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What is Key Stretching?

 , November 29, 2016
Key stretching is the practice of converting a password to a longer and more random key for cryptographic purposes such as encryption. This is generally recognized as making encryption stronger as it ensures that the encryption itself is reasonably hard. The process of converting a password into a key is accomplished by a type of algorithm known as a key derivation function that may include salt and pepper with the password to make the key more difficult to guess.
Overview: Key Stretching
Information Security
DefinitionThe practice of converting a password to a longer and more random key for cryptographic purposes such as encryption.
NotesKey stretching can also be applied to a master key as opposed to a password.
If a password is extremely long, key stretching can result in a shorter and potentially less secure key.
Related ConceptsCryptography
Key Derivation Function
Strong Password
Cryptographic Keys
Information Security


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