In my understanding, private keys are encrypted with some symmetric algorithm, so you can't access them without passphrase. What is it called?

  • This isn't specified in the standard. @CBobRobison is correct, Geth in particular uses AES to encrypt its private key, but this can varry from client to client. Most do use AES, because it's so ubiquitous Nov 9 '16 at 19:49
  • 1
    Related: ethereum.stackexchange.com/questions/1825/…
    – eth
    Jan 6 '17 at 2:14
  • That can be looked up in the JSON file that stores the encrypted private key. It is typically the value of the "cipher" element. For example, in a Parity key file: "cipher": "aes-128-ctr" means 128-bit AES in Counter mode. May 30 '17 at 23:41

The key is encrypted with 128-bit AES in Counter (CTR) mode.


Private keys encryption is normally done using Sha algorithm.

  • 1
    SHA is not an encryption algorithm, it's a family of hash functions. Nov 9 '16 at 19:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.