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\input texinfo          @c -*-texinfo-*-
@c %**start of header
@setfilename nettle.info
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@settitle Nettle: a low-level cryptographic library
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@documentencoding ISO-8859-1
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@footnotestyle separate
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@syncodeindex fn cp
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@c %**end of header
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@set UPDATED-FOR 2.1
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@set AUTHOR Niels Möller
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@copying
This manual is for the Nettle library (version @value{UPDATED-FOR}), a
low-level cryptographic library.
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Originally written 2001 by @value{AUTHOR}, updated 2009.
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@quotation
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This manual is placed in the public domain. You may freely copy it, in
whole or in part, with or without modification. Attribution is
appreciated, but not required.
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@end quotation
@end copying
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@titlepage
@title Nettle Manual
@subtitle For the Nettle Library version @value{UPDATED-FOR}
@author @value{AUTHOR}
@page
@vskip 0pt plus 1filll
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@insertcopying
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@end titlepage

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@dircategory Encryption
@direntry
* Nettle: (nettle).             A low-level cryptographic library.
@end direntry

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@contents

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@ifnottex
@node     Top, Introduction, (dir), (dir)
@comment  node-name,  next,  previous,  up
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@top Nettle
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This document describes the Nettle low-level cryptographic library. You
can use the library directly from your C programs, or write or use an
object-oriented wrapper for your favorite language or application.
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@insertcopying
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@menu
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* Introduction::                What is Nettle?
* Copyright::                   Your rights.
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* Conventions::                 General interface conventions.
* Example::                     An example program.
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* Linking::                     Linking with the libnettle and libhogweed.
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* Reference::                   All Nettle functions and features.
* Nettle soup::                 For the serious nettle hacker.
* Installation::                How to install Nettle.
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* Index::                       Function and concept index.
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@end menu

@end ifnottex

@node Introduction, Copyright, Top, Top
@comment  node-name,  next,  previous,  up
@chapter Introduction

Nettle is a cryptographic library that is designed to fit easily in more
or less any context: In crypto toolkits for object-oriented languages
(C++, Python, Pike, ...), in applications like LSH or GNUPG, or even in
kernel space. In most contexts, you need more than the basic
cryptographic algorithms, you also need some way to keep track of available
algorithms, their properties and variants. You often have some algorithm
selection process, often dictated by a protocol you want to implement.

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And as the requirements of applications differ in subtle and not so
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subtle ways, an API that fits one application well can be a pain to use
in a different context. And that is why there are so many different
cryptographic libraries around.

Nettle tries to avoid this problem by doing one thing, the low-level
crypto stuff, and providing a @emph{simple} but general interface to it.
In particular, Nettle doesn't do algorithm selection. It doesn't do
memory allocation. It doesn't do any I/O.

The idea is that one can build several application and context specific
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interfaces on top of Nettle, and share the code, test cases, benchmarks,
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documentation, etc. Examples are the Nettle module for the Pike
language, and LSH, which both use an object-oriented abstraction on top
of the library.
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This manual explains how to use the Nettle library. It also tries to
provide some background on the cryptography, and advice on how to best
put it to use.

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@node Copyright, Conventions, Introduction, Top
@comment  node-name,  next,  previous,  up
@chapter Copyright

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Nettle is distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) (see
the file COPYING for details). However, most of the individual files
are dual licensed under less restrictive licenses like the GNU Lesser
General Public License (LGPL), or are in the public domain. This means
that if you don't use the parts of nettle that are GPL-only, you have
the option to use the Nettle library just as if it were licensed under
the LGPL. To find the current status of particular files, you have to
read the copyright notices at the top of the files.
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This manual is in the public domain. You may freely copy it in whole or
in part, e.g., into documentation of programs that build on Nettle.
Attribution, as well as contribution of improvements to the text, is of
course appreciated, but it is not required.

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A list of the supported algorithms, their origins and licenses:

@table @emph
@item AES
The implementation of the AES cipher (also known as rijndael) is written
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by Rafael Sevilla. Assembler for x86 by Rafael Sevilla and
@value{AUTHOR}, Sparc assembler by @value{AUTHOR}. Released under the
LGPL.
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@item ARCFOUR
The implementation of the ARCFOUR (also known as RC4) cipher is written
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by @value{AUTHOR}. Released under the LGPL.
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@item ARCTWO
The implementation of the ARCTWO (also known as RC2) cipher is written
by Nikos Mavroyanopoulos and modified by Werner Koch and Simon
Josefsson. Released under the LGPL.

