# XTEA Block Cipher

Usually people recommend to never implement cryptographic algorithms yourself unless you are an expert in the field. This of course makes a lot of sense mainly because there are numerous things that can go wrong, resulting in a vulnerable implementation.

However, for learning purposes I decided to write an implementation of the XTEA block cipher myself nonetheless. XTEA is a 64-bit block feistel cipher with a 128-bit key.

What can be improved in my implementation? Are there any major flaws?

ISymmetricEncryptionProvider.cs

namespace Crypto
{
/// <summary>
/// Provides a base for symmetric encryption algorithms
/// </summary>
public interface ISymmetricEncryptionProvider
{

/// <summary>
/// Symmetric encryption routine
/// </summary>
/// <param name="data">The data that should get encrypted</param>
/// <returns>The encrypted data</returns>
byte[] Encrypt(byte[] data);

/// <summary>
/// Symmetric decryption routine
/// </summary>
/// <param name="data">The data that should get decrypted</param>
/// <returns>The decrypted data</returns>
byte[] Decrypt(byte[] data);

}
}


XTEA.cs

using System;
using System.IO;

namespace Crypto
{
/// <summary>
/// Like TEA, XTEA is a 64-bit block Feistel cipher with a 128-bit key and a suggested
/// 64 rounds. Several differences from TEA are apparent, including a somewhat
/// more complex key-schedule and a rearrangement of the shifts, XORs, and additions.
///
/// More information can be found here:
/// + https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XTEA
/// + http://www.tayloredge.com/reference/Mathematics/TEA-XTEA.pdf
/// </summary>
public class XTEA : ISymmetricEncryptionProvider
{
/// <summary>
/// The 128 bit key used for encryption and decryption
/// </summary>
private readonly uint[] _key;

/// <summary>
/// The number of rounds, default is 32 because each iteration performs two Feistel-cipher rounds.
/// </summary>
private readonly uint _cycles;

/// <summary>
/// XTEA operates with a block size of 8 bytes
/// </summary>
private readonly uint _blockSize = 8;

/// <summary>
/// The delta is derived from the golden ratio where delta = (sqrt(2) - 1) * 2^31
/// A different multiple of delta is used in each round so that no bit of
/// the multiple will not change frequently
/// </summary>
private const uint Delta = 0x9E3779B9;

/// <summary>
/// Instantiate new XTEA object for encryption/decryption
/// </summary>
/// <param name="key">The encryption/decryption key</param>
/// <param name="cycles">Number of cycles performed, default is 32</param>
public XTEA(byte[] key, uint cycles = 32)
{
_key = GenerateKey(key);
_cycles = cycles;
}

/// <summary>
/// Calculates the next multiple of the block size of the input data because
/// XTEA is a 64-bit cipher.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="length">Input data size</param>
/// <returns>Input data extended to the next multiple of the block size.</returns>
private uint NextMultipleOfBlockSize(uint length)
{
return (length + 7) / _blockSize * _blockSize;
}

/// <summary>
/// Encrypts the provided data with XTEA
/// </summary>
/// <param name="data">The data to encrypt</param>
/// <returns>Encrypted data as byte array</returns>
public byte[] Encrypt(byte[] data)
{
var blockBuffer = new uint;
var dataBuffer = new byte[NextMultipleOfBlockSize((uint)data.Length + 4)];
var lengthBuffer = BitConverter.GetBytes(data.Length);

Buffer.BlockCopy(lengthBuffer, 0, dataBuffer, 0, lengthBuffer.Length);
Buffer.BlockCopy(data, 0, dataBuffer, lengthBuffer.Length, data.Length);

using (var memoryStream = new MemoryStream(dataBuffer))
using (var binaryWriter = new BinaryWriter(memoryStream))
for (uint i = 0; i < dataBuffer.Length; i += _blockSize)
{
blockBuffer = BitConverter.ToUInt32(dataBuffer, (int) i);
blockBuffer = BitConverter.ToUInt32(dataBuffer, (int) i + 4);

Encode(_cycles, blockBuffer, _key);

binaryWriter.Write(blockBuffer);
binaryWriter.Write(blockBuffer);
}

return dataBuffer;
}

/// <summary>
/// Decrypts the provided data with XTEA
/// </summary>
/// <param name="data">The data to decrypt</param>
/// <returns>The decrypted data as byte array</returns>
public byte[] Decrypt(byte[] data)
{
// Encrypted data size must be a multiple of the block size
if (data.Length % _blockSize != 0)
throw new ArgumentOutOfRangeException(nameof(data));

var blockBuffer = new uint;
var buffer = new byte[data.Length];

Buffer.BlockCopy(data, 0, buffer, 0, data.Length);

using (var memoryStream = new MemoryStream(buffer))
using (var binaryWriter = new BinaryWriter(memoryStream))
{
for (uint i = 0; i < buffer.Length; i += _blockSize)
{
blockBuffer = BitConverter.ToUInt32(buffer, (int) i);
blockBuffer = BitConverter.ToUInt32(buffer, (int) i + 4);

Decode(_cycles, blockBuffer, _key);

binaryWriter.Write(blockBuffer);
binaryWriter.Write(blockBuffer);
}
}

// Verify if length of output data is valid
var length = BitConverter.ToUInt32(buffer, 0);
VerifyDataLength(length, buffer.Length, 4);

