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Block Cipher Design Principles
  • Last Updated : 23 Nov, 2020

Block ciphers are built in the Feistel cipher structure. Block cipher has a specific number of rounds and keys for generating ciphertext. For defining the complexity level of an algorithm few design principles are to be considered.

These are explained as following below :

  1. Number of Rounds –
    The number of Rounds is regularly considered in design criteria, it just reflects the number of rounds to be suitable for an algorithm to make it more complex, in DES we have 16 rounds ensuring it to be more secure while in AES we have 10 rounds which makes it more secure.

  2. Design of function F –
    The core part of the Feistel Block cipher structure is the Round Function. The complexity of cryptanalysis can be derived from the Round function i.e. the increasing level of complexity for the round function would be greatly contributing to an increase in complexity.

    To increase the complexity of the round function, the avalanche effect is also included in the round function, as the change of a single bit in plain text would produce a mischievous output due to the presence of avalanche effect.

  3. Key schedule algorithm –
    In Feistel Block cipher structure, each round would generate a sub-key for increasing the complexity of cryptanalysis. The Avalanche effect makes it more complex in deriving sub-key. Decryption must be done very carefully to get the actual output as the avalanche effect is present in it.

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