The xor-encrypt-xor (XEX) is a (tweakable) mode of operation of a block cipher. XEX-based tweaked-codebook mode with ciphertext stealing (XTS mode) is one of the more popular modes of operation for whole-disk encryption.
XEX is a common form of key whitening.
In 1984, to protect DES against exhaustive search attacks, Ron Rivest proposed DESX: XOR a prewhitening key to the plaintext, encrypt the result with DES using a secret key, and then XOR a postwhitening key to the encrypted result to produce the final ciphertext.
In 1991, motivated by Rivest's DESX construction, Even and Mansour proposed a much simpler scheme (the "two-key Even-Mansour scheme"), which they suggested was perhaps the simplest possible block cipher: XOR the plaintext with a prewhitening key, apply a publicly known unkeyed permutation (in practice, a pseudorandom permutation) to the result, and then XOR a postwhitening key to the permuted result to produce the final ciphertext.
Orr Dunkelman, Nathan Keller, and Adi Shamir later proved it was possible to simplify the Even-Mansour scheme even further and still retain the same provable security, producing the "single-key Even-Mansour scheme": XOR the plaintext with the key, apply a publicly known unkeyed permutation to the result, and then XOR the same key to the permuted result to produce the final ciphertext.
Many whole-disk encryption systems—BestCrypt, dm-crypt, FreeOTFE, TrueCrypt, DiskCryptor, FreeBSD's geli, OpenBSD softraid disk encryption software, and Mac OS X Lion's FileVault 2 -- support XEX-based tweaked-codebook mode with ciphertext stealing (XTS mode).
- Barış Ege, Elif Bilge Kavun, and Tolga Yalçın. "Memory Encryption for Smart Cards". 2011.
- Emmanuel Prouff. "Smart Card Research and Advanced Applications". 2011. p. 201.
- Orr Dunkelman, Nathan Keller, and Adi Shamir. "Minimalism in Cryptography: The Even-Mansour Scheme Revisited".
- Joan Daemen , Laboratorium Esat. "Limitations of the Even-Mansour Construction". 1992. doi: 10.1007/3-540-57332-1_46
- Rogaway, Phillip (2004-09-24). "Efficient Instantiations of Tweakable Blockciphers and Refinements to Modes OCB and PMAC" (PDF).
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