102

The difference between the PKCS#5 and PKCS#7 padding mechanisms is the block size; PKCS#5 padding is defined for 8-byte block sizes, PKCS#7 padding would work for any block size from 1 to 255 bytes. This is the definition of PKCS#5 padding (6.2) as defined in the RFC: The padding string PS shall consist of 8 - (||M|| mod 8) octets all having value 8 - (...


88

GCM and CBC modes internally work quite differently; they both involve a block cipher and an exclusive-or, but they use them in different ways. In CBC mode, you encrypt a block of data by taking the current plaintext block and exclusive-oring that wth the previous ciphertext block (or IV), and then sending the result of that through the block cipher; the ...


39

Short: CBC mode in context of TLS protocol has had security issues, and would have had to be reworked. AES-CBC mode combined with decent HMAC can be as secure as AES-GCM. However, combining the cipher and MAC securely has been in practice found to be much easier said than done. Also, padding that is required by AES-CBC mode complicates things. In ...


34

XTS vs. Undiffused CBC. The issue here is malleability. Both XTS and CBC prevent an attacker from learning information about encrypted data. However, neither one completely succeeds in preventing an attacker from tampering with encrypted data. However, it's arguably easier to tamper with an (undiffused) CBC ciphertext than it is to tamper with an XTS ...


31

In comparison to CBC mode and HMAC, GCM mode is quite a commonly better alternative. But, I'll go to detail where it necessarily is not. Just like Richie Frame, I also do not agree that CBC + HMAC is always the best comparison target. I've added a few other details. Hope you find them useful. Against CBC and HMAC I'll discuss downsides first. The ...


29

The crucial difference between plain encryption and authenticated encryption (AE) is that AE additionally provides authenticity, while plain encryption provides only confidentiality. Let's investigate in detail these two notions. In the further text, we assume $K$ to be a secret key, which is known to authorized parties, but unknown to attackers. Goals ...


23

You say that a random IV "would also be unique", but really that is the crux of the problem. The problem with counter mode is that it is secure unless the same counter is used twice; if it is, it is likely that an attacker will be able to recover both plaintext messages. This contrasts with CBC mode, which if you repeat an IV, it has the relatively benign ...


22

Contrary to what Stephen says, you absolutely can compute the tag in parallel. Here's how it works; the tag computation is essentially "assemble the AAD, data, the length field and $Encr(Nonce)$ into a series of values $x_n, x_{n-1}, x_{n-2}, ..., x_0$", and then "compute the polynomial $x_nh^n + x_{n-1}h^{n-1} + x_{n-2}h^{n-2} + ... + x_0h^0$ This ...


21

CBC does not perform authentication This property makes it less suitable for places where authentication is required, basically any transport protocol. TLS uses CBC, but by default performs authentication over the plain text instead of the ciphertext, which opened up a host of attacks. CBC can be used here, but it is error prone and may require an ...


18

There are some serious problems with this design that would preclude it from being standardized, so it probably does not have a name. The 2 visibly main flaws are as follows: If the plaintext follows a pattern similar to the block counter, the block cipher inputs may repeat, exposing information about the plaintext (exact same issue as reuse of nonce, but ...


17

The security of that approach is equivalent to that of normal CBC. Your scheme with first plaintext block $IV^\prime$ is clearly identical to normal CBC with $IV=AES(IV^\prime)$. Since a block cipher is a permutation over a block, a uniformly random first plaintext block will lead to a uniformly random IV for normal CBC. A ciphertext produced with your ...


17

A block cipher is an invertible transformation that maps an $n$ bit block of bits to an $n$ bit block of bits, under the control of a key (and where $n=128$ in the case of AES) Now, we most often need to do things other than mapping blocks of $n$ bits; how we do that is using the block cipher within a Mode of Operation. A mode of operation is just a way to ...


14

Thomas is correct; there's no attack on CFB mode if you can predict the IV; NIST is just being cautious. With CBC, the value of the first encrypted block $C_0 = E_k( IV \oplus P_0)$, where $IV$ is the IV used for that packet, $P_0$ is the value of the first plaintext block, and $E_k$ is the evaluation of the block cipher. If an attacker can predict the ...


