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← 01-12 Xor Function Solution

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Showing Revision 1 created 04/24/2012 by Amara Bot.

  1. So the answer is always y, and this is why this is such a useful function
  2. in cryptography--if we XOR in the value of x twice, they cancel out.
  3. So the general property for any value x--x XOR x-- is equal to 0.
  4. We can see that from the truth table.
  5. The value of x could either be 0--and 0 XOR 0 is 0--or 1, and the value of 1 XOR 1 is 0,
  6. and that means that x XOR x is always 0.
  7. XOR is also associative and commutative, so that means if we have x XOR y XOR x
  8. that's equivalent to x XOR x XOR y which is also equivalent to y.
  9. And I've written this using x's and y's--if we change the names of our letters to M and C
  10. it becomes really clear why this is useful in cryptography.
  11. If we call x the key, then we have the key XOR the message--that's going to be the ciphertext--
  12. and then the ciphertext XOR the key again gives us back the message.
  13. And what I've described is exactly the One-Time Pad.
  14. The key aspect is--why it's called One-Time--is that we can only use the key once.
  15. So if we do this one bit at a time, we need a new key for each bit.
  16. If we think of doing it for a longer message, well then we need a key long enough
  17. that we're XORing each bit with one bit of the key.