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Poly1305-AES is a cryptographic message authentication code (MAC) written by Daniel J. Bernstein. It can be used to verify the data integrity and the authenticity of a message.


Poly1305-AES computes a 128-bit (16 bytes) authenticator of a variable-length message, using a 128-bit AES key, a 106-bit additional key, and a 128-bit nonce. The name is derived from the use of the prime number 2130 - 5 and the Advanced Encryption Standard.


The security of Poly1305-AES is very close to the underlying AES block cipher algorithm. As a result, the only way for an attacker to break Poly1305-AES is to break AES.

For instance, assuming that messages are packets up to 1024 bytes; that the attacker sees messages authenticated under a Poly1305-AES key; that the attacker attempts a whopping forgeries; and that the attacker cannot break AES with probability above ; then, with probability at least , all the are rejected[1].

Poly1305-AES offers also cipher replaceability. If anything does go wrong with AES, it can be substituted with identical security guarantee.


Poly1305-AES can be computed at high speed in various CPUs: for an n-byte message, no more than 3.1n+780 Athlon cycles are needed[1], for example. The author has released optimized implementations for Athlon, Pentium Pro/II/III/M, PowerPC and UltraSPARC, in addition to non-optimized reference implementations in C and C++.

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