I want to know which "block cipher mode of operation" does the experts use? I don't want to use ECB or CBC because add padding and padding mess up my code. So which one does the experts use.
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However one often wants to use authenticated encryption rather than encryption. I would not say that the dust has quite settled on which authenticated encryption mode is best, but one could do worst than choose GCM.
The authenticated modes of encryption CCM, GCM and EAX all use CTR internally to provide confidentiality, which confirms the trend to use CTR.