A Practical Attack on Broadcast RC4
RC4 is the most widely deployed stream cipher in software applications. In this paper we describe a major statistical weakness in RC4, which makes it trivial to distinguish between short outputs of RC4 and random strings by analyzing their second bytes. This weakness can be used to mount a practical ciphertext-only attack on RC4 in some broadcast applications, in which the same plaintext is sent to multiple recipients under different keys.
KeywordsStream Cipher Random String Predictive State Random Source Broadcast Application
- [Fin94]H. Finney. an RC4 cycle that can’t happen. September 1994.Google Scholar
- [FM00]Fluhrer and McGrew. Statistical analysis of the alleged RC4 keystream generator. In FSE: Fast Software Encryption, 2000.Google Scholar
- [Gol97]Golić. Linear statistical weakness of alleged RC4 keystream generator. In EUROCRYPT: Advances in Cryptology: Proceedings of EUROCRYPT, 1997.Google Scholar
- [Gol99]O. Goldreich. Foundations of Cryptogtaphy. 1 edition, 1999.Google Scholar
- [GW00]A. L. Grosul and D. S. Wallach. a related-key cryptanalysis of RC4. June 2000.Google Scholar
- [Jen]Robert J. Jenkins. ISAAC and RC4. Published on the internet at http://burtleburtle.net/bob/rand/isaac.html.
- [KMP+98]Knudsen, Meier, Preneel, Rijmen, and Verdoolaege. Analysis methods for (alleged) RC4. In ASIACRYPT: Advances in Cryptology — ASIACRYPT: International Conference on the Theory and Application of Cryptology. LNCS, Springer-Verlag, 1998.Google Scholar
- [MT98]Mister and Tavares. Cryptanalysis of RC4-like ciphers. In SAC: Annual International Workshop on Selected Areas in Cryptography. LNCS, 1998.Google Scholar
- [Roo95]A. Roos. A class of weak keys in the RC4 stream cipher. September 1995.Google Scholar
- [Sch96]B. Schneier. Applied Cryptography. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Toronto, Canada, 2 edition, 1996.Google Scholar