Unformatted text preview: and ciphertext for several messages, he can start to compile a code book without knowing the key. In most real-world situations, fragments of messages tend to repeat. Different messages may have bit sequences in common. Computer-generated messages, like electronic mail, may have regular structures. Messages may be highly redundant or have long strings of zeros or spaces. If a cryptanalyst learns that the plaintext block “5e081bc5” encrypts to the ciphertext block “7ea593a4,” he can immediately decrypt that ciphertext block whenever it appears in another message. If the encrypted messages have a lot of redundancies, and these tend to show up in the same places in different messages, a cryptanalyst can get a lot of information. He can mount statistical attacks on the underlying plaintext, irrespective of the strength of the block cipher. This vulnerability is greatest at the beginning and end of messages, where well-defined headers and footers contain information about the sender, receiver, date, and so on. This problem is sometimes called stereotyped beginnings and stereotyped endings. On the plus side, there is no security risk in encrypting multiple messages with the same key. In fact, each block can be looked at as a separate message encrypted with the same key. Bit errors in the ciphertext, when decrypted, will cause the entire plaintext block to decrypt incorrectly but will not affect the rest of the plaintext. However, if a ciphertext bit is accidentally lost or added, all subsequent ciphertext will decrypt incorrectly unless there is some kind of frame structure to realign the block boundaries. Padding
Most messages don’t divide neatly into 64-bit (or whatever size) encryption blocks; there is usually a short block at the end. ECB requires 64-bit blocks. Padding is the way to deal with this problem. Pad the last block with some regular pattern—zeros, ones, alternating ones and zeros—to make it a complete block. If you need to delete the padding aft...
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This note was uploaded on 10/18/2010 for the course MATH CS 301 taught by Professor Aliulger during the Fall '10 term at Koç University.
- Fall '10