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Description of a New Variable-Length Key, 64-bit Block Cipher (Blowfish

By B. Schneier

Abstract

Blowfish, a new secret-key block cipher, is proposed. It is a Feistel network, iterating a simple encryption function 16 times. The block size is 64 bits, and the key can be any length up to 448 bits. Although there is a complex initialization phase required before any encryption can take place, the actual encryption of data is very efficient on large microprocessors. The cryptographic community needs to provide the world with a new encryption standard. DES [16], the workhorse encryption algorithm for the past fifteen years, is nearing the end of its useful life. Its 56-bit key size is vulnerable to a brute-force attack [22], and recent advances in differential cryptanalysis [1] and linear cryptanalysis [10] indicate that DES is vulnerable to other attacks as well. Many of the other unbroken algorithms in the literature--Khufu [11,12], REDOC II [2,23, 20], and IDEA [7,8,9]--are protected by patents. RC2 and RC4, approved for export with a small key size, are proprietary [18]. GOST [6], a Soviet government algorithm, is specified without the S-boxes. The U.S. government is moving towards secret algorithms, such as the Skipjack algorithm in the Clipper and Capstone chips [17]

Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Year: 1994
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.135.1231
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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