A stream cipher is an encryption algorithm which encrypts arbitrary length plain text, using a (fixed length) key. Some stream ciphers generate a key stream from only the key, which is then XOR-combined with the plain text, others feed back plain text or cryptotext into the algorithm to create the ...

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Why isn't the alternating step generator used more often?

According to the Wikipedia entry for the Alternating Step pseudorandom number generator, there is no public cryptanalysis for this device since it was invented back in 1987 by C.G. Gunther. I have ...
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Is it feasible to build a stream cipher from a cryptographic hash function?

A few years ago I devised a symmetric-key system that worked like so: ...
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With sufficient randomness, is XOR an acceptable mechanism for encrypting?

I have heard criticism of various cryptosystems saying that "at their heart, they were just XOR." Is this just ignorance, or is there something inherently wrong with XOR based ciphers?