As I [have hinted at before](/2017/09/20/just-some-friendly-advice/), the [PyCrypto library](https://www.dlitz.net/software/pycrypto/) [seems to be dead](https://github.com/dlitz/pycrypto/issues/173). The [PyCryptodome](https://www.pycryptodome.org/en/latest/) library is a fork that is promising because it is maintained and works in Python 3, but they have a bit of a finger-wagging attitude which sometimes means that you have to fight the library a bit:
They certainly mean well, but the library is no place to impose security standards, in my opinion. In malware research for example, we often have to verbatim copy the appalling use of certain ciphers, like ARC4 with a 4-byte key. It happens all the time! I have been particularly struggling with [the removal of the XOR cipher](https://pycryptodome.readthedocs.io/en/latest/src/vs_pycrypto.html). The XOR implementation of PyCrypto was very fast, and in this article I will both benchmark how fast exactly it was and give you a drop-in replacement which degrades gracefully based on your options. Do you want to know more?
>>> from Crypto.Cipher import ARC4 >>> cipher = ARC4.new(B'funk') Traceback (most recent call last): File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module> File "C:\Python37\lib\site-packages\Crypto\Cipher\ARC4.py", line 132, in new return ARC4Cipher(key, *args, **kwargs) File "C:\Python37\lib\site-packages\Crypto\Cipher\ARC4.py", line 57, in __init__ len(key)) ValueError: Incorrect ARC4 key length (4 bytes) >>> ARC4.key_size = range(1,257) >>> ARC4.new(B'funk').decrypt( ARC4.new(B'funk').encrypt( B'Hello World' )) b'Hello World'