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@item BLOWFISH
The implementation of the BLOWFISH cipher is written by Werner Koch,
copyright owned by the Free Software Foundation. Also hacked by Ray
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Dassen and @value{AUTHOR}. Released under the GPL.
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@item CAST128
The implementation of the CAST128 cipher is written by Steve Reid.
Released into the public domain.

@item DES
The implementation of the DES cipher is written by Dana L. How, and
released under the LGPL.

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@item MD2
The implementation of MD2 is written by Andrew Kuchling, and hacked
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some by Andreas Sigfridsson and @value{AUTHOR}. Python Cryptography
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Toolkit license (essentially public domain).

@item MD4
This is almost the same code as for MD5 below, with modifications by
Marcus Comstedt. Released into the public domain.

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@item MD5
The implementation of the MD5 message digest is written by Colin Plumb.
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It has been hacked some more by Andrew Kuchling and @value{AUTHOR}.
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Released into the public domain.

@item SERPENT
The implementation of the SERPENT cipher is written by Ross Anderson,
Eli Biham, and Lars Knudsen, adapted to LSH by Rafael Sevilla, and to
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Nettle by @value{AUTHOR}. Released under the GPL.
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@item SHA1
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The C implementation of the SHA1 message digest is written by Peter
Gutmann, and hacked some more by Andrew Kuchling and @value{AUTHOR}.
Released into the public domain. Assembler for x86 by @value{AUTHOR},
released under the LGPL.
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@item SHA224, SHA256, SHA384, and SHA512
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Written by @value{AUTHOR}, using Peter Gutmann's SHA1 code as a model. 
Released under the LGPL.

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@item TWOFISH
The implementation of the TWOFISH cipher is written by Ruud de Rooij.
Released under the LGPL.
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@item RSA
Written by @value{AUTHOR}, released under the LGPL. Uses the GMP library
for bignum operations.

@item DSA
Written by @value{AUTHOR}, released under the LGPL. Uses the GMP library
for bignum operations.
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@end table

@node Conventions, Example, Copyright, Top
@comment  node-name,  next,  previous,  up
@chapter Conventions

For each supported algorithm, there is an include file that defines a
@emph{context struct}, a few constants, and declares functions for
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operating on the context. The context struct encapsulates all information
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needed by the algorithm, and it can be copied or moved in memory with no
unexpected effects.

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For consistency, functions for different algorithms are very similar,
but there are some differences, for instance reflecting if the key setup
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or encryption function differ for encryption and decryption, and whether
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or not key setup can fail. There are also differences between algorithms
that don't show in function prototypes, but which the application must
nevertheless be aware of. There is no big difference between the
functions for stream ciphers and for block ciphers, although they should
be used quite differently by the application.
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If your application uses more than one algorithm, you should probably
create an interface that is tailor-made for your needs, and then write a
few lines of glue code on top of Nettle.

By convention, for an algorithm named @code{foo}, the struct tag for the
context struct is @code{foo_ctx}, constants and functions uses prefixes
like @code{FOO_BLOCK_SIZE} (a constant) and @code{foo_set_key} (a
function).

In all functions, strings are represented with an explicit length, of
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type @code{unsigned}, and a pointer of type @code{uint8_t *} or
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@code{const uint8_t *}. For functions that transform one string to
another, the argument order is length, destination pointer and source
pointer. Source and destination areas are of the same length. Source and
destination may be the same, so that you can process strings in place,
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but they @emph{must not} overlap in any other way.
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@c FIXME: Say something about the name mangling.

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@node Example, Linking, Conventions, Top
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@comment  node-name,  next,  previous,  up
@chapter Example

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A simple example program that reads a file from standard input and
writes its SHA1 checksum on standard output should give the flavor of
Nettle.
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@example
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@verbatiminclude sha-example.c
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@end example

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On a typical Unix system, this program can be compiled and linked with
the command line 
@example
cc sha-example.c -o sha-example -lnettle
@end example

@node Linking, Reference, Example, Top
@comment  node-name,  next,  previous,  up
@chapter Linking

Nettle actually consists of two libraries, @file{libnettle} and
@file{libhogweed}. The @file{libhogweed} library contains those
functions of Nettle that uses bignum operations, and depends on the GMP
library. With this division, linking works the same for both static and
dynamic libraries.

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If an application uses only the symmetric crypto algorithms of Nettle
(i.e., block ciphers, hash functions, and the like), it's sufficient to
link with @code{-lnettle}. If an application also uses public-key
algorithms, the recommended linker flags are @code{-lhogweed -lnettle
-lgmp}. If the involved libraries are installed as dynamic libraries, it
may be sufficient to link with just @code{-lhogweed}, and the loader
will resolve the dependencies automatically.
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@node Reference, Nettle soup, Linking, Top
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@comment  node-name,  next,  previous,  up
@chapter Reference

This chapter describes all the Nettle functions, grouped by family.

@menu
* Hash functions::              
* Cipher functions::            
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* Cipher modes::                
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* Keyed hash functions::        
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* Public-key algorithms::       
* Randomness::                  
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* Miscellaneous functions::     
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* Compatibility functions::     
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@end menu

@node Hash functions, Cipher functions, Reference, Reference
@comment  node-name,  next,  previous,  up
@section Hash functions
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@cindex Hash function
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A cryptographic @dfn{hash function} is a function that takes variable
size strings, and maps them to strings of fixed, short, length. There
are naturally lots of collisions, as there are more possible 1MB files
than 20 byte strings. But the function is constructed such that is hard
to find the collisions. More precisely, a cryptographic hash function
@code{H} should have the following properties:

@table @emph

@item One-way
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@cindex One-way
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Given a hash value @code{H(x)} it is hard to find a string @code{x}
that hashes to that value.

@item Collision-resistant
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@cindex Collision-resistant
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It is hard to find two different strings, @code{x} and @code{y}, such
that @code{H(x)} = @code{H(y)}.

@end table

Hash functions are useful as building blocks for digital signatures,
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message authentication codes, pseudo random generators, association of
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unique id:s to documents, and many other things.

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The most commonly used hash functions are MD5 and SHA1. Unfortunately,
both these fail the collision-resistance requirement; cryptologists have
found ways to construct colliding inputs. The recommended hash function
for new applications is SHA256, even though it uses a structure similar
to MD5 and SHA1. Constructing better hash functions is an urgent research
problem.
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@subsection @acronym{MD5}

MD5 is a message digest function constructed by Ronald Rivest, and
described in @cite{RFC 1321}. It outputs message digests of 128 bits, or
16 octets. Nettle defines MD5 in @file{<nettle/md5.h>}.

@deftp {Context struct} {struct md5_ctx}
@end deftp

@defvr Constant MD5_DIGEST_SIZE
The size of an MD5 digest, i.e. 16.
@end defvr

@defvr Constant MD5_DATA_SIZE
The internal block size of MD5. Useful for some special constructions,
in particular HMAC-MD5.
@end defvr

@deftypefun void md5_init (struct md5_ctx *@var{ctx})
Initialize the MD5 state.
@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void md5_update (struct md5_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{data})
Hash some more data.
@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void md5_digest (struct md5_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, uint8_t *@var{digest})
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Performs final processing and extracts the message digest, writing it
to @var{digest}. @var{length} may be smaller than
@code{MD5_DIGEST_SIZE}, in which case only the first @var{length}
octets of the digest are written.
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This function also resets the context in the same way as
@code{md5_init}.
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@end deftypefun

The normal way to use MD5 is to call the functions in order: First
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@code{md5_init}, then @code{md5_update} zero or more times, and finally
@code{md5_digest}. After @code{md5_digest}, the context is reset to
its initial state, so you can start over calling @code{md5_update} to
hash new data.
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To start over, you can call @code{md5_init} at any time.

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@subsection @acronym{MD2}

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MD2 is another hash function of Ronald Rivest's, described in
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@cite{RFC 1319}. It outputs message digests of 128 bits, or 16 octets.
Nettle defines MD2 in @file{<nettle/md2.h>}.

@deftp {Context struct} {struct md2_ctx}
@end deftp

@defvr Constant MD2_DIGEST_SIZE
The size of an MD2 digest, i.e. 16.
@end defvr

@defvr Constant MD2_DATA_SIZE
The internal block size of MD2.
@end defvr

@deftypefun void md2_init (struct md2_ctx *@var{ctx})
Initialize the MD2 state.
@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void md2_update (struct md2_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{data})
Hash some more data.
@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void md2_digest (struct md2_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, uint8_t *@var{digest})
Performs final processing and extracts the message digest, writing it
to @var{digest}. @var{length} may be smaller than
@code{MD2_DIGEST_SIZE}, in which case only the first @var{length}
octets of the digest are written.

