Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE A

, Volume 7, Issue 12, pp 2022–2030

How to repair the Hill cipher


  • Ismail I. A. 
    • Faculty of Computers and InformationZagazig University
  • Amin Mohammed 
    • Computer Science Department, Faculty of ScienceMenoufiya University
  • Diab Hossam 
    • Computer Science Department, Faculty of ScienceMenoufiya University

DOI: 10.1631/jzus.2006.A2022

Cite this article as:
Ismail, I.A., Amin, M. & Diab, H. J. Zhejiang Univ. - Sci. A (2006) 7: 2022. doi:10.1631/jzus.2006.A2022


The Hill cipher algorithm is one of the symmetric key algorithms that have several advantages in data encryption. However, a main drawback of this algorithm is that it encrypts identical plaintext blocks to identical ciphertext blocks and cannot encrypt images that contain large areas of a single color. Thus, it does not hide all features of the image which reveals patterns in the plaintext. Moreover, it can be easily broken with a known plaintext attack revealing weak security. This paper presents a variant of the Hill cipher that overcomes these disadvantages. The proposed technique adjusts the encryption key to form a different key for each block encryption. Visually and computationally, experimental results demonstrate that the proposed variant yields higher security and significantly superior encryption quality compared to the original one.

Key words

Hill cipherImage encryptionModified Hill cipherQuality of encryption

CLC number


Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006