Super-encryption or Cascading

The following is an important article about the first layer of choice in the layer cake of super-encrypted (cascaded) messages.  One should always remember that Wikipedia articles are not necessarily reliable.  But in some cases they get it right:

“With the exception of the one-time pad, no cipher has been theoretically proven to be unbreakable. Furthermore, some recurring properties may be found in the ciphertexts generated by the first cipher. Since those ciphertexts are the plaintexts used by the second cipher, the second cipher may be rendered vulnerable to attacks based on known plaintext properties.

This is the case when the first layer is a program P that always adds the same string S of characters at the beginning (or end) of all ciphertexts (commonly known as a magic number). When found in a file, the string S allows an operating system to know that the program P has to be launched in order to decrypt the file. This string should be removed before adding a second layer.”


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