Journal of Cryptology

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 559–637

A Comparison of Cryptanalytic Tradeoff Algorithms


DOI: 10.1007/s00145-012-9128-3

Cite this article as:
Hong, J. & Moon, S. J Cryptol (2013) 26: 559. doi:10.1007/s00145-012-9128-3


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 tradeoffHellmanDistinguished pointRainbow table

Copyright information

© International Association for Cryptologic Research 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mathematical Sciences and ISaCSeoul National UniversitySeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA