Browse Definitions :
Definition

initialization vector (IV)

What is an initialization vector?

An initialization vector (IV) is an arbitrary number that can be used along with a secret key for data encryption. This number, also called a nonce, is employed only one time in any session. 

The use of an IV prevents repetition in data encryption, making it more difficult for a hacker using a dictionary attack to find patterns and break a cipher. For example, a sequence might appear twice or more within the body of a message. If there are repeated sequences in encrypted data, an attacker could assume that the corresponding sequences in the message were also identical. The IV prevents the appearance of corresponding duplicate character sequences in the ciphertext

The ideal IV is a random number that is made known to the destination computer to facilitate decryption of the data when it is received. The IV can be agreed on in advance, transmitted independently or included as part of the session setup prior to exchange of the message data. The length of the IV (the number of bits or bytes it contains) depends on the method of encryption. The IV length is usually comparable to the length of the encryption key or block of the cipher in use.

Learn More About IT:
> Spiritus-Temporis.com describes how IVs work and provides links to related topics.
> Example-code.com explains 'AES Encrypt with Initialization Vector.'
> Wikipedia has an entry about initialization vectors.

This was last updated in March 2011

Join the conversation

2 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

I have an incredibly hard time believing that a frumpy-looking woman named Margaret Rouse has any understanding of cryptosystems whatsoever. You hacks will literally print anything, consequences be damned. What if some young future engineer is mislead by this crap?
Cancel
Hi anyone.. anybody know how to generate IV using HSM? currently I used Thales.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • computer worm

    A computer worm is a type of malicious software program whose primary function is to infect other computers while remaining ...

  • Single Sign-On (SSO)

    Single sign-on (SSO) is a session and user authentication service that permits a user to use one set of login credentials (e.g., ...

  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

    Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) is a certification issued by ISACA to people in charge of ensuring that an ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • disaster recovery team

    A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an ...

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 

SearchStorage

Close