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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

6
votes
1answer
433 views

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. ...
16
votes
2answers
4k views

Why use an Initialization Vector (IV)?

Why use an Initialization Vector (IV)? How are IV's used? What are the advantages/disadvantages of using an IV? Why use an IV instead of a longer key in which some section of the key is pubic? What ...
3
votes
3answers
258 views

Block cipher fixed points

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
349 views

Are block ciphers used in public key crypto?

I was reading about block ciphers and most articles state they are being used in symmetric key cryptography. Are they also being used in public key cryptography? if not, what alternative pkc use? ...
2
votes
0answers
108 views

How well analyzed are giant block length ciphers?

I have heard about ciphers that have a block length of 256 megabytes... That is huge. How well are they understood by the encryption community? I'm referring to PMC Ciphers. Has anyone used such a ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Does encrypting twice using the same block cipher produce a security weakness?

If I use the output of a cipher, for example a block cipher such as AES and encrypt it again with the same algorithm, I read that this introduces weaknesses into the overall security of the system. ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

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?
1
vote
1answer
833 views

AES AddRoundKey

Looking at the first step of AES encryption I see that we XOR the key with the plaintext block. Why is the actual key involved at all, why not just use the round keys derived from the key schedule?
2
votes
2answers
263 views

Why is $h(H, m) = E(m, H) \oplus m$ insecure?

I am taking a cryptography class on Coursera. I learned that the compression function $h(H, m) = E_m(H) \oplus m$ is insecure (even though other variants like Davies­-Meyer or Miyaguchi-Preneel are ...
3
votes
1answer
543 views

Why are the Davies-Meyer and Miyaguchi-Preneel constructions secure?

The Davies-Meyer compression function $h(H, m) = E_m(H) \oplus H$ is said to be secure. So too is the Miyaguchi-Preneel compression function $h(H, m) = E_m(H) \oplus m \oplus H$. Why are these ...
0
votes
1answer
412 views

Ciphertext-only attack on Simplified DES

Is it possible to deduce the plaintext block or the key, given only a Simplified-DES ciphertext block (e.g. c=01110110)? I'm reading Cryptography And Network Security, by William Stallings and I'm bit ...
1
vote
2answers
141 views

Do I need to know the “mode of operation” to decrypt a message encrypted with a block cipher?

If I have received an AES encrypted message, and if I do know the key with which it was encrypted, do I also need to know the mode of operation with which it was encrypted in order to decrypt it? My ...
1
vote
1answer
238 views

Is there a preferred way/standard on how to transmit an initialization vector for AES encryption

Is there a preferred way on how to transmit the initiliazation vector with witch AES encryption was made? I could imagine that, if the encrypted data is stored to a file, the IV is preppended at the ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
165 views

Is there an efficient way to hide the encrypted plaintext length with a block cipher?

In block cipher modes of operation for encryption on input of a plaintext of $N$ blocks (We assume that the input size is always a multiple of the blockcipher mode: $N·16$ bytes) the size of the ...
5
votes
4answers
959 views

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. ...
0
votes
1answer
197 views

How to secure a mental poker protocol? [closed]

I would like to implement a mental poker protocol in a secure fashion. How should I go about that without (preferably) infringing on the Mental Poker Framework patent?
1
vote
1answer
766 views

AES key/ciphertext space sizes

This is giving me a brain ache now... If I have AES-128, block is 128 bit, then every plaintext (128-bit) can be encrypted to some ciphertext that is also 128-bit. This is the block size. But: 128-bit ...
2
votes
1answer
524 views

Can we replace the XOR operation in DES with some other operation?

Can we replace the XOR operation in the DES algorithm with some other operation? If so, does it work for both encryption and decryption?
2
votes
1answer
311 views

What are rounds in the context of ciphers?

Another recent question on security margin included in its answer the discussion of how many rounds are broken so far. What is the definition of a round?
4
votes
3answers
223 views

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 ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Using CBC with a fixed IV and a random first plaintext block

What if, instead of using CBC mode in the normal way with a random IV, I used this approach: Use a fixed IV (like a block of 0's). Before encrypting, generate a random block and prepend it to the ...
4
votes
2answers
272 views

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
330 views

Properties of Ideal Straight P-Boxes

What properties should an ideal straight P-Box exhibit?
4
votes
1answer
208 views

Does Grover's algorithm effect block size or only key size?

We know that Grover's algorithm can speed up cracking symmetric keys. Basically the key space is halved. This means we have to use at least a 256 bit key (to get 128 bit security). I heard somewhere ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do block ciphers need a non-linear component (like an S-box)?

