Recently, a user posted this question, which I think should be migrated to Crypto.SE.

A quick search shows that this specific kind of questions is present on Crypto, see this, but there is at least one similar question on our platform, written after 2012.

I mention 2012 because of another Meta SEC.SE question, whose answer by a Crypto mod boils down to

There's no point in moving questions around just because right now they fit the scope of one site or another better. They were on topic here at the time

I'm also aware that

There are some questions which apply to both security.SE and crypto.SE, but will (should) receive different answers.

(see https://crypto.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic), but this isn't the case, because there is a unique answer to this kind of questions.

Do you think questions about test vectors should be migrated to Crypto?

1 Answer 1


Many questions about cryptography are also about security and so are on-topic here as well as on Crypto.SE. For example, our many questions about password hashing are on-topic on both sites — but they would get different answers: Crypto.SE tends to have answers aimed at crypto designers and implementers, while on this topic Security.SE caters mostly for system administrators and end-users. The general observation about questions on-topic on both sites is about this kind of questions.

A question like “how do I find test vectors for this algorithm” has nothing to do with security. Whether a cryptographic algorithm matches a security policy is about security. Whether a cryptographic implementations is secure against a threat is about security. But getting the mathematical computation right is not about security. “How do I find test vectors for this algorithm” is off-topic here.

https://security.stackexchange.com/questions/133198/nist-test-vectors-for-rsassa-pkcs1-v1-5-sign-with-the-sha-256-hash-function is off-topic here but on-topic on Crypto.SE, so it should be migrated to Crypto.SE.

NIST test vectors for HMAC-SHA-256 is off-topic here but on-topic on Crypto.SE, so it should be migrated to Crypto.SE. However, there is a stupid limitation that questions older than 60 days cannot be migrated. So we're stuck either leaving an off-topic question open, or closing the question in place.

Like several other Stack Exchange sites, starting with Stack Overflow, Sec.SE's scope has tightened a bit over time. In the early days, it was more accepting of off-topic (e.g. non-security-related crypto) or unanswerable questions (e.g. polls), in the name of increasing traffic. Years later, this is a legacy that causes unfortunate effects. (Now where have I seen that before?) There's no perfect solution.

  • "legacy", probably the most common problem for everything related to computering :).
    – Walfrat
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 9:06

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