# Questions tagged [xor]

XOR, often written ⊕, is one of the basic operations on bits and bit-sequences. It is a building block of many cryptographic primitives (and some higher-level algorithms, like modes of operations).

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### Reason why “XOR” is a linear operation, but ordinary “addition” isn’t?

I'm new in cryptography and try to read some articles in this field. Many of these articles talk about non-linear S-boxes, and nothing more on what they mean by their non-linearity. I have a simple ...
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### How is XOR used for encryption?

I am a programmer, so when I hear XOR, I think about the bitwise operator (e.g. 0110 ^ 1110 = 1000). The mention of "XOR" comes ...
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### repeating-key xor and hamming distance

I read that to break repeating-key xor you can do the following: try a keysize $n$ and compute the hamming distance between the first $n$ bits of the encrypted string and the bits $n+1$ to $2n$ of the ...
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### With sufficient randomness, is XOR an acceptable mechanism for encrypting?

I have heard criticism of various cryptosystems saying that "at their heart, they were just XOR." Is this just ignorance, or is there something inherently wrong with XOR based ciphers?
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### How to break an arbitrary XOR and Rotation based encryption?

I heard encryption based purely on XOR and Rotation is inherently weak. The paper Rotational Cryptanalysis of ARX says: It is also easy to prove that omitting addition or rotation is devastating, ...
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### How to attack a "many-time pad" based on what happens when an ASCII space is XORed with a letter?

I've already sent my correct solution to a homework exercise from Dan Boneh's Introduction to Cryptography class on Coursera: "Let us see what goes wrong when a stream cipher key is used more ...
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### Why is a known-plaintext attack considered a complete break?

I read somewhere that if a cipher has a known-plaintext attack, then it is considered completely broken. Say there is a cipher that someone uses where the algorithm is understood and a known-...
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### What's wrong with XOR encryption with hash and an iterated salt

Suppose you'd use the following algorithm to encrypt a message Let $k$ be the key to encrypt with Let $m$ be the message to encrypt Split $m$ into groups of 512 bytes Given a hash function with a ...
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### Can I encrypt a message by swapping bits in the text?

I have tried out an encryption method, in which I swap bits in the text. The text length is N bit, then I generate several random number pairs in the range 0..N-1, as [n,k] pairs. After that, I swap ...
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