[TUHS] OT: Patternless Encryption

list-tuhs at cosmic.com list-tuhs at cosmic.com
Wed Jul 9 02:29:59 AEST 2003

On Tue, 08 Jul 2003 15:31:08 GMT, John P. Willis <jwillis at coherent-logic.com> wrote:
>Just curious to hear the opinions of the many wise people here...
>What is the likelihood of an encryption system in which the resulting data
>has no pattern,

Such a thing exists, it is called a one-time pad.  Generate a
completely random key as long as the plaintext, and then XOR each
successive bit of the key with the corresponding bit of the plaintext.
The result is indistinguishable from random noise; only someone with
an identical copy of the key can decrypt it (using precisely the same
method of course).

> and one character of encrypted data may stand for many
>different characters when decrypted?

Assuming you mean "one character of encrypted data might represent any
one of several different characters of plaintext" (not "one
character's worth of encrypted data represents multiple characters
worth of plaintext), this is indeed the effect of a one-time pad.
Just don't ever reuse that key; promptly destroy both copies after


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