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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Orderly enumeration of nonsingular binary matrices applied to text encryption

Nonsingular binary matrices of order N, i.e., nonsingular over the field {0, 1}, and an initial segment of the natural numbers are placed in one-to-one correspondence. Each natural number corresponds to two intermediate vectors. These vectors are mapped into a nonsingular binary matrix. Examples of complete enumeration of all 2 × 2 and 3 × 3 nonsingular binary matrices were produced by mapping the intermediate vectors to the matrices. The mapping has application to the Vernam encipherment method using pseudorandom number sequences. A bit string formed from bytes of text of a data encryption key can be used as a representation of a natural number. This natural number is transformed to a nonsingular binary matrix. Key leverage is obtained by using the matrix as a “seed” in a shift register sequence pseudorandom number generator.

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