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Yes, we always have to pad the message. The reason is simple: How do we know if the message has a padding or not if we don't always pad? Let's say we pad with adding only $0$ bits. We got the (after padding) message $0101\,1100\,0000\,0000$ and a block size of 2 bytes (16 bits). Well, what was the original message? Was it $0101\,11$? Or was it $0101\,1100$? ...


As Maarten Bodewes already wrote in a comment, if you ignore the computational overhead of XOR, then there is essentially no difference in CBC and ECB for a bruteforce attack. However, the question is actually mixing oranges and apples (and it is not obvious), because the security weakness of modes of operation has nothing to do with the underlying ...

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