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ChaCha20-Poly1305 is an authenticated encryption with associated data (AEAD) scheme. It encrypts a plaintext message using a 256-bit key and 96-bit nonce (number used only once) before computing a tag over the ciphertext and associated data.
The associated data is useful for authenticating file headers, version numbers, timestamps, counters, and so on. It can be used to prevent confused deputy attacks and replay attacks. It is not encrypted nor part of the ciphertext. It must be reproduceable or stored somewhere for decryption to be possible.
For decryption, the tag is first verified for the given inputs, which detects tampering and incorrect parameters. If verification fails, an error is returned. Otherwise, the ciphertext is decrypted and plaintext is returned.
Use XChaCha20-Poly1305 if you want random nonces with the same key.
For encryption, the nonce MUST NOT be repeated or reused with the same key. You MUST increment the nonce for each plaintext message encrypted using the same key.



Fills a span with ciphertext and an appended tag computed from a plaintext message, nonce, key, and optional associated data.
ChaCha20Poly1305.Encrypt(Span<byte> ciphertext, ReadOnlySpan<byte> plaintext, ReadOnlySpan<byte> nonce, ReadOnlySpan<byte> key, ReadOnlySpan<byte> associatedData = default)


ciphertext has a length not equal to plaintext.Length + TagSize.
nonce has a length not equal to NonceSize.
key has a length not equal to KeySize.
Encryption failed.


Verifies that the tag appended to the ciphertext is correct for the given inputs. If verification fails, an exception is thrown. Otherwise, it fills a span with the decrypted ciphertext.
ChaCha20Poly1305.Decrypt(Span<byte> plaintext, ReadOnlySpan<byte> ciphertext, ReadOnlySpan<byte> nonce, ReadOnlySpan<byte> key, ReadOnlySpan<byte> associatedData = default)


plaintext has a length not equal to ciphertext.Length - TagSize.
ciphertext has a length less than TagSize.
nonce has a length not equal to NonceSize.
key has a length not equal to KeySize.
Invalid authentication tag for the given inputs.


These are used for validation and/or save you defining your own constants.
public const int KeySize = 32;
public const int NonceSize = 12;
public const int TagSize = 16;


If you intend to feed multiple variable-length inputs into the associated data, beware of canonicalization attacks. Please read the Concat page for more information.
The key MUST be uniformly random. It can either be randomly generated or the output of a KDF. Furthermore, it SHOULD be rotated periodically (e.g. a different key per file).
Encrypting data in 16-64 KiB chunks instead of as a single plaintext message is recommended to keep memory usage low and detect corrupted chunks early. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get right. You MUST ensure that chunks cannot be:
  1. 1.
  2. 2.
  3. 3.
  4. 4.
1 and 2 can be accomplished by including the length of all the ciphertext chunks added together in the associated data of the first chunk. Alternatively, you can use the STREAM construction.
3 and 4 can be resolved by using a counter nonce or by including the previous tag in the associated data of the next chunk.
If decryption fails midway through a stream due to tampering or corruption, erase the previous plaintext outputs from memory and/or disk and throw an error.
As a general rule, avoid compression before encryption. It can leak information and has been the cause of several attacks.
ChaCha20-Poly1305 is NOT key- or message-committing.
  1. 1.
    A ciphertext message can be decrypted under multiple keys without an error.
  2. 2.
    An attacker who knows the key can find different messages that lead to the same tag.
This can enable attacks in scenarios where keys can be adversarial. For example, when an attacker can submit a ciphertext encrypted using a password to a server that knows the encryption key (an oracle).
The best fix is to switch to Encrypt-then-MAC as outlined in that link.