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Initialization vector

An initialization vector (IV) is a value that is used to initialize a block cipher in a block cipher mode of operation, such as Cipher Block Chaining (CBC) or Cipher Feedback (CFB). It is a fixed-size input value that is used in conjunction with the key to encrypt the message.

The IV is typically a random value that is generated and sent along with the encrypted message. It is used to ensure that the same plaintext message encrypted with the same key will produce a different ciphertext each time it is encrypted. This helps to prevent attackers from being able to use patterns in the ciphertext to break the encryption.

IVs are typically used in block cipher modes of operation that require the ciphertext of one block to be dependent on the plaintext of the previous block. By using a different IV for each message, the ciphertext of each block is dependent on different plaintext blocks, which helps to improve the security of the encryption.

It is important to use strong, unique IVs in order to maintain the security of the encryption. If the IV is predictable or can be easily guessed by an attacker, the security of the encryption may be compromised.