I've found this question from 2014 on Key Whitening: How exactly does key whitening manage to increase security? where is said that AES applies key whitening internally by adding a sub-key prior to the first round and after the last round.

Isn't key whitening applied to each round in AES?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Key whitening is defined as xoring extra keys on the plaintext before encryption and the ciphertext after encryption, which can be done with any cipher without meddling with its internals. Internal operations of a cipher are therefore never called key whitening. $\endgroup$
    – garfunkel
    Commented Dec 6, 2022 at 11:35


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