This function also resets the context in the same way as
@code{md2_init}.
@end deftypefun

@subsection @acronym{MD4}

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MD4 is a predecessor of MD5, described in @cite{RFC 1320}. Like MD5, it
is constructed by Ronald Rivest. It outputs message digests of 128 bits,
or 16 octets. Nettle defines MD4 in @file{<nettle/md4.h>}. Use of MD4 is
not recommended, but it is sometimes needed for compatibility with
existing applications and protocols.
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@deftp {Context struct} {struct md4_ctx}
@end deftp

@defvr Constant MD4_DIGEST_SIZE
The size of an MD4 digest, i.e. 16.
@end defvr

@defvr Constant MD4_DATA_SIZE
The internal block size of MD4.
@end defvr

@deftypefun void md4_init (struct md4_ctx *@var{ctx})
Initialize the MD4 state.
@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void md4_update (struct md4_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{data})
Hash some more data.
@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void md4_digest (struct md4_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, uint8_t *@var{digest})
Performs final processing and extracts the message digest, writing it
to @var{digest}. @var{length} may be smaller than
@code{MD4_DIGEST_SIZE}, in which case only the first @var{length}
octets of the digest are written.

This function also resets the context in the same way as
@code{md4_init}.
@end deftypefun

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@subsection @acronym{SHA1}

SHA1 is a hash function specified by @dfn{NIST} (The U.S. National Institute
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for Standards and Technology). It outputs hash values of 160 bits, or 20
octets. Nettle defines SHA1 in @file{<nettle/sha.h>}.
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The functions are analogous to the MD5 ones.

@deftp {Context struct} {struct sha1_ctx}
@end deftp

@defvr Constant SHA1_DIGEST_SIZE
The size of an SHA1 digest, i.e. 20.
@end defvr

@defvr Constant SHA1_DATA_SIZE
The internal block size of SHA1. Useful for some special constructions,
in particular HMAC-SHA1.
@end defvr

@deftypefun void sha1_init (struct sha1_ctx *@var{ctx})
Initialize the SHA1 state.
@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void sha1_update (struct sha1_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{data})
Hash some more data.
@end deftypefun

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@deftypefun void sha1_digest (struct sha1_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, uint8_t *@var{digest})
Performs final processing and extracts the message digest, writing it
to @var{digest}. @var{length} may be smaller than
@code{SHA1_DIGEST_SIZE}, in which case only the first @var{length}
octets of the digest are written.

This function also resets the context in the same way as
@code{sha1_init}.
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@end deftypefun

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@subsection @acronym{SHA256}

SHA256 is another hash function specified by @dfn{NIST}, intended as a
replacement for @acronym{SHA1}, generating larger digests. It outputs
hash values of 256 bits, or 32 octets. Nettle defines SHA256 in
@file{<nettle/sha.h>}.

The functions are analogous to the MD5 ones.

@deftp {Context struct} {struct sha256_ctx}
@end deftp

@defvr Constant SHA256_DIGEST_SIZE
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The size of an SHA256 digest, i.e. 32.
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@end defvr

@defvr Constant SHA256_DATA_SIZE
The internal block size of SHA256. Useful for some special constructions,
in particular HMAC-SHA256.
@end defvr

@deftypefun void sha256_init (struct sha256_ctx *@var{ctx})
Initialize the SHA256 state.
@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void sha256_update (struct sha256_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{data})
Hash some more data.
@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void sha256_digest (struct sha256_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, uint8_t *@var{digest})
Performs final processing and extracts the message digest, writing it
to @var{digest}. @var{length} may be smaller than
@code{SHA256_DIGEST_SIZE}, in which case only the first @var{length}
octets of the digest are written.
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This function also resets the context in the same way as
@code{sha256_init}.
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@end deftypefun

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@subsection @acronym{SHA224}
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SHA224 is a variant of SHA256, with a different initial state, and with
the output truncated to 224 bits, or 28 octets. Nettle defines SHA224 in
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@file{<nettle/sha.h>}.

The functions are analogous to the MD5 ones.

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@deftp {Context struct} {struct sha224_ctx}
@end deftp

@defvr Constant SHA224_DIGEST_SIZE
The size of an SHA224 digest, i.e. 28.
@end defvr

@defvr Constant SHA224_DATA_SIZE
The internal block size of SHA224. Useful for some special constructions,
in particular HMAC-SHA224.
@end defvr

@deftypefun void sha224_init (struct sha224_ctx *@var{ctx})
Initialize the SHA224 state.
@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void sha224_update (struct sha224_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{data})
Hash some more data.
@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void sha224_digest (struct sha224_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, uint8_t *@var{digest})
Performs final processing and extracts the message digest, writing it
to @var{digest}. @var{length} may be smaller than
@code{SHA224_DIGEST_SIZE}, in which case only the first @var{length}
octets of the digest are written.

