Feeds

Crypto guru thinks outside the box with Cube attack

Stream ciphers easily split (maybe)

High performance access to file storage

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.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.