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FBB::EncryptBuf(3bobcat) Encrypt information FBB::EncryptBuf(3bobcat)


FBB::EncryptBuf - Encrypts information using various methods into a std::ostream


#include <bobcat/encryptbuf>
Linking option: -lbobcat -lcrypto


FBB::EncryptBuf objects are std::streambuf objects that can be used to initialize std::ostream objects.

All information inserted into such a std::ostream is encrypted and written into an std::ostream that is given as argument to EncryptBuf’s constructor.

All encryption methods supported by the OpenSSL library that can be selected by name may be used by EncryptBuf objects. To select a particular encryption method an identifier is passed to the constructor. E.g., "aes-128-cbc" indicating the AES (Rijndael) method, using 128 bit sized keys and blocks using `cbc’ mode (see below for an explanation).

Most modes use initialization vectors. Unless provided at construction time EncryptBuf objects create random initialization vectors. The initialization vector that is actually used can be obtained from the EncryptBuf object. This is important, as the matching decryption object needs to know the initialization vector that was used when encrypting the data. Initialization vectors are not considered confidential and they can be sent in the clear to the decryption object. What is important, though, is that they contain random data when used `for real’. When an initialization vector is specified that is shorter than expected by the encryption method it is automatically extended with 0-bytes to the required length.

Block ciphers use one of the following four encryption modes:

CBC (Cipher Block Chaining):
The first block is XOR-ed by the initialization vector and then encrypted using the specified method. Subsequent blocks are XOR-ed by the encrypted version of the preceding block. Due to the initialization vector dictionary attacks are infeasible, as long as the initialization vector is truly random.
ECB (Electronic Code Book):
Each block is encrypted by itself, using the specified encryption method. Although an initialization vector may be specified, it is not used. This method is susceptible to dictionary attacks and should therefore be avoided, unless you know what you’re doing.
CFB (Cipher Feednack):
This method allows a block cipher to be used as a stream cipher. It uses an initialization vector, which should be unique and random for each new stream of data that is encrypted using the method. Encryption can only start after the first data block has been received.
OFB (Output Feednack):
This is an alternative way to use a block cipher as a stream cipher. It is somewhat more susceptible to traditional data manipulation attacks, which can usually be thwarted when a message authentication code is added to the information as well. Like CFB it uses an initialization vector, which should again be unique and random for each new stream of data that is encrypted.

The following table presents an overview of methods that are currently available. Methods for which the block size is specified as N.A. are stream ciphers; other methods are block ciphers:

method keysize blocksize mode identifier
(bytes) (bytes)
AES 16 8 CBC "aes-128-cbc"
EBC "aes-128-ecb"
CFB "aes-128-cfb"
OFB "aes-128-ofb"
24 24 CBC "aes-192-cbc"
EBC "aes-192-ecb"
CFB "aes-192-cfb"
OFB "aes-192-ofb"
32 32 CBC "aes-256-cbc"
EBC "aes-256-ecb"
CFB "aes-256-cfb"
OFB "aes-256-ofb"
BLOWFISH 16 8 CBC "bf-cbc"
EBC "bf-ecb"
CFB "bf-cfb"
OFB "bf-ofb"
max key length is 56 bytes, 16 generally used
CAMELLIA 16 16 CBC "camellia-128-cbc"
EBC "camellia-128-ecb"
CFB "camellia-128-cfb"
OFB "camellia-128-ofb"
24 CBC "camellia-192-cbc"
EBC "camellia-192-ecb"
CFB "camellia-192-cfb"
OFB "camellia-192-ofb"
32 CBC "camellia-256-cbc"
EBC "camellia-256-ecb"
CFB "camellia-256-cfb"
OFB "camellia-256-ofb"
CAST 16 8 CBC "cast-cbc"
EBC "cast-ecb"
CFB "cast-cfb"
OFB "cast-ofb"
min key length is 5 bytes, max is shown
DES 8 8 CBC "des-cbc"
EBC "des-ebc"
CFB "des-cfb"
OFB "des-ofb"
DESX 8 8 CBC "desx-cbc"
3DES 16 8 CBC "des-ede-cbc"
EBC "des-ede"
CFB "des-ede-cfb"
OFB "des-ede-ofb"
3DES 24 8 CBC "des-ede3-cbc"
EBC "des-ede3"
CFB "des-ede3-cfb"
OFB "des-ede3-ofb"
Key bytes 9-16 define the 2nd key, bytes 17-24
define the 3rd key
RC2 16 8 CBC "rc2-cbc"
EBC "rc2-ecb"
CFB "rc2-cfb"
OFB "rc2-ofb"
Key length variable, max. 128 bytes, default length is shown
RC2-40 5 8 "rc2-40-cbc"
obsolete: avoid
RC2-64 8 8 "rc2-64-cbc"
obsolete: avoid
RC4 16 N.A. "rc4"
Key length is variable, max. 256 bytes. default length is shown
Encrypt again to decrypt. Don’t use DecryptBuf
RC4-40 5 N.A. "rc4-40"
obsolete: avoid
RC5 16 8 CBC "rc5-cbc"
EBC "rc5-ecb"
CFB "rc5-cfb"
OFB "rc5-ofb"
Key length variable, max. 256 bytes, rounds 8, 12 or 16,
default # rounds is 12

The RC4 stream cipher is subject to a well-known attack (cf. unless the initial 256 bytes produced by the cipher are discarded.


All constructors, members, operators and manipulators, mentioned in this man-page, are defined in the namespace FBB.