This function also resets the context in the same way as
@code{sha224_init}.
@end deftypefun

@subsection @acronym{SHA512}

SHA512 is a larger sibling to SHA256, with a very similar structure but
with both the output and the internal variables of twice the size. The
internal variables are 64 bits rather than 32, making it significantly
slower on 32-bit computers. It outputs hash values of 512 bits, or 64
octets. Nettle defines SHA512 in @file{<nettle/sha.h>}.

The functions are analogous to the MD5 ones.

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@deftp {Context struct} {struct sha512_ctx}
@end deftp

@defvr Constant SHA512_DIGEST_SIZE
The size of an SHA512 digest, i.e. 64.
@end defvr

@defvr Constant SHA512_DATA_SIZE
The internal block size of SHA512. Useful for some special constructions,
in particular HMAC-SHA512.
@end defvr

@deftypefun void sha512_init (struct sha512_ctx *@var{ctx})
Initialize the SHA512 state.
@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void sha512_update (struct sha512_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{data})
Hash some more data.
@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void sha512_digest (struct sha512_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, uint8_t *@var{digest})
Performs final processing and extracts the message digest, writing it
to @var{digest}. @var{length} may be smaller than
@code{SHA512_DIGEST_SIZE}, in which case only the first @var{length}
octets of the digest are written.

This function also resets the context in the same way as
@code{sha512_init}.
@end deftypefun

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@subsection @acronym{SHA384}

SHA384 is a variant of SHA512, with a different initial state, and with
the output truncated to 384 bits, or 48 octets. Nettle defines SHA384 in
@file{<nettle/sha.h>}.

The functions are analogous to the MD5 ones.

@deftp {Context struct} {struct sha384_ctx}
@end deftp

@defvr Constant SHA384_DIGEST_SIZE
The size of an SHA384 digest, i.e. 48.
@end defvr

@defvr Constant SHA384_DATA_SIZE
The internal block size of SHA384. Useful for some special constructions,
in particular HMAC-SHA384.
@end defvr

@deftypefun void sha384_init (struct sha384_ctx *@var{ctx})
Initialize the SHA384 state.
@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void sha384_update (struct sha384_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{data})
Hash some more data.
@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void sha384_digest (struct sha384_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, uint8_t *@var{digest})
Performs final processing and extracts the message digest, writing it
to @var{digest}. @var{length} may be smaller than
@code{SHA384_DIGEST_SIZE}, in which case only the first @var{length}
octets of the digest are written.

This function also resets the context in the same way as
@code{sha384_init}.
@end deftypefun

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@subsection @code{struct nettle_hash}

Nettle includes a struct including information about the supported hash
functions. It is defined in @file{<nettle/nettle-meta.h>}, and is used
by Nettle's implementation of @acronym{HMAC} @pxref{Keyed hash
functions}.

@deftp {Meta struct} @code{struct nettle_hash} name context_size digest_size block_size init update digest
The last three attributes are function pointers, of types
@code{nettle_hash_init_func}, @code{nettle_hash_update_func}, and
@code{nettle_hash_digest_func}. The first argument to these functions is
@code{void *} pointer so a context struct, which is of size
@code{context_size}. 
@end deftp

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@deftypevr {Constant Struct} {struct nettle_cipher} nettle_md2
@deftypevrx {Constant Struct} {struct nettle_cipher} nettle_md4
@deftypevrx {Constant Struct} {struct nettle_cipher} nettle_md5
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@deftypevrx {Constant Struct} {struct nettle_cipher} nettle_sha1
@deftypevrx {Constant Struct} {struct nettle_cipher} nettle_sha256
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@deftypevrx {Constant Struct} {struct nettle_cipher} nettle_sha512
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These are all the hash functions that Nettle implements.
@end deftypevr

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@node Cipher functions, Cipher modes, Hash functions, Reference
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@comment  node-name,  next,  previous,  up
@section Cipher functions
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@cindex Cipher
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A @dfn{cipher} is a function that takes a message or @dfn{plaintext}
and a secret @dfn{key} and transforms it to a @dfn{ciphertext}. Given
only the ciphertext, but not the key, it should be hard to find the
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plaintext. Given matching pairs of plaintext and ciphertext, it should
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be hard to find the key.

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@cindex Block Cipher
@cindex Stream Cipher

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There are two main classes of ciphers: Block ciphers and stream ciphers.