Why is there a requirement of "Non-Linear functions" as a component of many popular block ciphers (e.g. the S-box in DES or 3DES)? How does it make the cipher more secure? The only intuition I have ...
2
votes
1answer
6k views

How to use RCON In Key Expansion of 128 Bit Advanced Encryption Standard

I have a question about RCON here is my illustration... this is the 128 bit key.. ...
3
votes
2answers
901 views

AES Key Length vs Block Length

This answer points out that certain key and block lengths were a requirement for the AES submissions: The candidate algorithm shall be capable of supporting key-block combinations with sizes of ...
2
votes
1answer
184 views

What is an oracle adversary?

I'm trying to figure out block ciphers and this is the first time I've encountered the term "oracle adversary". It appears in the context of defining a PRP and a PRF. Can someone please explain what ...
2
votes
2answers
213 views

What cipher mode is suitable for independantly decryptable short messages?

I'm building a small VoIP client which transmits encrypted audio data via UDP, and some packet loss is expected, so each packet will need to be decrypted separately even if others in the stream don't ...
7
votes
2answers
216 views

Will varying plaintext compensate for a fixed initialisation vector?

This is a follow-up question to Relative merits of AES ECB and CBC modes for securing data at rest. I need to store encrypted Personal Account Numbers (PANs) in a database. The only encryption option ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

How can I implement the “Multiplication Modulo” and “Addition Modulo” operations in IDEA?

I am currently working on IDEA (International Data Encryption Algorithm), and I don't know how to perform Multiplication Modulo and Addition Modulo. This is how IDEA operates: IDEA operates on ...
2
votes
1answer
168 views

How could block encryption in counter mode be secure from viewpoint of entropy?

A good block cipher e.g. AES running in counter mode is commonly considered to be secure. Assuming a perfectly random key, one could in this case from $128$ bits generate up to $2^{128}·128$ bits for ...
-2
votes
0answers
378 views

Why is there a strong distinction between stream and block ciphers? [duplicate]

If I don't err, in the literature a stream cipher is one in which each plaintext bit is processed individually, commonly via xor-ing with one bit of a random or pseudo-random bit stream, while a block ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
2
votes
3answers
957 views

Malleability attacks against encryption without authentication

Suppose there is a message that is encrypted with AES-128-CBC. The message is as follows, new lines are used to delimit the 16 byte boundary for each block: ...
2
votes
1answer
280 views

What are the safe ways to derive HMAC key using block cipher?

Suppose we have a state of block cipher initialized with some key unknown to us, that is, we have the state after running key schedule, but we have no access to actual key or subkeys, all we can do is ...
1
vote
1answer
222 views

How is block cipher padding verified for consistancy?

Under what circumstances is a decryption routine able to tell that the padding of a message is invalid? If a cipher text block where to be randomly modified, what is the probability that the padding ...
8
votes
2answers
445 views

Are Stream Ciphers Less Secure?

This is by no means a scientific observation, but it seems to me that stream ciphers receive a lot less attention than block ciphers. Is there any reason for this? (Is it because block ciphers are ...
2
votes
2answers
746 views

Difference in one time key and one time pad and many time key

These terms are confusing me. One time pad is when you use one key for one message. That is what One time key is. Secondly, what is the connection of many time key, can i use one time pad many ...
1
vote
3answers
401 views

Does the MixColumns step come before or after AddRoundKey in AES decryption?

I found these images depicting the AES decryption process: In the first image, the MixColumns step comes before the AddRoundKey step, while in the second image, the AddRoundKey will come before ...
1
vote
1answer
226 views

How do I calculate the maximum plain text length allowable for a certain cipher text length?

I am encrypting and storing sensitive values in the database. I have a set max length in the database, but in order to provide useful user feedback, I'd like to know the max input I should allow for a ...
4
votes
4answers
519 views

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 ...
2
votes
4answers
909 views

Is my pseudo-random initialization vector secure?

How can I know if I am generating a secure pseudorandom initialization vector? Currently I am planning to generate a pseudo-random initialization Vector using current date and time - is this secure ...
2
votes
1answer
187 views
3
votes
1answer
164 views

Encrypt array of int for individual retrieval

I have limited exposure to cryptographic terminology, so please bear with me. My end goal is to encrypt integer IDs, before transmitting them to a web client in a list of search results, in a way ...
2
votes
2answers
344 views
6
votes
3answers
277 views

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 ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Can you create a strong blockcipher with small blocksize, given a strong blockcipher of conventional blocksize?

Suppose I want a strong 20-bit blockcipher. In other words, I want a function that takes a key (suppose the key is 128 bits), and implements a permutation from 20 bits to 20 bits. The set of ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

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. ...