stream cipher

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stream cipher

[′strēm ‚sī·fər]
(communications)
A cipher that makes use of an algorithmic procedure to produce an unending sequence of binary digits which is then combined either with plaintext to produce ciphertext or with ciphertext to recover plaintext.

stream cipher

An encryption method that works with continuous streams of input rather than fixed blocks. Bytes of plaintext go into the stream cipher, and bytes of encrypted text come out the other end. RC4 is an example of a stream cipher (see RC4). Contrast with block cipher.