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Tweakable Block Ciphers


Teddy Rogers
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We propose a new cryptographic primitive, the “tweakable block cipher.” Such a cipher has not only the usual inputs—message and cryptographickey—butal so a third input, the “tweak.” The tweak serves much the same purpose that an initialization vector does for CBC mode or that an once does for OCB mode. Our proposal thus brings this feature down to the primitive block-cipher level, instead of incorporating it only at the higher modes-of-operation levels. We suggest that (1) tweakable block ciphers are easy to design, (2) the extra cost of making a block cipher “tweakable” is small, and (3) it is easier to design and prove modes of operation based on tweakable block ciphers.

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