A block cipher is an encryption algorithm which encrypts fixed-size blocks of plaintext to same-sized blocks of ciphertext. For good ciphers every bit of the ciphertext block depends on every bit of the plaintext block and every bit of the key.

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Is AES-256 a post-quantum secure cipher or not?

We know Grover's algorithm speedup brute-force attacks two time faster in block ciphers (e.g brute-forcing 128 bit keys take $2^{64}$ operations not $2^{128}$). That explains why we are using 256 bit ...
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Why should CAST5 and 3DES not be used for encrypting files over 4GB?

On https://www.gnupg.org/faq/gnupg-faq.html#define_cast, it says that Like 3DES, its 64-bit block size means it should not be used to encrypt files larger than 4Gb in size… How and why does the ...
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Is there any general description language for block ciphers?

In page 9 (16 in the PDF) of Final report of European project IST-1999-12324 (NESSIE), it is mentioned that: The NESSIE project is also developing a new generic tool to analyze block ciphers ...
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Order of cascaded ciphers

Does the order of a block cipher cascade (e.g. in TrueCrypt) make a difference to the security provided, assuming independant keys? For example: ...
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Is SHA-256 secure as a CTR block cipher?

Generate a 256-bit random nonce. XOR it with a 256-bit reusable symmetric key. This is x. We represent numbers in simple binary instead of a counting function. ...
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Security of simple xor and s-box cipher?

What weaknesses (or strengths) do block ciphers based on only key xor and s-box have when operating in CBC mode? A cipher's internal primitive might be a simple as this: $C = S[M \oplus k]$, where ...
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AES plaintext is smaller than 128 bits - how to expand?

We are currently developing a little AES implementation in a crypto-course at university. As far as I know, AES uses a 128 bit block length, so all data that will be encrypted gets split up into ...
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CBC - a canonical mode, even though there are streaming modes

Why is CBC considered the canonical mode when there are streaming modes available such as CFB and OFB? One thing that I can think of is that in CBC you can easliy do range-based decryption. All you ...
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Why is a MAC needed?

I agree that for certain encryption systems or modes of operation, a MAC is indispensible. The best example are probably stream ciphers (and therefore also block ciphers in OFB or CTR mode) that ...
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Rijndael vs. Serpent vs. Twofish: General comparison

Can anyone explain (or give a link to document about) why Rijndaal won the AES, especially comparing it to other finalists (Serpent and Twofish)? What criteria were used to make decision? Or is there ...
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Strength of CBC with Ciphertext Stealing

Is CBC with Ciphertext Stealing (CTS) considerably weaker than CBC with padding such as PKCS7? I would imagine the most common situation where CTS is necessary would be due to some size constraint of ...
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What does NSA mean by 'Analyzable'?

Recently NSA published two new algorithms, Simon and Speck. In the abstract they say The aim of SIMON and SPECK is to fill the need for secure, flexible, and analyzable lightweight block ciphers. ...
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Can a nested block cipher avoid the meet in the middle attack by using a secret initialization vector for the inner encryption?

It seems to be believed that encrypting twice with a block cipher using an independent key each time is not as secure as you might expect because of the "meet in the middle" attack. This is an attack ...
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How were the number of rounds for different key sizes of AES selected?

The number of AES rounds increases with the key length. Why increase the number of rounds at all, and how were these round counts chosen?
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Block-cipher based vs Hash based MAC

When it comes to MAC algorithms one can have many choices. CBC-MAC, CMAC, PMAC etc are some MAC algorithms that rely on block ciphers (ex AES) to generate a MAC. On the other hand HMAC is very popular ...
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Practical uses of Manipulation Detection Code (MDC) and IGE

I've just skimmed over most of the paper "On Message Integrity in Symmetric Encryption". I've included (the last) part of the abstract below: We show that generic compositions of ...
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Low complexity implementation of a small blocksize cipher (< 64 bit)

Searching for "small blocksize cipher" finds a number of discussions on the topic, mostly refering to FPE. This one in particular suggests using AES as the round function of a Feistel network. The ...
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Modes of operation that allow padding oracle attacks

It seems to me that padding oracle attacks are mainly a concern for users of CBC mode encryption. Question: are any other modes of operation vulnerable to padding oracle attacks? And if so, why? ...
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Slow one-way pseudo-random permutation?

I'm looking for a slow one-way pseudo-random permutation; or in other words a block cipher $E_K: P\in\{0,1\}^b\mapsto C\in\{0,1\}^b$ with moderate block size $b\approx 64$ bits, wide key $K$, ...
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Encrypted text length in AES

I have created an application that will be able to read any file and encrypt it using AES Encryption. For efficiency, I am reading a block of data, encrypting it and so on. So for decrypting, I just ...
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222 views

Why is it said that if we have a duplicate ciphertext block it can leak our information?

I have been recently going through a question: http://security.stackexchange.com/questions/15767/what-do-key-size-and-block-size-mean-in-cryptography and it created in me a series of doubts. Referring ...
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479 views

What is the most computationally efficient way of generating pseudo-random permutations?

I have an application in which I need to create up to J randomly shuffled-copies of an array of length N. Then I will have millions or even billions of iterations such that, in each iteration, I will ...
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Encrypt-Mix-Encrypt: Full Diffusion?

I've read "A Parallelizable Enciphering Mode" by Halevi and Rogaway about the encrypt-mix-encrypt mode for ciphers and was asking myself if this mode provides "full" diffusion. So if an attacker ...
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651 views

Camellia or AES - which should I use? [closed]

Imagine I am a software developer. I want a block cipher, and I have the choice of using AES or Camellia. Which should I use? Which makes more sense from a technical perspective, and why? I need ...
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Attacking a hardware AES implementation if it leaks the intermediate round states

Let's say that we have a hardware AES implementation that, on request, will encrypt or decrypt a 16-byte block of data in ECB mode using a fixed key, but refuses to reveal its fixed key. In other ...
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Is it possible to construct a secure block cipher of size $2n$ given a secure block cipher of size $n$?

