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23

Caveat: as very rightly pointed in that other answer, using a fixed/no IV does make some attacks less difficult. I wish the following answer would have been less affirmative. I have accordingly made adjustments in italic. There's no imperious need for an IV when unique keys are used. When each key is used only to encipher a single message, it is reasonably ...


21

GCM and CBC modes internally work quite differently; they both involve a block cipher and an exclusive-or, but they use them in different ways. In CBC mode, you encrypt a block of data by taking the current plaintext block and exclusive-oring that wth the previous ciphertext block (or IV), and then sending the result of that through the block cipher; the ...


21

I wrote a rather lengthy answer on another site a few days ago. Bottom-line is that CTR appears to be the "safest" choice, but that does not mean safe. The block cipher mode is only part of the overall protocol. Every mode has its quirks and requires some extra systems in order to use it properly; but in the case of CTR, the design of these extra systems is ...


21

It's meaningless nonsense. I would be inclined to avoid spending any money with these people. If you scroll down on this page, you'll find a table labelled key size vs. time to crack, according to which their $2 \times 256$ bit encryption takes $3.31 \times 10^{112}$ years to crack, making it (apparently) superior to ordinary $256$-bit encryption (which can ...


19

With CBC (Cipher block chaining) mode, before encryption, each block is XOR-ed with the ciphertext of the previous block, to randomize the input to the block cipher (and avoid encrypting the same block twice with the same key, as this would give the same output, and tell the attacker something about the plaintext). As the first block has no previous block, ...


19

The recently demonstrated attack against SSL (BEAST) was an IV misuse attack and not really the same thing as what happened to XML Encryption. Non the less, here is what happened with SSL. Basically they found two things: A way to get the browser to encrypt data under the session key used by an existing SSL connection and A mistake in the way SSL was ...


18

CBC does not perform authentication This property makes it less suitable for places where authentication is required, basically any transport protocol. TLS uses CBC, but by default performs authentication over the plain text instead of the ciphertext, which opened up a host of attacks. CBC can be used here, but it is error prone and may require an ...


15

ECB and CBC are only about encryption. Most situations which call for encryption also need, at some point, integrity checks (ignoring the threat of active attackers is a common mistake). There are combined modes which do encryption and integrity simultaneously; see EAX and GCM (see also OCB, but this one has a few lingering patent issues; assuming that ...


15

The initialization vector is a property of the mode of operation (aka "chaining mode"), not of the block cipher itself. A block cipher does only one thing, which is mapping blocks (block size depends on the cipher, 64-bit for DES, 128-bit for AES) unto other blocks. The chaining mode is what says how input data should be transformed into block values, and ...


15

The security of that approach is equivalent to that of normal CBC. Your scheme with first plaintext block $IV^\prime$ is clearly identical to normal CBC with $IV=AES(IV^\prime)$. Since a block cipher is a permutation over a block, a uniformly random first plaintext block will lead to a uniformly random IV for normal CBC. A ciphertext produced with your ...


14

Never use ECB! It is insecure. I recommend an authenticated encryption mode, like EAX or GCM. If you can't use authenticated encryption, use CBC or CTR mode encryption, and then apply a MAC (e.g., AES-CMAC or SHA1-HMAC) to the resulting ciphertext.


14

TLS 1.0 uses initialization vector (IV) to refer to two different processes. TLS 1.1 introduces a new type of IV that causes an entire block to be discarded and isn't directly comparable to the old series of IVs based on CBC residue. By simply changing an operation at the beginning of a record, the hope was apparently to make implementations easy to patch ...


14

XTS vs. Undiffused CBC. The issue here is malleability. Both XTS and CBC prevent an attacker from learning information about encrypted data. However, neither one completely succeeds in preventing an attacker from tampering with encrypted data. However, it's arguably easier to tamper with an (undiffused) CBC ciphertext than it is to tamper with an XTS ...


13

The MAC value should be calculated over all of the input, not just the first block. The chaining of CBC makes sure that the bits in the last block of ciphertext depends on all the previous blocks.


12

After reading the paper How to Break XML Encryption (thanks to Krzysztof for the link), here are my two cents. This attack relies on the fact that a CBC-ciphertext C = (IV, C1, ... Cd) can be decomposed into pairs of (IV, C1), (C1, C2), (C2, C3), ... (C(d-1), Cd), each of which is also a valid CBC ciphertext for the same key, relating to the corresponding ...


