I am preparing for the midterm exam in my Data Security class so I am trying to read and understand the textbook's exercise questions. The sample solution at the end the textbook makes this problem more confusing instead of clarifying it. $\oplus$ denotes XOR operation but what are we trying to XOR with?

$c = \oplus c_i$ and $i \in I(c)$, but $c_i$ is getting XOR with what?

Any help would be appreciated.

Textbook question: Textbook question

Textbook sample solution: Textbook sample solution

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm curious, what textbook is this? $\endgroup$
    – d1str0
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 5:00
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ William Stallings, Cryptography and Network Security: Principles and Practice, 6/E. $\endgroup$
    – Node.JS
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 5:49

1 Answer 1


The notation $c=\oplus~c_i$ is (terrible) shorthand for $$c=\bigoplus_{i \in I(c)} c_i$$ where the sum sign should be replaced by the big xor sign which could also be written as $$ c=\sum_{i \in I(c)} c_i,$$where $\sum$ denotes vector addition modulo 2.

An example of this decomposition (for length 8 vectors) is $$c=(1,0,1,0,0,0,1,0)=$$ which is nonzero in positions 1,3, and 7, and satisfies $$c=(1,0,0,0,0,0,0,0)\oplus(0,0,1,0,0,0,0,0)\oplus(0,0,0,0,0,0,1,0)$$ $$=c_1\oplus c_3 \oplus c_7=\bigoplus_{i \in I(c)} c_i$$ where $I(c)=\{1,3,7\}.$

Then, since $E$ is assumed to be linear, all the places you marked with an arrow make sense.


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