In the world of cybersecurity, ChaCha20 is an encryption algorithm that works in a symmetric way. The main goal of ChaCha20 is to securely provide efficient data encryption and decryption. It was created by Daniel J. Bernstein, a famous cryptographer responsible for a more prominent ChaCha family of algorithms. ChaCha20 works as a stream cipher, meaning that it operates counting on individual bytes of data. To be more precise, it uses a 256-bit key for data encryption. Furthermore, it was designed to provide speed and security and was widely considered resistant to various cryptographic attacks, including cryptanalysis and linear cryptanalysis. Due to its nature, ChaCha20 can be easily implemented in multi-core processors and different high-performance systems.
Basic ChaCha20 encryption process steps:
- Generation of the key: The ChaCha20 algorithm produces a 256-bit key from a user-supplied key. After that, a 96-bit nonce is randomly generated.
- Initialization process: In this state, the ChaCha20 algorithm initializes the state of the cipher by using the key and nonce.
- Block encryption: Using the state of the cipher, the algorithm encrypts each block of data, and then the cipher’s state is updated after the encryption of each block.
- The output: Finally, the ciphertext or encrypted information is produced by XORing.