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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How exactly was the finalist chosen in the NIST AES competition?

I was just reading the Stick Figure Guide to AES and came across an interesting table explaining how the winner was chosen: Unfortunately the NIST site is down so I can't gain further information ...
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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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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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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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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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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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657 views

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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Avalanche effect in DES

I couldn't understand the avalanche effect in DES. Could someone explain how avalanche effect happens in DES
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Block cipher and parity of permutation

Can anyone explain the following text passage to me? Most real-world block ciphers build even permutations, because it's hard to build odd ones using small operations (32 bit) on larger (128 ...
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Can you explain “weak keys” for DES?

A weak key for DES is a key $K$ such that $DES_{k_1}(DES_{k_2}(x))=x$ for all $x$. I don't get why are the 4 keys $k_1||k_2$: $1^{112}$, $0^{112}$, $0^{56}||1^{56}$, $1^{56}||0^{56}$ considered as ...
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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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434 views

Camellia or AES - which should I use?

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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212 views

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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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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396 views

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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476 views

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 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 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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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244 views

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 ...
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241 views

CTR mode nonce with aggressive key rotation policy

I'm writing a small encryption library which will be required to use the shortest possible amount of overhead for describing ciphertexts. I want to use CTR mode with a 6-byte random nonce. Normally ...
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978 views

Known Plaintext attack against XTEA?

I'm looking for information on known-plaintext attacks against XTEA. I'm most interested in the worst case scenario: if an attacker has all 8 bytes of input and all 8 bytes of output, how much ...
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Can a commutative block cipher be indistinguishable from a random permutation, for fixed key?

Define a commutative block cipher with keyspace the finite set $K$, and data space the finite set $S$, to be an application $$\begin{align} E:K\times S&\mapsto S\\ (k,x)&\mapsto E(k,x)\text{ ...
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What are the advantages of CBC over ECB?

From this question I understand that, for a block cipher, using CBC is better than ECB. It seems that if one only has part of the cipher text, then decryption is difficult because the decryption ...
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Why does CBC-MAC need prefix-free inputs to be a good PRF?

In the FFX spec, there is a note about using CMAC as the round function. Security notes. The round function F is constructed in such a way that the set of inputs on which the CBC-MAC is ...
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How were the AES key and block length subsets of Rijndael selected?

My intuition tells me it's a trade off between speed and security, but how did the standardisation process select these three seemingly arbitrary key lengths (namely, AES-128, AES-192, AES-256).
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Does anyone have a KAT for 3DES KO-2?

Does any one have, or can refer to a Known-Answer-Test (KAT) for Triple DES Keying Option 2? (Keying Option 2 means $C = DES_{k_1}(DES^{-1}_{k_2}(DES_{k_1}(P)))$ for encryption and $P = ...
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Turning PRPs in PRGs with a counter

I am following the Coursera Cryptography I course and I have the following question, I am a bit perplexed by the statement, in week 2 lecture "What are block cyphers?" that a counter-mode PRF is a ...
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Security of Pohlig-Hellman exponentation cipher?

I am looking into implementing Pohlig-Hellman exponentation cipher and I would like to know how secure that algorithm is? I am guessing it's security relates greatly to the prime number used in it. ...
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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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How common are SEED certificates outside of Korea? When is support required?

I'm looking at the SEED algorithm and would like to know if this is still in common usage. Can anyone tell me when I would need to implement this standard, either as a client or a server?
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How do I decide what mode to use?

I'll be using AES from OpenSSL. I understand why I don't want to use ECB from reading pages like this Wikipedia article, which has a great example of what happens when you attempt to encrypt with ...