Feeds

Crypto guru thinks outside the box with Cube attack

Stream ciphers easily split (maybe)

Security for virtualized datacentres

Senior cryptologist Adi Shamir is developing a new attack for rooting out potential weaknesses in encryption ciphers, dubbed the Cube Attack.

Shamir, the S in RSA, explained at a talk at the Crypto2008 conference earlier this month that the attack methodology would succeed against cypher schemes providing that they can be represented by "low-degree polynomial equations"*. If that sounds as complex as working out the meaning of the numbers used to signify the location of rooms and whether they are booby-trapped in the cult film Cube, then you are on the right page.

Block ciphers - anything ranging from AES to DES - are too complex for the approach to work, but functions such as linear feedback shift register (LFSR) schemes might be attacked using the approach, cryptography guru Bruce Schneier writes. That means functions such as pseudo-random number generators used in stream ciphers might be unpicked, creating a new and possibly more powerful technique for decrypting the forms of encryption used by GSM mobile phone and Bluetooth devices, for example.

Attack techniques that target the weaknesses of cryptographic systems on systems constrained to using less robust encryption because of either size or power limitations already exist but the Cube technique is potentially faster and more elegant.

Shamir gave only a tantalizing glimpse of his work at Crypto2008 during a talk entitled How to solve it: New Techniques in Algebraic Cryptanalysis.

Shamir and co-author plan to present a full treatment of the work at the Eurocrypt 2009 conference in Germany next April. ®

* A very simple low-order polynomial equation would be something like ƒ(x) = x2 - 2x.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.