I'm more of a visual person, so a chart or table layout usually works best to help me "see".

I'm just trying to locate a resource that shows me where the various ciphers fall in relation to each other based on the various configurations they can be used.

Same for file hashing (using SHA-1 vs HMAC SHA-1, etc).

NOTE: As I cannot yet "comment" I am adding clarification here:

The challenge I am facing is that I am trying to appreciate the scope of what a single view of how the different ciphers compare to each other, but based on comments below I think I see why one does not exist (yet).

So I am trying to learn how best to compare and contrast the various ciphers to know which is best - for the sake of argument let's say for SFTP encryption for data in transit.

Maybe what I should be asking for is the process or method by which I should go about determining which cipher to use in any given situation.

Not trying to be difficult or vague, just a middle aged veteran trying to get better at understanding cyber as a new career is all (less than 3 years) and looking for ways to grock it. The text books haven't helped much and I find that usually someone on a forum can phrase it in such a way that I "get" it.

Thanks in advance.

  • $\begingroup$ And I just came a cross this on another post: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ Which aspects of the ciphers are do you want to relate to? $\endgroup$
    – SamG101
    Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ @GabrielLandowski: Why not google a little bit more? :) There is symmetric and asymmetric encryption. For symmetric there are block and stream ciphers. For block ciphers there are different modes of operation. For asymmetric you can consider e.g. RSA and ECC. For ECC different curve types. If you draw it, you will get a pretty big tree. And you what of their aspects do you want to compare: Performance, resources needed to brute-force, smth. else ? $\endgroup$
    – mentallurg
    Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 23:34
  • $\begingroup$ @mentallurg - I guess --^ is what I needed to understand to start with as I didn't really realize the scope of what it means to "compare & pick" encryption. As I mentioned in my edit/NOTE above I guess perhaps it would be better for me to start with understanding how to go about picking what is best (using SFTP as a use case?). $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 19:10

1 Answer 1


Something like this (for AES)? If this is the kind of thing that you are looking for then I will expand it to include other ciphers, attributes, and hash algorithms.

Symmetric Ciphers | Mode | IV Needed | Authenticated |
       AES        | CBC  |    yes    |      no       |
       AES        | CTR  |    yes    |      no       |
       AES        | CFB  |    yes    |      no       |
       AES        | OFB  |    yes    |      no       |
       AES        | ECB  |    no     |      no       |
       AES        | CCM  |    yes    |      yes      |
       AES        | GCM  |    yes    |      yes      |
       AES        | XTS  |    yes    |      no       |
       AES        | OCB  |    yes    |      yes      |
  • $\begingroup$ That is a too broad question and you cannot fill all. Actually you talked about block cipher mode of operation that applies not only AES. $\endgroup$
    – kelalaka
    Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 21:45
  • $\begingroup$ Yes true, I just didn't want to expand too much in case this isn't rly what OP wanted $\endgroup$
    – SamG101
    Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 22:20
  • $\begingroup$ What you have started is helpful, so if you don't mind I would like to see more. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 19:11
  • $\begingroup$ No problem, I'll do more work on it over the next couple days $\endgroup$
    – SamG101
    Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 19:12

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