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Comment My favorites: Keccak and Skein (Score 5, Insightful) 125

I spent a few hours the other day looking over all of the submissions; Keccak and Skein are my favorite contributions. My criteria was "does the hash generate a fixed-length output, or is the hash capable of also being used as a stream cipher".

There are only four unbroken contributions that can generate arbitrarily long streams of numbers: Keccak, LUX, MeshHash, and Skein. Of these contributions, LUX and MeshHash, while not broken, already have cryptanalysis done against them that make me a little uneasy using them.

I prefer Keccak over Skein, for the simple reason there is a bonda-fide 32-bit variant of Keccak that can run quickly on 32-bit systems. Skein is designed to run well only on 64-bit systems. Part 5.4 of the Skein paper talks about the possibility of making a 32-bit variant of Skein but that they need to come up with rotation and permutation constants, and figure out how many rounds a 32-bit Skein variant would need. I would like to see Schneier, et al (the team responsible for Skein) actually do this. Skein is more flexible that Keccak (I think threefish is the first tweakable block cipher since the somewhat broken Hasty Pudding Cipher), and is faster on 64-bit systems, but I would like to see it run on embedded and legacy systems better.

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