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What is a Key Derivation Function?

 , updated on November 28, 2016
A key derivation function is an algorithm that generates a cryptographic key from a password or master key. They produce the same result every time for a given input such that it is possible to find the key from a given password.
Passwords are potentially too weak to use directly in encryption. Key derivation functions are often used to create a longer and more random key from a password. This is technique is known as key stretching.
Key derivation functions are commonly based on cryptographic hash functions or block ciphers and may make use of salt and pepper.
Overview: Key Derivation Function
DefinitionAn algorithm that produces a key from a password or master key.
Related ConceptsCryptography
Cryptographic Keys
Cryptographic Salt
Information Security


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