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Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2013 15:53:43 -0600
From: Patrick Mylund Nielsen <>
Subject: Re: password hashing competition?

I like this idea very much. It is definitely a topic that is mostly ignored
by academics, but sorely needed by industry.

On Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 2:53 PM, Jean-Philippe Aumasson <> wrote:

> Hello crypt-dev,
> this is a follow-up to
> and in particular to Solar Designer's suggestion to join this list
> (thanks!).
> As I'm new to the list, let me briefly introduce myself: I've done
> some research in cryptanalysis and (co-)designed the SHA3 finalist
> BLAKE, and more recently SipHash and BLAKE2 (more on
> and
> So what about this (naive?) idea of a competition? Well we've already
> had block ciphers (AES), stream ciphers (eSTREAM), hash functions
> (SHA-3), and very soon authenticated ciphers (TBD). Although I'm far
> from an expert when it comes to password hashing schemes, my feeling
> is that it's the most understudied cryptographic object, and at the
> same time the most needed today. There's just been only a handful of
> proposals, it's mostly ignored by academic research, and a number of
> people seems to have promising idea to do better. Perfect context for
> starting a new competition!
> "But we already have scrypt!": well, IMHO scrypt was quite a
> revolutionary design, but I tend to see it rather as a first step in
> the right direction rather than as the end of the road.
> Obviously organizing such a competition---or however we call
> it---creates a number of challenges: who decides of the winner(s), how
> should the call for submissions look like, what's the right time
> frame, etc. But these issues can be solved as long as there's a
> critical mass of commited people.
> Is this a silly idea?
> JP

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