New Results on Generalization of Roos-Type Biases and Related Keystreams of RC4
The first known result on RC4 cryptanalysis (presented by Roos in 1995) points out that the most likely value of the y-th element of the permutation after the key scheduling algorithm (KSA) for the first few values of y is given by S N [y] = f y , some linear combinations of the secret keys. While it should have been quite natural to study the association S N [y] = f y ±t for small positive integers t (e.g., t ≤ 4), surprisingly that had never been tried before. In this paper, we study that problem for the first time and show that though the event S N [y] = f y + t occurs with random association, there is a significantly high probability for the event S N [y] = f y − t. We also present several related non-randomness behaviour for the event S N [S N [y]] = f y − t of RC4 KSA in this direction. Further, we investigate near-colliding keys that lead to related states after the KSA and related keystream bytes. Our investigation reveals that near-colliding states do not necessarily lead to near-colliding keystreams. From this motivation, we present a heuristic to find a related key pair with differences in two bytes, that lead to significant matches in the initial keystream. In the process, we discover a class of related key distinguishers for RC4. The best one of these shows that given a random key and a related one to that (the last two bytes increased and decreased by 1 respectively), the first pair of bytes corresponding to the related keys are same with very high probability (e.g., approximately 0.011 for 16-byte keys to 0.044 for 30-byte keys).
KeywordsBias Cryptanalysis Near Collision RC4 Related Key Distinguisher Stream Cipher
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