A block cipher can process data only in fixed size chunks, called
@dfn{blocks}. Typical block sizes are 8 or 16 octets. To encrypt
arbitrary messages, you usually have to pad it to an integral number of
blocks, split it into blocks, and then process each block. The simplest
way is to process one block at a time, independent of each other. That
mode of operation is called @dfn{ECB}, Electronic Code Book mode.
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However, using @acronym{ECB} is usually a bad idea. For a start, plaintext blocks
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that are equal are transformed to ciphertext blocks that are equal; that
leaks information about the plaintext. Usually you should apply the
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cipher is some ``feedback mode'', @dfn{CBC} (Cipher Block Chaining) and
@dfn{CTR} (Counter mode) being two of
of the most popular. See @xref{Cipher modes}, for information on
how to apply @acronym{CBC} and @acronym{CTR} with Nettle.
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A stream cipher can be used for messages of arbitrary length. A typical
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stream cipher is a keyed pseudo-random generator. To encrypt a plaintext
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message of @var{n} octets, you key the generator, generate @var{n}
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octets of pseudo-random data, and XOR it with the plaintext. To decrypt,
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regenerate the same stream using the key, XOR it to the ciphertext, and
the plaintext is recovered.

@strong{Caution:} The first rule for this kind of cipher is the
same as for a One Time Pad: @emph{never} ever use the same key twice.

A common misconception is that encryption, by itself, implies
authentication. Say that you and a friend share a secret key, and you
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receive an encrypted message. You apply the key, and get a plaintext
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message that makes sense to you. Can you then be sure that it really was
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your friend that wrote the message you're reading? The answer is no. For
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example, if you were using a block cipher in ECB mode, an attacker may
pick up the message on its way, and reorder, delete or repeat some of
the blocks. Even if the attacker can't decrypt the message, he can
change it so that you are not reading the same message as your friend
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wrote. If you are using a block cipher in @acronym{CBC} mode rather than
ECB, or are using a stream cipher, the possibilities for this sort of
attack are different, but the attacker can still make predictable
changes to the message.
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It is recommended to @emph{always} use an authentication mechanism in
addition to encrypting the messages. Popular choices are Message
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Authentication Codes like @acronym{HMAC-SHA1} @pxref{Keyed hash
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functions}, or digital signatures like @acronym{RSA}.
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Some ciphers have so called ``weak keys'', keys that results in
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undesirable structure after the key setup processing, and should be
avoided. In Nettle, the presence of weak keys for a cipher mean that the
key setup function can fail, so you have to check its return value. In
addition, the context struct has a field @code{status}, that is set to a
non-zero value if key setup fails. When possible, avoid algorithm that
have weak keys. There are several good ciphers that don't have any weak
keys.

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To encrypt a message, you first initialize a cipher context for
encryption or decryption with a particular key. You then use the context
to process plaintext or ciphertext messages. The initialization is known
as called @dfn{key setup}. With Nettle, it is recommended to use each
context struct for only one direction, even if some of the ciphers use a
single key setup function that can be used for both encryption and
decryption.

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@subsection AES
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AES is a block cipher, specified by NIST as a replacement for
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the older DES standard. The standard is the result of a competition
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between cipher designers. The winning design, also known as RIJNDAEL,
was constructed by Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijnmen.
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Like all the AES candidates, the winning design uses a block size of 128
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bits, or 16 octets, and variable key-size, 128, 192 and 256 bits (16, 24
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and 32 octets) being the allowed key sizes. It does not have any weak
keys. Nettle defines AES in @file{<nettle/aes.h>}.
 
@deftp {Context struct} {struct aes_ctx}
@end deftp

@defvr Constant AES_BLOCK_SIZE
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The AES block-size, 16
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@end defvr

@defvr Constant AES_MIN_KEY_SIZE
@end defvr

@defvr Constant AES_MAX_KEY_SIZE
@end defvr

@defvr Constant AES_KEY_SIZE
Default AES key size, 32
@end defvr

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@deftypefun void aes_set_encrypt_key (struct aes_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{key})
@deftypefunx void aes_set_decrypt_key (struct aes_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{key})
Initialize the cipher, for encryption or decryption, respectively.
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@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void aes_encrypt (struct aes_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{dst}, uint8_t *@var{src})
Encryption function. @var{length} must be an integral multiple of the
block size. If it is more than one block, the data is processed in ECB
mode. @code{src} and @code{dst} may be equal, but they must not overlap
in any other way.
@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void aes_decrypt (struct aes_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{dst}, uint8_t *@var{src})
Analogous to @code{aes_encrypt}
@end deftypefun

