In cryptography, DESX (or DESX) is a variant on the DES (Data Encryption Standard) block cipher intended to increase the complexity of a brute force attack using a technique called key whitening.
The original DES algorithm was specified in 1976 with a 56bit key size: 2^{56} possibilities for the key. There was criticism that an exhaustive search might be within the capabilities of large governments, particularly the United States' National Security Agency (NSA). One scheme to increase the key size of DES without substantially altering the algorithm was DESX, proposed by Ron Rivest in May 1984.
The algorithm was included in RSA Security's BSAFE cryptographic library since the late 1980s.
DESX augments DES by XORing an extra 64 bits of key (K_{1}) to the plaintext before applying DES, and then XORing another 64 bits of key (K_{2}) after the encryption:
The key size is thereby increased to 56 + 2 × 64 = 184 bits.
However, the effective key size (security) is only increased to 56+641lb(M) = 119  lb(M) = ~119 bits, where M is the number of known plaintext/ciphertext pairs the adversary can obtain, and lb denotes the binary logarithm. (Because of this, some implementations actually make K_{2} a strong one way function of K_{1} and K.)
DESX also increases the strength of DES against differential cryptanalysis and linear cryptanalysis, although the improvement is much smaller than in the case of brute force attacks. It is estimated that differential cryptanalysis would require 2^{61} chosen plaintexts (vs. 2^{47} for DES), while linear cryptanalysis would require 2^{60} known plaintexts (vs. 2^{43} for DES.) Note that with 2^{64} plaintexts (known or chosen being the same in this case), DES (or indeed any other block cipher with a 64 bit block size) is totally broken via the elementary codebook attack.
In cryptography, DESX (or DESX) is an alternative to the DES (Data Encryption Standard) block cipher designed to increase the complexity of a brute force attack using a technique called key whitening. As DES suffers from brute force attack DESX was a trial to overcome such drawbacks.