12

First of all, you stated: Because this message is encrypted using CBC mode, any modification of the first block of cipher text would propagate throughout the message. Actually, that's not true. Here's the CBC mode operation in the decryption direction: (Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons.) If you examine the process closely, you will see ...


11

If (you suspect that) the (plaintext of the) encrypted data is ASCII text, you can check if the high bit of each decrypted byte is zero. As long as you have more than 24 bytes of data to check, the odds of that happening by chance are pretty low (given that you have a 24-bit keyspace). UTF-8 text is also pretty easy to detect, since all bytes that do have ...


11

It depends on the chaining mode. With recent modes like EAX and GCM, the IV just needs to be non-repeating, so a timestamp is OK (as long as you take care never to issue two messages with the same timestamp: this can be a problem if you emit two messages in, say, the same millisecond, or if the sender clock is somehow reset through manual action or NTP; ...


11

If you look at the CBC diagram, you'll see that having a fixed IV is equivalent to having the first ciphertext block become the IV. If your cipher is a good pseudorandom permutation, then what you are doing does work, if and only if all timestamps are unique such that the "new IV" is unique and unpredictable. And in fact, if you do not use the ...


10

ECB is not secure, it leaks information. CBC is better. But if you need random access to your file Use CTR mode. For more information about Block cipher modes of operation see the Wikipedia article.


10

Neither. It means that an attacker can decrypt all messages that have been encrypted using this standard. The attack is a padding oracle attack. That means that, if the attacker has a ciphertext they want to decrypt, they can send several variations of the ciphertext to the server. By analyzing the server's responses (e.g., error messages returned), it ...


10

Not at all secure; generating preimages would be trivial. Here's a demonstration with a three-block message: Here is your suggested method (limited to three block messages): $E_0 = Encrypt( IV \oplus P_0 )$ $E_1 = Encrypt( E_0 \oplus P_1 )$ $E_2 = Encrypt( E_1 \oplus P_2 )$ $E_3 = Encrypt( E_2 \oplus 0 )$ $Hash = E_0 \oplus E_1 \oplus E_2 \oplus E_3$ ...


10

CBC mode encryption is defined as: $C_i = E_k(P_i\oplus C_{i-1})$ (with $P_i$ being the $i$th plaintext block, and $C_{i-1}, C_i$ being the ciphertext blocks. What might happen if we have a lot of ciphertext encrypted with the same key is if two ciphertexts happen to be the same, that is: $C_i = C_j$ If we see that, we can then immediately deduce that: ...


9

Repeatedly encrypting the same message to the same ciphertext is full of practical attacks. Encryption is supposed to leak no information about the content of the message other than its length, and there are very real ways to exploit the information leakage you mention. Some of them have to do with the fact that plaintext domains are not always very large. ...


9

The CBC IV attack does more than that. If I guess the plaintext corresponding to any ciphertext block I've seen before, and can predict a future IV, I can verify my guess by submitting a suitable message to be encrypted with that IV. Obviously, that could be bad if, say, I knew the plaintext to be either "yes" or "no", and only needed to find out which one ...


9

CBC mode decryption for the first block is defined as: $$P_0 = IV \oplus D_k( C_0 )$$ where $P_0$ is the first plaintext block, $C_0$ is the first ciphertext block, and $D_k$ is the decryption by the block cipher using the key $k$. This can be rearranged as: $$IV = P_0 \oplus D_k( C_0 )$$ which allows you to reconstruct the IV, if you know the key, the ...


9

I would pick e) none of the above. None of those modes offers integrity protection, so unless integrity is handled elsewhere, your application is wildly insecure. An attacker could modify bits in transit and do nefarious things. Of the three, CFB and CTR are the worst for the application and should be very easy for an attacker to mount successful attacks, ...


9

You would not just need a mode of operation for what you're asking. What you need is a secure transport protocol. Probably the best well known one for TCP connections is TLS of course. For UDP connections you could use DTLS. If you have a shared key you could use one of the pre-shared key (PSK) variants. If you want to create your own transport protocol you ...



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