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What is a Nonce?

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A nonce is a random number or string that is used once and only once for cryptography and information security. They are typically generated with a random number generator or algorithms that generate reproducible results based on factors such as a timestamp and a key. The following are illustrative examples.

Authentication

Authentication protocols may use a nonce to prevent replay attacks. A nouce that can only be used once prevents an old message being resent to authenticate.

Cryptographic Salt

Cryptographic salt is a type of nouce that is added to a string before it is hashed to make the hash more difficult to reverse.

One-time Passwords

A nouce may be generated and then communicated to a user as a one time password. For example, a customer that calls customer support to reset their password may be given a nouce that enables them to perform the reset.
Overview: Nonce
Type
Definition
A random number or phrase that is only used once.
Related Concepts

Encryption

This is the complete list of articles we have written about encryption.
Cleartext
Cryptography
Hashcode
Key Stretching
Keys
Nonce
Pepper
Private Key
Random Seed
Salt
Plaintext
Pseudorandom
Public Key
Public Key Encryption
Strong Password
Symmetric Encryption
More ...
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