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Mcrypt can operate in four block cipher modes (CBC, OFB, CFB, and ECB). If linked against libmcrypt-2.4.x or higher the functions can also operate in the block cipher mode nOFB and in STREAM mode. Below you find a list with all supported encryption modes together with the constants that are defined for the encryption mode. For a more complete reference and discussion see Applied Cryptography by Schneier (ISBN 0-471-11709-9).
MCRYPT_MODE_ECB(electronic codebook) is a block cipher mode that is generally unsuitable for most purposes. The use of this mode is not recommended.
MCRYPT_MODE_CBC(cipher block chaining) is a block cipher mode that is significantly more secure than ECB mode.
MCRYPT_MODE_CFB(cipher feedback, in 8-bit mode) is a stream cipher mode. It is recommended to use NCFB mode rather than CFB mode.
MCRYPT_MODE_OFB(output feedback, in 8-bit mode) is a stream cipher mode comparable to CFB, but can be used in applications where error propagation cannot be tolerated. It is recommended to use NOFB mode rather than OFB mode.
MCRYPT_MODE_NOFB(output feedback, in n-bit mode) is comparable to OFB mode, but operates on the full block size of the algorithm.
MCRYPT_MODE_STREAMis an extra mode to include some stream algorithms like "WAKE" or "RC4".
Mcrypt supports some other modes of operation for which there are no predefined constants. They can be utilised by passing a string in place of the missing constants.
"ctr"(counter mode) is a stream cipher mode.
"ncfb"(cipher feedback, in n-bit mode) is comparable to CFB mode, but operates on the full block size of the algorithm.
Some other mode and random device constants: