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J2EE™ Security for Servlets, EJBs and Web Services: Applying Theory and Standards to Practice by Pankaj Kumar

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Cryptographic Keys

Secret keys, a stream of randomly generated bits appropriate for the chosen algorithm and purpose, are central to a number of cryptographic operations. In fact, much of the security offered by cryptography depends on appropriate handling of keys, for the algorithms themselves are publicly published. What it means is that a key that can be easily compromised, computed, guessed, or found by trial and error with reasonable effort offers little or no security, no matter how secure the algorithm. Strength of security, or the degree of difficulty in determining the right key by a brute force exhaustive search, depends on the size and randomness of the key. For all these reasons, it is imperative that due diligence is exercised in ...

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