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Cryptographic functions

I would make use of the NIST’s SHA-3 Standard which is Permutation-Based Hash and Extendable-Output Functions due to its use of KECCAK mathematical permutations which are used as the main components helping in creation of cryptographic functions which are additional and may be specified in future instances. This is a preferable MAC since it consists of special nodes which can be used in creation of faster MACs and provides additional layers of security to messages as compared to other MACs. The secure hashing algorithm has two extendable-output functions and four cryptographic hash functions. The output of a hash function is referred to as a hash value with its length being varied and the digest being fixed. Hash functions ensure that the initial message has not undergone any changes (Aumasson et al., 2008).

            Cryptographic hash functions can also be used in generation of pseudorandom bits, key derivation functions and message authentication codes. The SHA-3 functions provide resilience since they are reliant on design principles which are fundamentally different. This is because it makes use of previous SHA-1 and SHA-2 to supplement security in its hash functions. Extendable-output functions can also be altered in their output lengths so that they can be able to meet requirements set by different applications. They are usable in a variety of applications such as them being specialized to use in hash functions where additional security considerations may be called for (Bertoni et al., 2011).

            The function is best used due to it offering collision resistance and pre-image and subsequent pre-image attacks. Cryptographic functions are crucial components in the generation of pseudorandom bits, key derivation and digital signatures generation and verification. Also, the SHA-3 makes use of sponge construction as an underlying framework which allows for functions to be specified on binary data and the output length to be arbitrary. In sponge construction, the components used are the; underlying function which is on strings of a fixed length, a parameter rule defined as the rate and a padding rule which is denoted by pad (Aumasson et al., 2008).

            SHA-3 functions however are prone to attacks using sponge functions. This works in that the sponge function is adapted from a RadioGatun structure. This is able to produce a hash with it having an on demand length and then the Merkle-Damgard sets it. After this happens the compression functions have a split in the links into n and m bits. There are also chances of a preimage attack occurring on a SHA-3 algorithm. This is easily achievable through brute force where there is generation of numerous values. Theory predictions show that one requires 2n randomly generated messages so that they are able to hack the message (Aumasson et al., 2008).

            Another attack on SHA-3 is called the birthday attack which relies on the probability theory that within a set of m people who are randomly chosen, there is a chance that a pair of them are going to have the same birthday. This uses the Keccak hash function where there are considerations on m=2n digests where with further mathematical permutations applied there are chances of expected sets of results to be achieved.

            However, SHA-3 is advantageous over other protocols due to the differences in structure which make it robust. It does not rely on the same engine used in development of SHA-1 and SHA-2 algorithms where message text was processed. This would mean that any threat which would be posed on SHA-1 could be implemented on SHA-3. Also SHA-3 is secure since there have no full blown hacks on SHA-2 therefore considering it has been implemented with different principles and differences in engines underlying in its construction. So far this algorithm provides the best security as compared to other security algorithms (Bertoni et al., 2011).


Aumasson, J. P., Henzen, L., Meier, W., & Phan, R. C. W. (2008). Sha-3 proposal blake. Submission to NIST.

Bertoni, G., Daemen, J., Peeters, M., & Van Assche, G. (2011, February). On the security of the keyed sponge construction. In Symmetric Key Encryption Workshop (SKEW 2011).

Bertoni, G., Daemen, J., Peeters, M., & Van Assche, G. (2011). The keccak sha-3 submission. Submission to NIST (Round 3), 6(7), 16.

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