Selecting the Best AES Block Cipher Mode (AES-GCM VS AES-CBC)

About AES

AES Cipher Modes

  • ECB mode: Electronic Code Book mode
  • CBC mode: Cipher Block Chaining mode
  • CFB mode: Cipher Feedback mode
  • OFB mode: Output FeedBack mode
  • CTR mode: Counter mode
  • GCM mode: Galois/Counter mode

CBC mode: Cipher Block Chaining mode

  • Chosen Plaintext Attack(CPA) — Attacks with a set of chosen plaintexts and to obtain respective ciphertext.
  • Chosen Ciphertext Attack(CCA) — Attacks with a set of chosen ciphertexts to obtain respective plaintexts.
  • Padding oracle attacks

AES-GCM instead of AES-CBC


  • Blazhevski, D., Божиновски, А., Stojcevska, B. and Pachovski, V., 2013. MODES OF OPERATION OF THE AES ALGORITHM. [online] Available at: <>
  • McGrew, D. and Viega, J. The Galois/Counter Mode of Operation (GCM). [online] Available at: <>
  • Ahamed, N. and Wei, L., 2017. Advanced Encryption Standard with Galois Counter Mode using Field Programmable Gate Array.. [online] Available at: <>
  • Kaneesha, D., n.d. What’s the difference between AES-CBC and AES-GCM? — Knowledgebase / Technical / Application Settings and Features / Encryption — PIA Support Portal. [online] Available at: <>
  • Dworkin, M., 2021. Recommendation for Block Cipher Modes of Operation: Galois/Counter Mode (GCM) and GMAC. [online] https://nvlpubs.nist.go. Available at: <>



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Isuru Kariyawasam

Isuru Kariyawasam

Co-Founder and principle Engineer (Virtuan PTE)