FBB::CryptBuf, in turn inheriting from std::streambuf


EncryptBuf(std::ostream &outStream, char const *type, std::string const &key, std::string const &iv, size_t bufsize = 1024):
This constructor initializes the EncryptBuf object preparing it for the encryption algorithm specified with type. The encryption algorithms that can be used are listed in the abovementioned table. E.g., to use the AES method on 24 bit keys and blocks in CBC mode specify "aes-192-cbc". The key parameter refers to the key to be used, the iv parameter refers to the initialization vector to use. Both key and iv may contain non-displayable characters. When iv.length() is zero it will be filled by the EncryptBuf object with random data. When the iv is too small for the requested method it is expanded by adding the required number of zero valued bytes.
The constructor throws an FBB::Exception exception if an encryption method is specified that is not supported by OpenSSL.
The constructor’s first parameter refers to the std::ostream to receive the encrypted information. Be aware of the fact that the encrypted information most likely contains non-displayable characters.
The bufsize argument specifies the size in bytes of the internal buffer used by EncryptBuf temporarily storing incoming characters. The provided default argument can most likely be kept as-is.
Normally, once all information has been inserted into the encryption stream the end manipulator (see below) is inserted to complete the encryption process. Alternatively, the encryption process ends once the EncryptBuf’s destructor is called. E.g., if encStream is the std::ostream to receive the information to encrypt and inStream is the std::istream containing the information to encrypt then

endStream << inStream.rdbuf();
completes the decryption once EncryptBuf’s destructor is called. Alternatively,

encStream << inStream.rdbuf() << end;
can be used to immediately complete the encryption process.

Copy and move constructors (and assignment operators) are not available.


All members of std::streambuf are available, as FBB::EncryptBuf inherits from this class.

size_t blockLength() const:
This member returns the block size (in bytes) that are used by the specified method.
size_t ivLength() const:
This member returns the size (in bytes) of the initialization vector that is used by the specified method.
std::string iv() const:
This member returns a reference to the initialization vector that is used by the specified method. Be advised that the initialization vector may contain non-displayable characters.
size_t keyLength() const:
This member returns the size of the key (in bytes) that are used by the specified method.
size_t rounds() const:
This member can only be used with the RC5 encryption method to query the number of rounds of the algorithm. It returns the currently used number of rounds or 0 if the member is called for another encryption method than RC5.
bool setRounds(size_t nRounds):
This member can only be used with the RC5 encryption method to set the number of rounds of the algorithm to 8, 12 or 16. When the number of rounds were updated successfully the member returns true. It returns false in other cases (e.g., called for other encryption methods than RC5 or the requested number of rounds differ from 8, 12 or 16).


EVP_CIPHER_CTX *cipherCtx():
Classes derived from EncryptBuf may use this member to gain direct access to the EVP_CIPHER_CTX pointer used by the EncryptBuf object. This pointer is a pointer to an opaque structure used by many OpenSSL functions to set or query parameters of an encryption method.


#include <iostream>
#include <iomanip>
#include <fstream>
#include <bobcat/exception>
#include <bobcat/ohexbuf>
#include "../encryptbuf"
#include <openssl/evp.h>
using namespace std;
using namespace FBB;
int main(int argc, char **argv)

if (argc == 1)
throw Exception(1) <<
"1st arg: method, 2nd arg: key, 3rd arg: (opt): iv, "
"stdin: file to encrypt (to stdout)\n"
"e.g., driver aes-128-cbc somekey < > /tmp/enc\n";
string key(argv[2]);
string iv;
if (argc > 3)
iv = argv[3];
EncryptBuf encryptbuf(cout, argv[1], key, iv, 50);
ostream out(&encryptbuf);
size_t ivLength = encryptbuf.iv().length();
cerr << "Block length: " << encryptbuf.blockLength() << "\n"
"Key length: " << encryptbuf.keyLength() << "\n"
"Max Key length: " << EVP_MAX_KEY_LENGTH << "\n"
"actual IV length: " << ivLength << "\n"
"IV =\n";
OHexBuf ohb{ cerr, ivLength << 1 };
ostream outHex(&ohb);
outHex << encryptbuf.iv();
cerr << ’\n’ << dec;
out << cin.rdbuf() << eoi; } catch(exception const &err) {
cerr << err.what() << endl;
return 1; }

To ignore the initial 256 bytes generated by the RC4 algorithm a simple wrapper class around the eventual output stream can be used. Here is an illustration:

#include <ostream>
#include <bobcat/ofilterbuf>

class Skip256: public FBB::OFilterBuf
size_t d_count;
Skip256(std::ostream &os)
virtual int overflow(int c)
if (d_count == 256)
return c;
Next, an Skip256 object is used to define an intermediate std::ostream that is then passed to the EncryptBuf object. E.g., only showing the essential steps defining the EncryptBuf object:

Skip256 skip256(std::cout);
std::ostream out(&skip256);
EncryptBuf encryptbuf(out, "rc4", key, "");


bobcat/encryptbuf - defines the class interface


bobcat(7), decryptbuf(3bobcat), ofilterbuf(3bobcat), std::streambuf


None reported

BOBCAT PROJECT FILES gitlab project page;
bobcat_5.07.00-x.dsc: detached signature;
bobcat_5.07.00-x.tar.gz: source archive;
bobcat_5.07.00-x_i386.changes: change log;
libbobcat1_5.07.00-x_*.deb: debian package containing the libraries;
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Bobcat is an acronym of `Brokken’s Own Base Classes And Templates’.


This is free software, distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).


Frank B. Brokken (

2005-2020 libbobcat-dev_5.07.00