@subsection ARCFOUR
ARCFOUR is a stream cipher, also known under the trade marked name RC4,
and it is one of the fastest ciphers around. A problem is that the key
setup of ARCFOUR is quite weak, you should never use keys with
structure, keys that are ordinary passwords, or sequences of keys like
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``secret:1'', ``secret:2'', @enddots{}. If you have keys that don't look
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like random bit strings, and you want to use ARCFOUR, always hash the
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key before feeding it to ARCFOUR. Furthermore, the initial bytes of the
generated key stream leak information about the key; for this reason, it
is recommended to discard the first 512 bytes of the key stream.
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@example
/* A more robust key setup function for ARCFOUR */
void
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arcfour_set_key_hashed(struct arcfour_ctx *ctx,
                       unsigned length, const uint8_t *key)
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@{
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  struct sha256_ctx hash;
  uint8_t digest[SHA256_DIGEST_SIZE];
  uint8_t buffer[0x200];
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  sha256_init(&hash);
  sha256_update(&hash, length, key);
  sha256_digest(&hash, SHA256_DIGEST_SIZE, digest);
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  arcfour_set_key(ctx, SHA256_DIGEST_SIZE, digest);
  arcfour_crypt(ctx, sizeof(buffer), buffer, buffer);
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@}
@end example

Nettle defines ARCFOUR in @file{<nettle/arcfour.h>}.

@deftp {Context struct} {struct arcfour_ctx}
@end deftp

@defvr Constant ARCFOUR_MIN_KEY_SIZE
Minimum key size, 1
@end defvr

@defvr Constant ARCFOUR_MAX_KEY_SIZE
Maximum key size, 256
@end defvr

@defvr Constant ARCFOUR_KEY_SIZE
Default ARCFOUR key size, 16
@end defvr

@deftypefun void arcfour_set_key (struct arcfour_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{key})
Initialize the cipher. The same function is used for both encryption and
decryption. 
@end deftypefun

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@deftypefun void arcfour_crypt (struct arcfour_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{dst}, uint8_t *@var{src})
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Encrypt some data. The same function is used for both encryption and
decryption. Unlike the block ciphers, this function modifies the
context, so you can split the data into arbitrary chunks and encrypt
them one after another. The result is the same as if you had called
@code{arcfour_crypt} only once with all the data.
@end deftypefun

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@subsection ARCTWO
ARCTWO (also known as the trade marked name RC2) is a block cipher
specified in RFC 2268. Nettle also include a variation of the ARCTWO
set key operation that lack one step, to be compatible with the
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reverse engineered RC2 cipher description, as described in a Usenet
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post to @code{sci.crypt} by Peter Gutmann.

ARCTWO uses a block size of 64 bits, and variable key-size ranging
from 1 to 128 octets. Besides the key, ARCTWO also has a second
parameter to key setup, the number of effective key bits, @code{ekb}.
This parameter can be used to artificially reduce the key size. In
practice, @code{ekb} is usually set equal to the input key size.
Nettle defines ARCTWO in @file{<nettle/arctwo.h>}.

We do not recommend the use of ARCTWO; the Nettle implementation is
provided primarily for interoperability with existing applications and
standards.

@deftp {Context struct} {struct arctwo_ctx}
@end deftp

@defvr Constant ARCTWO_BLOCK_SIZE
The AES block-size, 8
@end defvr

@defvr Constant ARCTWO_MIN_KEY_SIZE
@end defvr

@defvr Constant ARCTWO_MAX_KEY_SIZE
@end defvr

@defvr Constant ARCTWO_KEY_SIZE
Default ARCTWO key size, 8
@end defvr

@deftypefun void arctwo_set_key_ekb (struct arctwo_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{key}, unsigned @var{ekb})
@deftypefunx void arctwo_set_key (struct arctwo_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{key})
@deftypefunx void arctwo_set_key_gutmann (struct arctwo_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{key})
Initialize the cipher. The same function is used for both encryption
and decryption. The first function is the most general one, which lets
you provide both the variable size key, and the desired effective key
size (in bits). The maximum value for @var{ekb} is 1024, and for
convenience, @code{ekb = 0} has the same effect as @code{ekb = 1024}.

