ways of applying a block cipher to multi-block messages and enabling repeated use without changing the key.

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12
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5answers
2k 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 ...
35
votes
6answers
31k views

Should I use ECB or CBC encryption mode for my block cipher?

Can someone tell me which mode out of ECB and CBC is better, and how to decide which mode to use? Are there any other modes which are better? Edit: This question was asked long back when I was ...
25
votes
1answer
19k views

What is the difference between PKCS#5 padding and PKCS#7 padding

One runtime platform provides an API that supplies PKCS#5 padding for block cipher modes such as ECB and CBC. These modes have been defined for the triple DES, AES and Blowfish block ciphers. The ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Is using a predictable IV with CFB mode safe or not?

While writing this answer, I noted that NIST SP 800-38A says that (emphasis mine): "For the CBC and CFB modes, the IVs must be unpredictable. In particular, for any given plaintext, it must not be ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Is AES in CBC mode secure if a known and/or fixed IV is used?

I have a need to encrypt credentials for a third-party app used by a secured internal app. Over on ITSec.SE, I was helpfully shown a scheme to encrypt the third-party credentials based on a hash of ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Why choose an authenticated encryption mode instead of a separate MAC?

What are cryptographic reasons to choose an authenticated-encryption mode of operation (such as GCM) over a traditional encryption mode plus an independent MAC, or vice versa? Assume there is no ...
8
votes
2answers
845 views

Why should I use Authenticated Encryption instead of just encryption?

There are various different modes of operation for block cipher use, some of which provide "encryption" and some of which provide authenticated encryption. Why should I use an authenticated ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Using a Non-Random IV with modes other than CBC

The weakness CWE-329 is an interesting problem with CBC mode. However, does this same weakness affect the other modes of operation that rely upon an IV such as: PCBC, CFB and OFB? My gut feeling is, ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Does AES-CTR require an IV for any purpose other than distinguishing identical inputs?

I'd like to encrypt files deterministically, such that any users encrypting the same plaintext will use the same key and end up with the same ciphertext. The ciphertext should be private as long as ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Deterministic nonces in CTR mode

I want to encrypt a file with AES in CTR mode. I have a 256 bit master key and the file. Given these, the encryption must be deterministic, so I can't use a random nonce in the usual way. Fortunately ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Why, or when, to use an Initialization Vector?

i'm trying to figure out when an Intialization Vector (IV) should be used. There are anecdotal reports that WEP was broken because of weak IV's. It's also claimed that if two pieces of plaintext are ...
3
votes
1answer
485 views

How much data can I encrypt with AES before I need to change the key in CBC mode?

In my cryptography class, the instructor suggested that in order to give the attacker a minimal advantage of $1/2^{32}$, we have to change the key after $2^{48}$ blocks are encrypted. It seems that ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Practical disadvantages of GCM mode encryption

It seems that GCM mode encryption has a clear advantage over CBC + HMAC in the sense that it only requires a single key. But it seems that there are some experts here that do not trust it enough to ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

Cipher Feedback Mode

I can't understand what CFB really is. It said in Wikipedia that CFB is same as CBC, but I find that CFB is more difficult than CBC. Can someone explain to me how CFB works. Such as how ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

Can CBC ciphertext be decrypted if the key is known, but the IV not?

Let's say that there is a binary file encrypted with AES in CBC mode (i.e. using a key and initialization vector). If key is known, but IV is not, is it easy to fully decrypt the file? How hard is ...
4
votes
4answers
663 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Is the CBC weakness in XML Encryption a new discovery? Are other applications vulnerable?

The RUB in Germany reports that XML encryption is broken. This is essentially the W3C standard for protecting XML documents from prying eyes. Does this mean that an attacker can only see a single ...
7
votes
2answers
264 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Why not use CTR with a randomized IV?

I'm currently reading the chapter of Cryptographic Engineering (Ferguson, Schneier, Kohno 2010) about block cipher modes of operation. They have recommended CBC with random IV instead of CTR due to ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
357 views

Why does CTR mode XOR the plaintext into the output of the block cipher rather than XORing the plaintext into the input of the block cipher?

