Boring crypto that simply works

password-based key derivation

#include <monocypher.h>

crypto_argon2i(uint8_t *hash, uint32_t hash_size, void *work_area, uint32_t nb_blocks, uint32_t nb_iterations, const uint8_t *password, uint32_t password_size, const uint8_t *salt, uint32_t salt_size);

crypto_argon2i_general(uint8_t *hash, uint32_t hash_size, void *work_area, uint32_t nb_blocks, uint32_t nb_iterations, const uint8_t *password, uint32_t password_size, const uint8_t *salt, uint32_t salt_size, const uint8_t *key, uint32_t key_size, const uint8_t *ad, uint32_t ad_size);

Argon2i is a resource intensive password-based key derivation scheme optimised for the typical x86-like processor. It runs in constant time with respect to the contents of the password.

Typical applications are password checking (for online services) and key derivation (for encryption). Derived keys can be used to encrypt, for example, private keys or password databases.

The version provided by Monocypher has no threading support, so the degree of parallelism is limited to 1. This is considered good enough for most purposes.

The arguments to () are:

The output hash. If all parameters to crypto_argon2i() or crypto_argon2i_general() are identical between two calls, then the output hash is also identical. In other words, all input parameters passed to the function influence the output value.
Length of hash, in bytes. This argument should be set to 32 or 64 for compatibility with the () constant time comparison functions.
Temporary buffer for the algorithm, allocated by the caller. It must be nb_blocks × 1024 bytes big and suitably aligned for 64-bit integers. If you are not sure how to allocate that buffer, just use ().

The work area is automatically wiped by ().

The number of blocks for the work area. Must be at least 8. A value of 100000 (one hundred megabytes) is a good starting point. If the computation takes too long, reduce this number. If it is too fast, increase this number. If it is still too fast with all available memory, increase nb_iterations.
The number of iterations. It must be at least 1. A value of 3 is recommended; any value lower than 3 enables significantly more efficient attacks.
The password to hash. It should be wiped with crypto_wipe() after being hashed.
Length of password, in bytes.
A password salt. This should be filled with random bytes, generated separately for each password to be hashed. See intro() for advice about generating random bytes (use the operating system's random number generator).
Length of salt, in bytes. Must be at least 8. 16 is recommended.

The arguments may overlap or point at the same buffer.

Use crypto_verify16(), crypto_verify32(), or crypto_verify64() to compare password hashes to prevent timing attacks.

To select the nb_blocks and nb_iterations parameters, it should first be decided how long the computation should take. For user authentication, values somewhere between half a second (convenient) and several seconds (paranoid) are recommended. The computation should use as much memory as can be spared.

Since parameter selection depends on your hardware, some trial and error will be required in order to determine the ideal settings. Three iterations and 100000 blocks (one hundred megabytes of memory) is a good starting point. Adjust nb_blocks first. If using all available memory is not slow enough, increase nb_iterations.

() is a variant of crypto_argon2i() that supports keyed hashing and hashing of additional data. The additional arguments are:

A key to use in the hash. Can be NULL if key_size is zero. The key is generally not needed, but it does have some uses. In the context of password derivation, it would be stored separately from the password database and would remain secret even if an attacker were to steal the database. Note that changing the key requires rehashing the user's password, which can only be done when the user logs in
Length of key, in bytes. Must be zero if there is no key.
Additional data. This is additional data that goes into the hash, similar to the authenticated encryption with authenticated data (AEAD) construction in crypto_lock_aead(). This most likely has no practical application but is exposed for the sake of completeness. This parameter may be NULL if ad_size is zero.
Length of ad, in bytes. Must be zero if there is no additional data.

These functions return nothing.

The following example assumes the existence of arc4random_buf(), which fills the given buffer with cryptographically secure random bytes. If arc4random_buf() does not exist on your system, see intro() for advice about how to generate cryptographically secure random bytes.

This example shows how to hash a password with the recommended baseline parameters:

uint8_t        hash[32];                    /* Output hash     */
char          *password = "Okay Password!"; /* User's password */
uint32_t       password_size = 14;          /* Password length */
uint8_t        salt[16];                    /* Random salt     */
const uint32_t nb_blocks = 100000;          /* 100 megabytes   */
const uint32_t nb_iterations = 3;           /* 3 iterations    */
void *work_area = malloc(nb_blocks * 1024); /* Work area       */
if (work_area == NULL) {
    /* Handle malloc() failure */
    /* Wipe secrets if they are no longer needed */
    crypto_wipe(password, password_size);
} else {
    arc4random_buf(salt, 16);
    crypto_argon2i(hash, 32,
                   work_area, nb_blocks, nb_iterations,
                   (uint8_t *)password, password_size,
                   salt, 16);
    /* Wipe secrets if they are no longer needed */
    crypto_wipe(password, password_size);

crypto_lock(), crypto_verify16(), crypto_wipe(), intro()

These functions implement Argon2i as described in RFC 9106.

The crypto_argon2i_general() function first appeared in Monocypher 0.1 but was called crypto_argon2i(); it was renamed to its current name in Monocypher 1.1.0. The current crypto_argon2i() first appeared in Monocypher 1.1.0.

Any deviation from the specified input and output length ranges results in . Make sure your inputs are correct.

September 9, 2021 Debian