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For any $k$-bit MAC, an attacker blindly guessing a tag has a one-in-$2^k$ chance of successfully forging a message. Thus, the expected number of attempts needed to forge a message by brute force is $2^{256}$ for a 32-byte tag, $2^{128}$ for a 16-byte tag, and $2^{64}$ for an 8-byte tag. In practice, attempting $2^{128}$ forgeries is far beyond the reach ...



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