So... where does XOR encryption stand?

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So... where does XOR encryption stand?

Post by n00bl37 on Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:13 am
([msg=37419]see So... where does XOR encryption stand?[/msg])

Hi I'm fairly new to cryptology. I wrote this one program to perform XOR encryption as part of my Computer Science class and was wondering if the encryption was any good. I don't know of any good ways to break it other than frequency analysis so I just figured it must be decent. What do you guys know about it?
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Re: So... where does XOR encryption stand?

Post by damncookiemonster on Tue May 25, 2010 5:20 pm
([msg=39065]see Re: So... where does XOR encryption stand?[/msg])

Well, if the key's length is the same as the plaintext, and the key is truly random, then that's the best encryption possible. If I remember correctly, it's called "One Time Pad", and it is being used in special cases.
However, it is not commonly used as a standalone encryption because:
1. You can use a key only once (otherwise you have security problems by xoring two codes)
2. You must think of a secure way to exchange the key with your partner (obviously you can't use XOR encryption to do this)
3. A hacker can easily modify the message even though he can't crack it, and you can't tell whether the message was modified
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