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Stronger Key Derivation via Sequential Memory-Hard Functions


Teddy Rogers
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We introduce the concepts of memory-hard algorithms and sequential memory-hard functions, and argue that in order for key derivation functions to be maximally secure against attacks using custom hardware, they should be constructed from sequential memory-hard functions. We present a family of key derivation functions which, under the random oracle model of cryptographic hash functions, are provably sequential memory-hard, and a variation which appears to be marginally stronger at the expense of lacking provable strength. Finally, we provide some estimates of the cost of performing brute force attacks on a variety of password strengths and key derivation functions.

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