As I understand it, CTR mode essentially turns a block cipher into a stream cipher like so: ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Hashing or encrypting twice to increase security?

Over on the bitcoin forums I asked why the bitcoin client computes SHA-256(SHA-256(x)) as its cryptographic hash for a variety of purposes. The leading theory--since the bitcoin author has ...
7
votes
1answer
8k views

What is the difference between CBC and GCM mode?

I am trying to learn more about GCM mode and how it differs between CBC. I already know that GCM provides a MAC which is used for message authentication. From what I have read, and seen code ...
5
votes
3answers
751 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
5k views

Compare Blockmode CBC (with diffuser) against XTS

I have some problems in understanding the "advantage" of AES-XTS compared to CBC with diffuser. I read something about FileVault, in this paper they mention the two modes of operations XTS and CBC ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

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 ...
14
votes
3answers
997 views

Is CBC really dead?

I developed a p2p-app in C# which sends and receives encrypted text messages (50KB). For encryption, my app uses AES 128 bit in CBC cipher mode. For each message it uses a new randomly-generated IV. ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

What are the details of the DES weakness of reusing the same IV in CBC mode with the same key?

I think I once faced the recommendation, that the initialization vector should always be random and never be used twice with the same key. How serious is this weakness? Also, is AES less effected ...
6
votes
1answer
360 views

Why doesn't CTR mode require blocking?

I've been reading a bit about block cipher modes and I have a relatively straightforward question regarding CTR. In essence, I was hoping you guys would be kind enough to validate my understanding of ...
4
votes
2answers
229 views

Authenticated encryption without padding

I want to encrypt data and protect its integrity and confidentiality. However, I cannot increase the length of the data. Are there any cipher modes of operation which provide confidentiality and ...
4
votes
2answers
316 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
411 views

Complexity of ECB and OFB

What is the complexity of ECB in terms of Time and Memory? and also in OFB? I can't find it in the internet, so I decided to ask it in here.
10
votes
1answer
848 views

What is wrong with AES-CTR-HMAC-SHA256 - or why is it not in TLS?

It seems the only specified CTR mode ciphers in TLS are all GCM based. GCM ciphers run AES-CTR and do authenticated encryption with a MAC based on Galois-field ...
6
votes
1answer
633 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

GCM: Math behind update of AAD after ciphertext has been processed

In the Bouncy Castle libraries, the GCM cipher implementation has an interesting property that does not seem described in the GCM papers (neither the NIST or the original paper): Some AAD was sent ...
4
votes
3answers
378 views

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?
4
votes
1answer
159 views

Does EAX use the same keys for encryption and authentication?

I am actually checking use of EAX AEAD mode, and following EAX spec review (scheme definition for my part), my question is: what about the derivation of the authentication and encryption keys? In the ...
3
votes
2answers
99 views

Turning a 64 bit block cipher into a 128 bit block cipher

There are quite a few block cipher modes of operation that require 128 bits. There are also modes of operation where a higher block size than 128, e.g. a block size of 256 bit would even be practical. ...
3
votes
1answer
465 views

Symmetric encryption mode where ciphertext size is plain text size

I've had many questions on Stackoverflow on how to minimize the output of a cipher - during encryption of course - to the same size as the input. Obviously this is possible for a single block of ...
2
votes
1answer
195 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Why are modes of operation used, what attacks do they prevent?

I know you always need to use a mode of operation when using a block cipher, AES for example, and Wikipedia has a good explanation for what modes of operation are Now I know if i do not use a mode of ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

How to build a secure AE scheme with generic composition?

I am actually looking for using a secure Encrypt-Then-MAC AE scheme , and consider using either an existing "ready-to-use" dedicated AEAD mode (GCM, OCB, CCM, EAX, etc ..) or an alternate composed ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Which attacks can be avoided by the use of OFB instead of ECB?

For a file encryption program, I was told to use Output Feedback mode (OFB) instead of ECB (Electronic code book) mode. Which attacks can I avoid by this choice?