- Password Hashing Competition :
The Password Hashing Competition (PHC) is an effort organized to identify new password hashing schemes in order to improve on the state-of-the-art (PBKDF2, scrypt, etc.), and to encourage the use of strong password protection. Applications include for example authentication to web services, PIN authentication on mobile devices, or key derivation for full disk encryption.
Motivations behind the PHC include:
The poor state of passwords protection in web services: passwords are too often either stored in clear (these are the services that send you your password by email after hitting "I forgot my password"), or just hashed with a cryptographic hash function (like MD5 or SHA-1), which exposes users' passwords to efficient brute force cracking methods.
The low variety of methods available: the only standardized construction is PBKDF2 (PKCS#5, NIST SP 800-132), and there are mainly just two alternatives: bcrypt and scrypt.
A number of new ideas discussed within the security and cryptography communities, but which have not yet led to a concrete proposal.
- CryptoChallenge : The ultimate code-breaking test. It will take all your savvy and experience to crack the cipher. The code will be available soon; and first prize is an Apple iPad 16Gb. So pre-register now. Good luck!