// Trim first 4 bytes of output data
return TrimOutputData(length, buffer, 4);
}

/// <summary>
/// Removes the first n bytes from the buffer
/// </summary>
/// <param name="length">Length of the output buffer</param>
/// <param name="buffer">The output buffer</param>
/// <param name="trimSize">Number of bytes to trim from the start of the buffer</param>
/// <returns>Trimmed output buffer array</returns>
private byte[] TrimOutputData(uint length, byte[] buffer, int trimSize)
{
var result = new byte[length];
Buffer.BlockCopy(buffer, trimSize, result, 0, (int) length);
return result;
}

/// <summary>
/// Compares the length of the output data from a specified offset to the length of the buffer
/// </summary>
/// <param name="dataLength">Length of the output data</param>
/// <param name="bufferLength">Length of the buffer</param>
/// <param name="offset">The offset</param>
/// <exception cref="ArgumentOutOfRangeException">Thrown if buffer data is corrupted</exception>
private void VerifyDataLength(uint dataLength, int bufferLength, uint offset)
{
if (dataLength > bufferLength - offset)
throw new ArgumentOutOfRangeException(nameof(bufferLength));
}

/// <summary>
/// Transforms the key to uint[]
/// </summary>
/// <returns>Transformed key</returns>
private uint[] GenerateKey(byte[] key)
{
if (key.Length != 16)
throw new ArgumentOutOfRangeException(nameof(key));

return new[]
{
BitConverter.ToUInt32(key, 0), BitConverter.ToUInt32(key, 4),
BitConverter.ToUInt32(key, 8), BitConverter.ToUInt32(key, 12)
};
}

/// <summary>
/// TEA inplace encoding routine of the provided data array.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="rounds">The number of encryption rounds, default is 32.</param>
/// <param name="v">The data array containing two values.</param>
/// <param name="k">The key array containing 4 values.</param>
private void Encode(uint rounds, uint[] v, uint[] k)
{
uint sum = 0;
uint v0 = v, v1 = v;
for (int i = 0; i < rounds; i++)
{
v0 += (((v1 << 4) ^ (v1 >> 5)) + v1) ^ (sum + k[sum & 3]);
sum += Delta;
v1 += (((v0 << 4) ^ (v0 >> 5)) + v0) ^ (sum + k[(sum >> 11) & 3]);
}

v = v0;
v = v1;
}

/// <summary>
/// TEA inplace decoding routine of the provided data array.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="rounds">The number of encryption rounds, default is 32.</param>
/// <param name="v">The data array containing two values.</param>
/// <param name="k">The key array containing 4 values.</param>
private void Decode(uint rounds, uint[] v, uint[] k)
{
uint sum = Delta * rounds;
uint v0 = v, v1 = v;
for (int i = 0; i < rounds; i++)
{
v1 -= (((v0 << 4) ^ (v0 >> 5)) + v0) ^ (sum + k[(sum >> 11) & 3]);
sum -= Delta;
v0 -= (((v1 << 4) ^ (v1 >> 5)) + v1) ^ (sum + k[sum & 3]);
}

v = v0;
v = v1;
}

}
}


Here is an example usage of the class:

public static void Main(string[] args)
{
byte[] key = {0x00, 0x01, 0x02, 0x03, 0x04, 0x05, 0x06, 0x07,
0x08, 0x09, 0x0A, 0x0B, 0x0C, 0x0D, 0x0E, 0x0F};

byte[] data = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes("This is a message which will be encrypted with XTEA!");

var xtea = new XTEA(key);
var enc = xtea.Encrypt(data);
var dec = xtea.Decrypt(enc);

Console.WriteLine(Encoding.UTF8.GetString(dec));
}


References

Credit where credit belongs. During the writing of this class used the following websites/books as a guideline:

The Tiny Encryption Algorithm (TEA)

C# implementation of XTEA

C# CarestiaXTEA

C++ XTEA Implementation

• I would add a method to fold/spindle/mutilate and generally munge up the key before deleting it. You might also automatically call that method when closing the class (if C# allows). Your deletion will not be fully secure unless you delve into the OS, but it is a useful thing to think about when coding cryptographic primitives. – rossum Nov 3 '18 at 12:40
• Also your documentation should probably actually say that the encrypt / decrypt functions use the insecure ECB mode. – SEJPM Nov 3 '18 at 12:47
• @766F6964 yes, for encryption you run the XOR of your last ciphertext and current plaintext through the block cipher. – SEJPM Nov 3 '18 at 13:18
• Regarding key deletion, you also need to take into account that the GC can move objects around, so unless you pin something there could be multiple copies of its data lying around by the time you're done. – Pieter Witvoet Nov 3 '18 at 13:47
• Another thing: what's the reason for that length prefix? Why not use a padding scheme like PKCS#7 instead? – Pieter Witvoet Nov 5 '18 at 8:36

The function you call Encode really seems to be your block encryption function, I would name it something more suggestive of that. As noted in the comments, it would be great it you offered modes other than ECB, it would be a good exercise to design that well. My main complaint is that it's oriented around byte arrays, when a Stream-based implementation would be more useful. Either:

void Encrypt(Stream input, Stream output)


or something more like an adapter pattern:

class XTeaEncryptor : Stream
{
XTeaEncryptor(Stream outputStream){}
}


It's much easier to use a class designed for Streams to encrypt a byte array than vice versa, especially when you get into other modes.

Your use of TrimOutputData results in you allocating an array almost as big as the input, you could avoid this by using an index.