Given, say, the Blowfish block cipher, which is considered secure but only has a 64-bit block size, can we construct a secure block cipher of 128-bit block size? Say we run the key through two KDFs, ...
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Are there any secure commutative ciphers?

This answer lists two commutative cipher algorithms - Pohlig-Hellman and SRA. However, they don't appear to be too secure. My question is, here there any commutative ciphers out there that are secure ...
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Padding methods for block ciphers - PKCS7 vs ANSI X.923

I was looking through block cipher padding methods, and found two good candidates: ANSI X.923 - pad with zeros, then a final byte for the padding length, e.g. ...
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What could “look for the constants that you might find in RC6” mean?

In this presentation at the 30c3 (long but extremely interesting and well-documented), Jacob Appelbaum gave this verbal advice (circa 43'30"): look for the constants that you might find in RC6 ...
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Where is CFB-MAC defined?

I can find a couple of descriptions of using CFB mode to create a MAC, but cannot find any standard or papers analyzing its security bounds. Is there a standard for CFB-MAC? Where can I find an ...
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How to solve cipher encrypted with Vigenère + Columnar Transposition?

Vigenère's weakness is Kasiski's test and index of coincidence. However, if you put columnar transposition on top of Vigenère, that weakness is gone. The text is now shuffled and you can't search for ...
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Is my id obfuscation algorithm secure?

I'm designing an id obfuscation system. My system includes: Embedded chips, each chip has a unique 32-bit address (id). Server Insecure low-bandwidth unstable one-way channels from the chips to the ...
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A block cipher with independent keys for each round

I want to modify a standard block cipher in the following way. I replace each round key by a key picked at random. Is this block cipher as secure as the original one ? Thank you. EDIT Some missing ...
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Block cipher fixed points (plaintext equal to ciphertext)

A block cipher is a bijective map from the set of possible plaintexts to the set of ciphertexts, which are the same size and might as well be considered the same thing: $\theta: S\to S$. In this there ...
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A simple block cipher based on the SHA-256 hash function [duplicate]

I've come up with this little routine for doing encryption using the SHA-2 (in this case SHA-256) hash function. As such it is a block cipher with a 256 bit (32 byte) block size and an arbitrary key ...
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Which one of the Block Cipher modes is the best?

I have two questions regarding the Block Cipher Modes: Which one of the modes is considered the best? I know CBC has a problem of IV since the next block of the plain text is XORed with the result ...
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Is it safe to store initial counter value for AES-CTR alongside with ciphertext?

The initial counter value can actually be thought of as a sort of IV, which I assume is safe to transmit with the ciphertext, but I really want to be sure that this is indeed safe.
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Is ECB mode secure if plaintexts guaranteed to be unique?

I've got a scenario where I need to encrypt many small (16-byte) plaintexts. I want to use AES-128 in ECB mode. Notably, each plaintext is guaranteed to be unique, though each may differ by only a few ...
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Is this “layered” XOR cipher secure?

I am aware of the vulnerabilities of simple xor ciphers and recently I came across a block cipher that claims to solve those vulnerabilities. The cipher goes as follows with both the block and key ...
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What is the difference between a 'cipher' and a 'mode of operation'?

What is the difference between the term cipher (a name like RIJNDAEL) and mode of operation (like ECB)? Aren't these both terms for the encryption/decryption technique?
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What is a block cipher?

I have read about block ciphers, but I do not understand the topic completely. Is a block cipher a way to send data or a way to encrypt data? How is the data divided into multiply blocks before it ...
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Block Ciphers and (Non-)Generic Attacks

I am currently reading through Cryptography Engineering and came across this definition of block cipher security: Definition 2 An attack on a block cipher is a non-generic method of ...
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Keeping IV secret for AES CFB mode

I'm developing a security/encryption software and I'm using AES CFB (block size: 16 and key size: 32 bytes). I want to know, if I also keep IV (32 bytes) secret like the key itself (32 bytes), would ...
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Can the AES encryption and decryption algorithms be described as a polynomial for a specific key?

AES is a block cipher that consists of non-linear and linear parts to provide the Shannon requirements of confusion and diffusion respectively. The linear parts can for sure be described as a ...
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Is it possible to break a hash-based block cipher?

Let's define the following block cipher: $C_n = M_n \oplus H(k + n)$ where $C_n$ is the nth block of ciphertext, $M_n$ is the nth block of plaintext, $H$ is a cryptographic hash function, and $k$ is ...
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Does this block cipher mode allow for decryption?

Is there's a way for someone (with the key) to decrypt a message encrypted with the cipher mode shown? $$ P_0 = IV $$ $$ C_i = P_{i-1} \oplus E_K(P_i) \oplus P_i $$
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Which block cipher modes of operation allow a predictable IV?

Recently I found out that in the modes CBC and PCBC the IV may be passed in cleartext but never must be predictable. However for this part of my app I rather have the IV be predictable and unique ...
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Why is it good to split a CTR-mode counter into nonce and counter?

When discussing the CTR mode of block ciphers, Wikipedia says the following: Simply adding or XORing the nonce and counter into a single value would completely break the security under a ...
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What's the consequence of having a short IV? Is one mode better in that case?

I've read lots about null-length IVs being bad for most modes. In a scenario where passing a 128-bit IV along with each message isn't feasible, how would generating the IV from a smaller passed-along ...
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What (precisely) is a block cipher?

If I follow the wikipedia or crypto.stackexchange definition, any simple XOR encryption where the key is as long as the plain text should qualify as a secure block cipher. Now I thought what would ...