numbers in the US: The question is, how do they know when they have the right key? It … Read more

AES-256 Cipher – Python Cryptography Examples

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Need to encrypt some text with a password or private key in Python? AES-256 is a solid symmetric cipher that is commonly used to encrypt data for oneself. In other words, the same person who is encrypting the data is typically decrypting it as well (think password manager). Dependencies For this tutorial, we will be … Read more

Will Banning Cryptography Keep the Country Safe?

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Politicians in the United States have been claiming recently that end-to-end encryption is certainly too dangerous to permit. This movement is serious. Congress even introduced a bill that would remove the protections that we currently have that allow us to legally encrypt information. Lindsey Graham is one such proponent of this restrictive legislation: Senator Lindsey … Read more

Is Open-Source Cryptography Really Secure?

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The purpose of cryptography is to keep information private, and the purpose of open-source is to make code public… So we shouldn’t open source our cryptography algorithms right? I’ve been asked this several times by multiple people so I figured it is a subject worth addressing. Many developers seem to be under the impression that … Read more

Hashing Passwords – Python Cryptography Examples

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Building a from-scratch server or using a lightweight framework is empowering. With that power comes responsibility, specifically the responsibility to securely store user’s passwords. Not understanding the security implications of password storage can lead to devastating breaches and leaks. If you are building an application and need to store user credentials, learn about hash functions. … Read more

(Very) Basic Intro to The AES-256 Cipher

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AES stands for “Advanced Encryption Standard” and is a specification that has selected the Rijndael cipher as its symmetric key ciphering algorithm. AES encrypts a message with a private key and no one except the key holder can decrypt the message. This is useful for many reasons, but a good example is a laptop that … Read more

How to Create a Bitcoin Savings Wallet Using Qvault and Sentinel

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DEPRECATED NOTICE This article will remain live for historic purposes, but the Qvault password manager is a deprecated project. Qvault and Samourai’s Sentinel are a match made in heaven for anyone wanting a secure and easy solution for Bitcoin savings. Why? A watch-only wallet is perfect for users who want a high-security savings account. It … Read more

How to Securely Backup a Seed Phrase

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Many newcomers to the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency space seem interested in holding their own private keys. As we know, not your keys not your coins. Dangers In order to spend Bitcoins, a user must have access to their wallet or to the seed phrase that was created alongside the wallet. Likewise, an attacker only needs … Read more