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Unformatted text preview: ind of error propagation is that if Mallory knows the plaintext of a transmission, he can toggle bits in a given block and make it decrypt to whatever he wants. The next block will decrypt to garbage, but the damage may already be done. And he can change the final bits of a message without detection. CFB is self-recovering with respect to synchronization errors as well. The error enters the shift register, where it garbles 8 bytes of data until it falls off the other end. CFB is an example of block cipher being used as a self-synchronizing stream cipher (at the block level). 9.7 Synchronous Stream Ciphers
In a synchronous stream cipher the keystream is generated independent of the message stream. The military calls this Key Auto-Key (KAK). On the encryption side, a keystream generator spits out keystream bits, one after the other. On the decryption side, another keystream generator spits out the identical keystream bits, one after the other. This works, as long as the two keystream generators are synchronized. If one of them skips a cycle or if a ciphertext bit gets lost during transmission, then every ciphertext character after the error will decrypt incorrectly. If this happens, the sender and receiver must resynchronize their keystream generators before they can proceed. Frustrating matters even further, they must do this in such a way as to ensure that no part of the keystream is repeated, so the obvious solution of resetting the keystream generator to an earlier state won’t work. On the plus side, synchronous ciphers do not propagate transmission errors. If a bit is garbled during transmission, which is far more likely than a bit being lost altogether, then only the garbled bit will be decrypted incorrectly. All preceding and subsequent bits will be unaffected. Since a keystream generator must generate the same output on both the encryption and decryption ends, it must be deterministic. Because it is implemented in a finite-state machine (i.e., a computer), the sequence will eventually repeat. These...
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- Fall '10