@code{arctwo_set_key(ctx, length, key)} is equivalent to
@code{arctwo_set_key_ekb(ctx, length, key, 8*length)}, and
@code{arctwo_set_key_gutmann(ctx, length, key)} is equivalent to
@code{arctwo_set_key_ekb(ctx, length, key, 1024)}
@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void arctwo_encrypt (struct arctwo_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{dst}, uint8_t *@var{src})
Encryption function. @var{length} must be an integral multiple of the
block size. If it is more than one block, the data is processed in ECB
mode. @code{src} and @code{dst} may be equal, but they must not
overlap in any other way.
@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void arctwo_decrypt (struct arctwo_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{dst}, uint8_t *@var{src})
Analogous to @code{arctwo_encrypt}
@end deftypefun

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@subsection CAST128

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CAST-128 is a block cipher, specified in @cite{RFC 2144}. It uses a 64
bit (8 octets) block size, and a variable key size of up to 128 bits.
Nettle defines cast128 in @file{<nettle/cast128.h>}.

@deftp {Context struct} {struct cast128_ctx}
@end deftp

@defvr Constant CAST128_BLOCK_SIZE
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The CAST128 block-size, 8
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@end defvr

@defvr Constant CAST128_MIN_KEY_SIZE
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Minimum CAST128 key size, 5
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@end defvr

@defvr Constant CAST128_MAX_KEY_SIZE
Maximum CAST128 key size, 16
@end defvr

@defvr Constant CAST128_KEY_SIZE
Default CAST128 key size, 16
@end defvr

@deftypefun void cast128_set_key (struct cast128_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{key})
Initialize the cipher. The same function is used for both encryption and
decryption. 
@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void cast128_encrypt (struct cast128_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{dst}, uint8_t *@var{src})
Encryption function. @var{length} must be an integral multiple of the
block size. If it is more than one block, the data is processed in ECB
mode. @code{src} and @code{dst} may be equal, but they must not overlap
in any other way.
@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void cast128_decrypt (struct cast128_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{dst}, uint8_t *@var{src})
Analogous to @code{cast128_encrypt}
@end deftypefun

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@subsection BLOWFISH

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BLOWFISH is a block cipher designed by Bruce Schneier. It uses a block
size of 64 bits (8 octets), and a variable key size, up to 448 bits. It
has some weak keys. Nettle defines BLOWFISH in @file{<nettle/blowfish.h>}.

@deftp {Context struct} {struct blowfish_ctx}
@end deftp

@defvr Constant BLOWFISH_BLOCK_SIZE
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The BLOWFISH block-size, 8
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@end defvr

@defvr Constant BLOWFISH_MIN_KEY_SIZE
Minimum BLOWFISH key size, 8
@end defvr

@defvr Constant BLOWFISH_MAX_KEY_SIZE
Maximum BLOWFISH key size, 56
@end defvr

@defvr Constant BLOWFISH_KEY_SIZE
Default BLOWFISH key size, 16
@end defvr

@deftypefun int blowfish_set_key (struct blowfish_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{key})
Initialize the cipher. The same function is used for both encryption and
decryption. Returns 1 on success, and 0 if the key was weak. Calling
@code{blowfish_encrypt} or @code{blowfish_decrypt} with a weak key will
crash with an assert violation.
@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void blowfish_encrypt (struct blowfish_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{dst}, uint8_t *@var{src})
Encryption function. @var{length} must be an integral multiple of the
block size. If it is more than one block, the data is processed in ECB
mode. @code{src} and @code{dst} may be equal, but they must not overlap
in any other way.
@end deftypefun

@deftypefun void blowfish_decrypt (struct blowfish_ctx *@var{ctx}, unsigned @var{length}, const uint8_t *@var{dst}, uint8_t *@var{src})
Analogous to @code{blowfish_encrypt}
@end deftypefun

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@subsection DES
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DES is the old Data Encryption Standard, specified by NIST. It uses a
block size of 64 bits (8 octets), and a key size of 56 bits. However,
the key bits are distributed over 8 octets, where the least significant
bit of each octet is used for parity. A common way to use DES is to
generate 8 random octets in some way, then set the least significant bit
of each octet to get odd parity, and initialize DES with the resulting
key.

The key size of DES is so small that keys can be found by brute force,
using specialized hardware or lots of ordinary work stations in
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parallel. One shouldn't be using plain DES at all today, if one uses
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DES at all one should be using ``triple DES'', see DES3 below.
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DES also has some weak keys. Nettle defines DES in @file{<nettle/des.h>}.

@deftp {Context struct} {struct des_ctx}
@end deftp

@defvr Constant DES_BLOCK_SIZE
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The DES block-size, 8
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@end defvr

@defvr Constant DES_KEY_SIZE
DES key size, 8