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

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23
votes
4answers
16k 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?
16
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
14
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 ...
14
votes
3answers
827 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. ...
14
votes
1answer
7k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
847 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
6k views

AES in ECB mode weakness

In a project that I'm currently working on, we are encrypting some data using AES with ECB mode in a database. Each piece of data being encrypted is very small, no more than 10 characters long. Very ...
11
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do we need special key-wrap algorithms?

Wikipedia says: Key Wrap constructions are a class of symmetric encryption algorithms designed to encapsulate (encrypt) cryptographic key material. We are using these algorithms to encrypt ...
9
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
463 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
612 views

Is this encryption algorithm build from MD5 secure?

I'm being asked to use an encryption algorithm in my code, and besides the fact that I'm sure there will be implementation faults that lead to vulnerabilities, I also have concerns about the algorithm ...
7
votes
3answers
876 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, ...
7
votes
2answers
207 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
2answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
417 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
276 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
692 views

How can disk encryption systems (like Truecrypt) resist frequency analysis when they allow random access?

I don't understand how disk encryption (e.g. TrueCrypt) is supposed to resist frequency analysis. If blocks can be randomly accessed (which they can), doesn't that mean that frequency-domain ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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
113 views

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? ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
112 views

Abstracting primitives and modes of operation

I am developing a symmetric crypto library and have reached a roadblock. Looking at block ciphers, it is quite obvious that all block ciphers are trivially abstractable as a simple primitive ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
636 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Replay attack in ECB mode

How do replay attacks work in ECB mode? I found this in Wikipedia: "ECB mode can also make protocols without integrity protection even more susceptible to replay attacks, since each block gets ...
5
votes
1answer
3k 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
2answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
439 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
3answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
292 views

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.
4
votes
2answers
168 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: ...
4
votes
3answers
207 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
3answers
661 views

What is the likely cause the RSA algorithm gives back plain text in this case?

Text book question of Chapter 9 of "Crypto and Network Security" by William Stallings: When using the RSA Algorithm — if a small number of repeated encodings give back the plain text, what is the ...
4
votes
2answers
164 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
258 views

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? $$ P_0 = IV $$ $$ C_i = P_{i-1} \oplus E_K(P_i) \oplus P_i $$
4
votes
2answers
190 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
4answers
511 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
219 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
213 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
949 views

Why does CBC decryption with a wrong IV still give readable results?

While developing some code that uses the .NET AesManaged algorithm, I made some mistakes but was surprised at the results. My encryption was correct. I was generating a random IV block and writing ...
4
votes
1answer
210 views

AES-CTR mode and the Biclique Attack

The biclique attacks that break AES (Biclique Cryptanalysis of the full AES) appear to require decryption oracles to work, presumably because the key schedule of AES is weaker in the decryption ...
4
votes
1answer
135 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
178 views

Swapping Key and IV in AES? Safe?

I have an application where I want to be able to send an encrypted file, and then mete out "keys" that allow the receipient to decrypt the file from a certain point to the end of the file. Actually, ...
4
votes
1answer
293 views

Authenticated encryption mode for stream cipher?

E. g. block ciphers have GCM or OCB, that take single cryptographic primitive (block cipher) and provide both authentication and encryption. Are there similar constructs for stream ciphers, which ...
4
votes
1answer
299 views

Has GMAC mode a future outside GCM?

Once gcm has been implemented for providing both encryption & authentication solution , it appears obvious to consider that such implementation can also provide (if required by new user) a Mac ...