14

The algorithm (now reasonably clear) is reminiscent of a block cipher in CFB mode, with $random$ as the IV (which can be public), $secret$ as the key, and MD5 used as keystream generator instead of the block cipher. Decryption works as in CFB: \begin{align*} M_1 &= C_1 \oplus \operatorname{MD5}( secret\mathbin\|random )\\ M_n &= C_n \oplus \...


14

Short answer: There would be nothing (that isn't already wrong with TLS) necessarily wrong with a CTR + HMAC cipher suite, but the technical merits are only one factor in a technical feature getting to RFC status in the TLS working group. Without being discourteous to the TLS Working Group (WG) participants or process, other reasons can be: political (...


14

TLS 1.3 is a reboot of the TLS protocol which focused on up to date cryptography rather than backwards compatibility. Now CBC is not as secure as you make it to be, and the way that it was used in TLS made it particularly vulnerable. To note: in TLS the HMAC authentication tag was created over the plaintext rather than the ciphertext. This made TLS ...


13

For block ciphers, it depends on which mode of operation you're using — nobody uses just a plain block cipher for anything, at least not unless all their messages are shorter than a single cipher block (typically 8 or 16 bytes). ECB mode, which just amounts to chopping the message up into blocks and feeding each block through the cipher, does not use ...


13

Do not use a fixed IV. It can have seriously negative consequences. This is especially true for CBC mode. That said, a random 128-bit IV stored in plaintext is typically what you want. The IV can be known to an attacker without breaking security.


13

While you do operate block-by-block when generating the pseudorandom stream, the actual encryption step (i.e., the XOR) is bitwise, and therefore does not require the message to be padded. For example, the message "Hello" will be processed as follows (pseudocode): byte stream[16] = AES(Key, Nonce); byte plaintext[5] = "Hello"; byte ciphertext[5]; for i ...


12

Free space and used space look exactly the same to someone who only sees one version of the ciphertext. First, the basic idea of a secure block cipher is that you learn nothing about the plaintext block simply by observing the ciphertext block. You may be able to learn something about the plaintext from the surrounding context, such as by collecting more ...


12

The MAC value should be calculated over all of the input, not just the first block. The chaining of CBC makes sure that the bits in the last block of ciphertext depends on all the previous blocks.


11

Each mode of operation has its own IV requirements. Some need uniform, unpredictable randomness. Other are equally happy with just uniqueness. CBC is well-known for its need of an IV chosen randomly and uniformly among the possible IV values, and such that an attacker who can choose the text to encrypt may not predict the IV value before submitting the said ...


11

It is an IV and it is safe to transmit with the ciphertext (if it wasn't, we would call it a key).


11

Well, with CFB mode, the encryption process is "take the most recent ciphertext block, pass it through the block cipher, and then exclusive-or that with the plaintext block to generate the next ciphertext block". As for the IV, that's used as "the most recent ciphertext block" when encrypting the first plaintext block (where you don't have a most recent ...


11

If you look at the CBC diagram, you'll see that having a fixed IV is equivalent to having the first ciphertext block become the IV. If your cipher is a good pseudorandom permutation, then what you are doing does work, if and only if all timestamps are unique such that the "new IV" is unique and unpredictable. And in fact, if you do not use the decrypted ...


11

An OCB like mode seems impossible with stream-ciphers. It's coupled tightly to the concept of a keyed permutation i.e. a (tweakable) block-cipher. Many authenticated encryption actually combine two distinct primitives. It's just that the specification and API only expose the combination. Essentially these xor a key-stream into the message to encrypt it (i....


11

The reference for this is NIST SP800-38A, especially its appendix B. Basically we consider the IV a binary value of the width of the block cipher (64-bit for DES, 128-bit for AES), and add 1 to that, except for one detail: there is no carry at some application-specified rank, defining the maximum number of blocks that can be enciphered with a single IV; if ...


11

The infinite garble extension makes sure that if a ciphertext block is changed that this block and each block after it doesn't decrypt correctly. The way that additional plaintext is affected when the ciphertext is changed is called error propagation. Error propagation over large parts of the plaintext is mainly interesting if you want to combine it with ...


10

Assuming that you can indeed guarantee that the keys will never be reused, both schemes should be secure. The only requirement for the nonce in CTR mode is that it must be unique (and, if used directly as the initial counter value, not equal to any intermediate counter value used in the past or in the future). If you're only encrypting one message with a ...


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