Journal of Cryptology

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 559-637

First online:

A Comparison of Cryptanalytic Tradeoff Algorithms

  • Jin HongAffiliated withDepartment of Mathematical Sciences and ISaC, Seoul National University Email author 
  • , Sunghwan MoonAffiliated withDepartment of Mathematics, Texas A&M University

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Three time-memory tradeoff algorithms are compared in this paper. Specifically, the classical tradeoff algorithm by Hellman, the distinguished point tradeoff method, and the rainbow table method, in their non-perfect table versions, are treated.

We show that, under parameters and assumptions that are typically considered in theoretic discussions of the tradeoff algorithms, the Hellman and distinguished point tradeoffs perform very close to each other and the rainbow table method performs somewhat better than the other two algorithms. Our method of comparison can easily be applied to other situations, where the conclusions could be different.

The analysis of tradeoff efficiency presented in this paper does not ignore the effects of false alarms and also covers techniques for reducing storage, such as ending point truncations and index tables. Our comparison of algorithms fully takes into account success probabilities and precomputation efforts.

Key words

Time-memory tradeoff Hellman Distinguished point Rainbow table