[Mono-devel-list] Crypto inconsistency between Mono and MS.NET

Sebastien Pouliot sebastien at ximian.com
Thu Oct 21 19:49:25 EDT 2004

Hello Jon,

Thanks for the info. I'll get a look into CanReuseTransform as there is
no reason for Mono not to reuse transforms (and I bet a lot of code
don't bother to check the property). 

I think that a "Reset" method should have been included in
ICryptoTransform (but is a little too late for that ;-).


On Thu, 2004-10-21 at 14:13 -0400, Jon Larimer wrote:
> > However I expect that the "official" answer will be like "results of
> > calling TransformFinalBlock more than one time is undefined" (i.e.
> > expect this to change in future versions but not patched in existing
> > frameworks).
> > 
> > In this case Mono and MS implementation will probably keep their
> > different behaviors (as I like Mono results much better ;-) unless I (or
> > someone else) find a case which leads to serious problems.
> I got this reply to my usenet post (below). It seems that it's
> intentional. In Mono, ICryptoTransform.CanReuseTransform returns
> false, and in Microsoft.NET it returns true, so I guess both
> implementations are behaving correctly based on that.
> -jon
> Jon Larimer
> jlarimer at gmail.com
> -------
> From: Rob Teixeira
> Date Posted: 10/21/2004 12:23:00 AM
> The behaviour you described is correct. TransformFinalBlock does indeed
> reset the feedback.
> I believe this is consistent with the intent of the class. The
> CanReuseTransform property returns true, which means the feedback should at
> some point be reset so the class can be reused.
> You have to look at this from the perspective of individual messages. Once
> you end a message, you must call TransformFinalBlock, and this resets the
> feedback register to the IV for the next message. You have to remember that
> message reception may or may not be synchronous, so for example, you can
> encrypt various files and they will simply sit somewhere until you decrypt
> one of them. You can't assume that you are shipping a bunch of message
> around and they will all be dealt with in the same order. If the feedback
> isn't reset, that's the only way you could ever decrypt them.
> Also, CBC mode induces feedback. This means that subsequent strings of
> similar plain text will be affected by previous blocks of cipher text. So,
> for example, if you had repeating sets of the letter "E" in your message,
> the blocks containing that repetition couldn't be detected from the cipher
> text because of the CBC feedback. CBC doesn't guarantee that entirely
> similar messages won't look the same after decryption, especially if you are
> using the same IV. If you have a scenario like this (where you are sending
> the same message over and over using the same IV), you should salt the
> message - add a block of random bits to the beginning of the message. On the
> receiving end, you can safly ignore the first block, and that guarantees
> each message will be different due to the CBC feedback.
> -Rob Teixeira

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