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So, it seems we have a tag named that is getting kind of indiscriminately applied to all sorts of "analyze my cipher / algorithm / protocol / implementation / etc." questions. Indeed, going just by the name, it could potentially apply to just about any question on this site, and the tag wiki isn't much more help:

"Security analysis is the examination and evaluation of the various factors affecting the value of a security solution and/or implementation. Many cryptographic algorithms undergo a multitude of security analysis to prove their security."

On one hand, given how vague the tag is, I'm tempted to suggest just nuking it. On the other hand, we do seem to have a few questions for which it is the most relevant tag, like:

On the gripping hand, it could be argued that those questions really belong on security.SE anyway.

So, what do you folks think? Is that tag useful, and if so, what should its proper scope be? Or should we just go through the 60 14 questions currently tagged with it, clean up the worst messes and then nuke it?

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It does sound a bit overly vague doesn't it. It sounds like a superset-tag for all those listed by e-sushi.

My view would be to replace it in each occasion there is a directly better option that implies it, and see what we're left with. I guess it sounds like a bit of a cop-out, but it might well be that once we've started there are indeed a class of remaining questions that sit in but not , etc.

At that point we may well find we have another issue of deciding what to call the remainder, but the 'easy start' is to sort the ones that can be easily improved.


Update 5 Feb: I've removed most of them, but there are still some left that I couldn't see what to do with, so in many ways the original question still stands...

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  • $\begingroup$ I did this on a few questions where it was completely superfluous (several of which needed a little touch-up here and there anyway). However, this had the the very obvious (and incredibly irritating) side-effect of flooding the 'recent activity' page (which somehow I didn't realise in advance). Sorry all $\endgroup$ – Cryptographeur Dec 24 '13 at 19:43
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    $\begingroup$ As long as not the majority of the posts on the front page are your edits, there is nothing to worry about. Thanks for your initiative (and also thanks for editing other stuff along the way). $\endgroup$ – Paŭlo Ebermann Dec 25 '13 at 11:14
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    $\begingroup$ Agreed. Another good guideline is to make sure that when you edit a post, you try to improve everything you can see that can be improved (don't just re-tag it and leave the rest unchanged if there are other opportunities to improve the post). That way we'll be making net improvements to all the questions, and it's OK if you're bumping a bunch of old questions to the front page. $\endgroup$ – D.W. Dec 29 '13 at 0:21
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Gazing at the tag-list, I would say there are indeed ample related tags which get a bit more “to the point” by describing individual means of analysis:

From my point of view, instead of holding on to the , exact analysis tags could be used. I mean, we don't have a “crypto-attack” tag here either as that would be a bit too general too. And I'm sure that any “…-analysis” tags that are not known to the system yet, will quickly find their way into it (if they actually make sense, of course).

Keeping it short: I tend to agree… — nuke it.

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