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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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 ...
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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? ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
553 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 ...
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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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1answer
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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 ...
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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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1answer
342 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?
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
974 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?
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1answer
1k 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?
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391 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 ...
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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
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431 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 ...
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Properties of Ideal Straight P-Boxes

What properties should an ideal straight P-Box exhibit?
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1answer
285 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 ...
13
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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 ...
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1answer
14k 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.. ...
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1answer
395 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 ...
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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
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
179 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
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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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3answers
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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
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1answer
325 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 ...
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1answer
370 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
515 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
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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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4answers
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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 ...
3
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1answer
232 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 ...
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6
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435 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 ...
2
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Byte location of plaintext vs ciphertext when using a block cipher or stream cipher

I know that when you use a stream cipher you are just XOR'ing the plain text with the PRNG stream, such that you know if a specific byte is in position 3 of the plain text it will still be in ...
4
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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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1answer
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How can 3DES encryption use decryption in the middle step?

I have been reading about the 3DES algorithm and I cannot understand one part. In 3DES we do following operation: $$C=E[K_3,D[K_2,E[K_1,P]]].$$ Where $C$ is ciphertext, $P$ is plaintext, $E$ is DES ...
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1answer
547 views

File Encryption/Decryption in ECB mode [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Removing Padded Value in Decrypted Message I tried to encrypt and decrypt a file in ECB mode using AES Algorithm but I encountered one problem during decryption, I don't ...
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128 views

How can I protect against the failure of a block or symmetric cipher?

Can I protect against the failure of a block or symmetric cipher by chaining different techniques together? If so what implementation details should I be aware of? Are some combination of ciphers ...
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1answer
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In which order are the round keys used during AES decryption?

In the Add Round Key step in AES decryption, which part of the expanded key will I XOR first to the result of the SubBytes step? Is it the 10th round key? For example, is this the right order? ...
6
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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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Encryption with “constant” initialization vector considered harmful

I try to get the full reasoning behind the above statement. First, after reading articles here and at wikipedia i understand that using an IV only once is good practice. For stream ciphers not doing ...