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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 $0101\,1100$? ...


SSL padding always pads, using 1..blocksize bytes (8 bytes for triple DES, 16 for AES). This padding makes it deterministic independently of the value of the plaintext. It's a padding mode similar to ISO 10126 (only the last padding byte is one less). Other padding values - such as the zero padding performed by PHP's mcrypt library - are also ...

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