A while back, I noticed on [Computer Science.SE], they have a Reference FAQ List, and I think it might be good to have one here at [Crypto.SE] as well.

Previously in this post:

  1. Do you think it's a good idea?

  2. If you have a "golden standard" question/answer in mind and want it to be included in the potential new list, post it here with a summarization, so that we can vote on which to include in the potential list.

    2.1. I expect the proposal process to go for around 9 months(?) with a floating margin to both solicit for enough proposals, for votes to grow, and for poll of opinion to stablize.

  3. Miscellaneous discussion.

Now that a bit over 7 months had passed, the votes to and the contents of most answers to this post had stablized, I'd like to propose new topics for discussion.

  1. Do linked posts in the answers have good, clear, easily comprehendible articulations?

    4.1. Would you consider improving the questions and answers in the linked posts?

    4.2. If some post are too overly confusing to read, and isn't something that its intended audience can understand, would you find a replacement for it? Or, in rare cases remove the link?

  • $\begingroup$ It would be nice that was in my mind for a while, you are the first. $\endgroup$
    – kelalaka
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 7:52
  • $\begingroup$ 1. Yes, I'm all for it, but this needs to be a community driven process. 2. that makes sense 3. I think we can always try and see if it flies. We need subsections though (tags already would give a pretty good hint). $\endgroup$
    – Maarten Bodewes Mod
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 8:46
  • $\begingroup$ As it currently is we would get a mix of sections and answers, which is different from CS.SE. Also, when would the vote "close"? I don't know how CS handled this, maybe talk to them in chat? $\endgroup$
    – Maarten Bodewes Mod
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 8:50
  • $\begingroup$ @MaartenBodewes I haven't had an idea on when the vote would close, that can go to "miscellaneous discussion" and solid ideas can be proposed; I mean we don't necessarily have to post to answer point 2, point 3 is explicitly put there for that purpose. As for talking to CS.SE in chat, I'm not the most reputed to do so, nor am I most comfortable to either; if we're interested in how they went thru the process, I think there must be better person to do the liaison work. $\endgroup$
    – DannyNiu
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 9:20
  • $\begingroup$ Interested in doing that, but out of time. $\endgroup$
    – Maarten Bodewes Mod
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 10:01
  • $\begingroup$ I wish "almost" every site on the SE network had this feature. Another similar idea was implemented in Mathematica network. And to some extent, there is also this one and this which somehow serve the same purpose. $\endgroup$
    – polfosol
    Commented May 22, 2021 at 18:10

6 Answers 6


Must-knows for those attempting to design a (symmetric) cipher:

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Do we have a archetypal question where the asker mistaken their self-designed stream cipher as OTP? $\endgroup$
    – DannyNiu
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 1:35
  • $\begingroup$ Getting to it... $\endgroup$
    – Paul Uszak
    Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 14:31

Math Fundamentals and General Concepts:

  • $\begingroup$ I know we have good writeups for these on the site. I'll search for them when I have time $\endgroup$ Commented May 11, 2021 at 18:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I can't think of a good section to add that IND-{CPA,CCA,etc.} and {UUF,SUF,EUF}-CMA question, I think I'll rename this section a bit to incorporate those. $\endgroup$
    – DannyNiu
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 1:20

While seeking out for questions for (pre-quantum) public-key cryptography, I find that the questions being asked are variatiful. Askers' confusion can come from anywhere, and lack commonality.

Despite this, I believe the main cause is probably novices didn't properly grasp the purpose and meaning of public-key encryption, key exchange, digital signature, and sometimes other minor functionalities of PKC.

The few questions that I think has the widest audience are:


NOBUS. "Nobody but us" - US intelligence policy. This calls into question/undermines everything on this site. This policy is confirmed by former NSA chief Michael Hayden, and President Obama January 2014.

To what degree; who knows? We can't make the argument that this site is only about the mathematics, as the mathematics may be broken or simply irrelevant to potential cryptographic advances/side channel attacks/ downright subversion.

Please consider before you vote: do you dislike the policy, or just disbelieve it?

  • $\begingroup$ I think a vast majority would prefer to read about legal aspects rather than political ones. Downvoting for now. $\endgroup$
    – DannyNiu
    Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 2:00

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