This algorithm was
devised in 1993 and is a symmetric block type cipher.
The maker of this encryption method intended it as an
“all purpose” algorithm and a replacement for DES, or
Data Encryption Standard. BloFish has no patent and is
not a commercial, or paid for system, meaning it could
be used by anyone, unlike other systems used when he put
it together. Its inventor made the statement that no one
could ever patent the method and it would be free for
all to use forever. It is open source and anyone can use
the code to create their own version of the cipher.
The algorithm used in this method is a combination of a
few types of encryption. These include a Feistel cipher
and S-boxes using a block size of 64-bits and a key
length that ranges from eight to 448 bits. The Feistel
cipher, of which the BloFish algorithm uses 16 round, is
half that of the usual structure because the encoding
and decoding schemes are almost identical.
The S-box, or substitution box, is used to hide the
information and its relationship to the key used. These
items working together produce an output of 32-bits
after running through a network of P-array and XOred
encryption. If the data input for encoding or data
output does not equal at least 8 bytes in length,
BloFish will automatically pad the information with
extra characters to make it the required length, up to 8
In producing sub keys, BloFish runs through the entire
encryption process 521 times to create them all. Using
this method in the exact reverse is the only thing that
decrypts the information because it is a Feistel method.
Using the XORing, P17 and P18 arrays inverted and adding
them to the cipher block than reversing the P-arrays
decodes the encryption easily and quickly. The encoding
takes more time.
While symmetrical encryption methods are outdated, they
still work well. So well in fact that as of May 2010,
there has still been no working cryptanalysis found for
BloFish. While this method of encoding information
cannot be used in every application because it is much
slower than others, processing up to 4K of information
for each character encoded, it is still used today with
BloFish is used mainly as a software encryption method,
although many hardware components can use it as well.
Used as a password manager, its algorithm is a proven
effective method of encoding and is perfect for anyone
needing to keep people way from personal information.
Many software security suites use this method as well as
government and military units. As for hardware, there
are some limitations, however it is not impossible to
implement, although it is slower than some are.
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