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The question Break an authentication protocol based on a pre-shared symmetric key was tagged with both and .

What is the difference between these tags, and when should each be used?

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  • $\begingroup$ I retagged the question as "crypto" only, according to my answer below. $\endgroup$ – Ran G. Mar 17 '12 at 23:38
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    $\begingroup$ security is far more general than cryptography. $\endgroup$ – Dave Clarke Mar 18 '12 at 13:06
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My stand on it is similar to the distinction between crypto.SE and ITsecurity.SE (which is slightly vague and sometime ambiguous)

is for more theoretical primitives , algorithms and methods and the their analysis. (e.g, AES, ZK-proofs, signature schemes, etc.)

is for security in real-world systems and practical questions.(e.g., computer forensics, DDS and network security, etc.)

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    $\begingroup$ I think the main point is that security is way broader than crypto. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Mar 18 '12 at 0:57
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I wasn't sure what to use. I'm not too keen on here either, but I do want have a way to distinguish mathematical primitives from abstract cryptography. How about , for that matter?

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  • $\begingroup$ can you explain what abstract-crypto will include? $\endgroup$ – Ran G. Mar 17 '12 at 23:49
  • $\begingroup$ @RanG. I've heard it used for the study of protocols in which crypto primitives are treated as black boxes (“$E$ is symmetric encryption algorithm, $H$ is a hash, …”). I don't know how widespread this terminology is. $\endgroup$ – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Mar 18 '12 at 0:17
  • $\begingroup$ this is just plain theoretical cryptography: assuming one-way functions, (good) encryptoin schemes, etc. I don't see the need to call it theoretical-cryptography $\endgroup$ – Ran G. Mar 18 '12 at 0:22
  • $\begingroup$ see this. But I don't think there is need to have separate crypto tags for these. (ps: abstract crpto is a very bad name.) $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Mar 18 '12 at 3:02
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    $\begingroup$ If anything protocols should be cryptographic-protocols. Abstract-cryptography seems to be going too fine-grained. $\endgroup$ – Dave Clarke Mar 18 '12 at 13:10

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