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Subject: An introduction to encryption
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Subject: HACK - Encryption Intro (long; 700+ lines)
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Date: 15 Apr 1994 16:31:50 +0200
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Sent from: twz@netcom.com (Peter Meyer)
An Introduction to the Use of Encryption
by Peter Meyer
Dolphin Software
48 Shattuck Square #147
Berkeley, CA 94704
Written January 1994
Revised April 1994
The purpose of this article is to provide information in the area of
practical cryptography of interest to anyone wishing to use cryptographic
software. I have mostly avoided discussion of technical matters in favor
of a more general explanation of what I regard as the main things to be
understood by someone beginning to use encryption. Those wishing to get
more deeply into the theoretical aspects should consult Bruce Schneier's
book (see bibliography at end).
Dolphin Software publishes several commercial cryptographic software
products for the PC, including Dolphin Encrypt and Dolphin Encrypt Advanced
Version (file and disk encryption software) and EZ-Crypt (an on-the-fly
encryption TSR). (Product information available upon request). Occasionally
in this article I include some remarks specifically concerning these or
other products.
Cryptography is the art or science of secret writing, or more exactly, of
storing information (for a shorter or longer period of time) in a form
which allows it to be revealed to those you wish to see it yet hides it
from all others. A cryptosystem is a method to accomplish this.
Cryptanalysis is the practice of defeating such attempts to hide
information. Cryptology includes both cryptography and cryptanalysis.
The original information to be hidden is called plaintext. The hidden
information is called ciphertext. Encryption is any procedure to convert
plaintext into ciphertext. Decryption is any procedure to convert
ciphertext into plaintext.
A cryptosystem is designed it so that decryption can be accomplished only
under certain conditions, which generally means only by persons in
possession of both a decryption engine (these days, generally a computer
program) and a particular piece of information, called the decryption key,
which is supplied to the decryption engine in the process of decryption.
Plaintext is converted into ciphertext by means of an encryption engine
(again, generally a computer program) whose operation is fixed and
determinate (the encryption method) but which functions in practice in a
way dependent on a piece of information (the encryption key) which has a
major effect on the output of the encryption process.
The result of using the decryption method and the decryption key to decrypt
ciphertext produced by using the encryption method and the encryption key
should always be the same as the original plaintext (except perhaps for
some insignificant differences).
In this process the encryption key and the decryption key may or may not be
the same. When they are the cryptosystem is called a "symmetric key"
system; when they are not it is called an "asymmetric key" system. The
most widely-known instance of a symmetric cryptosystem is DES (the
so-called Data Encryption Standard). The most widely-known instance of an
asymmetric key cryptosystem is PGP. Dolphin Encrypt and EZ-Crypt are
symmetric key cryptosystems.
There are many reasons for using encryption (examples are given below), and
the cryptosystem that one should use is the one best suited for one's
particular purpose and which satisfies the requirements of security,
reliability and ease-of-use. Ease-of-use is easy to understand.
Reliability means that the cryptosystem, when used as its designer intended
it to be used, will always reveal exactly the information hidden when it is
needed (in other words, that the ciphertext will always be recoverable and
the recovered data will be the same as to the original plaintext).
Security means that the cryptosystem will in fact keep the information
hidden from all but those persons intended to see it despite the attempts
of others to crack the system.
Ease-of-use is the quality easiest to ascertain. If the encryption key is
a sequence of 64 hexadecimal digits (a 256-bit key), such as:
B923A24C98D98F83E24234CF8492C384E9AD19A128B3910F3904C324E920DA31
then you may have a problem not only in remembering it but also in using it
(try typing the sequence above a few times). With such a key it is
necessary to write it down or store it in a disk file, in which case there
is the danger that it may be discovered by someone else. Thus such a key is
not only inconvenient to use but also is a security risk.
The key used in Dolphin Encrypt is any typeable string of from 10 to 60
characters and thus may be a phrase which is easy to remember, e.g. "Lay on
MacDuff!" Spaces are not significant, and upper and lower case are
equivalent, so you don't have to remember whether the key is "Lay on
MacDuff!" or "Lay on Macduff!"
Reliability is the quality next easiest to test for. If it is not possible
to provide a formal proof that the decryption of the encryption of the
plaintext is always identical to the plaintext it is at least possible to
write software to perform multiple encryptions and decryptions with many
different keys to test for reliability (though this testing cannot be
exhaustive). Such software is provided with Dolphin Encrypt.
Finally there is the question of security. The security of a cryptosystem
is always relative to the task it is intended to accomplish and the
conditions under which it will be used. A theoretically secure system
becomes insecure if used by people who write their encryption keys on
pieces of paper which they stick to their computer terminals.
In general a cryptosystem can never be shown to be completely secure in
practice, in the sense that without knowledge of the decryption key it is
impossible to recover the plaintext with real-world computing power in less
than, say, a thousand years. There is one cryptosystem known as the
one-time pad, which is absolutely secure, but in practice it is cumbersome
and the key can be used only once without compromising the security of the
system.
In some cases it is possible to show that cracking a cryptosystem is
equivalent to solving some particular mathematical problem, e.g. the
problem of factoring large numbers ("large" here means numbers with several
hundred decimal digits). If many mathematicians working for many years
have been unable to solve a problem then this is a reason to regard a
cryptosystem based on it as secure. However, there is no guarantee that a
solution to the mathematical problem may not be found tomorrow, in which
case the security of the cryptosystem would disappear overnight (or at
least, as soon as word got around).
In the case of PGP and other encryption software such as RIPEM which rely
on an asymmetric encryption algorithm known as the RSA Algorithm, it is
widely believed that these are secure if and only if the problem of
factoring large numbers is insoluble (that is, computationally infeasible
in real time). Yet recently a claim has been made, but has not been
confirmed, that a method of cryptanalysis of the RSA Algorithm has been
found which does not depend on a general solution to the problem of factor
ing large numbers. A poster to the Usenet newsgroup sci.crypt (Francis
Barrett) has remarked:
Although factoring is believed to be hard, and factoring breaks
RSA, breaking RSA does not simplify factoring. Trivial
non-factoring methods of breaking RSA could therefore exist.
Whether this paper [by William H. Payne] is legitimate remains to
be seen, but it is certainly not beyond the realm of possiblity.
Some have claimed that PGP is the most secure encryption program available
for PCs, a claim that does not withstand critical examination. Given two
encryption programs, each of which generates random-looking ciphertext, how
does one decide that one of them is "more secure" than the other - even if
full details of the encryption algorithms are known? Short of breaking one
of the systems there is no clear answer. If one cannot provide criteria
for determining when one program is more secure than another then it does
not make sense to ask which is the most secure.
Brute force attacks upon a cryptosystem (a brute force attack involves
trying every possible key to decrypt some ciphertext until finding one that
works) can be compared since the average time required by a brute force
attack is half the number of possible keys multiplied by the time required
to test each key (by using it to decrypt the ciphertext and seeing whether
anything intelligible results). It is true that if the size of the key
space associated with a cryptosystem is small (e.g. 2^16 = 65,536) then the
cryptosystem is vulnerable to a brute force attack. But if a cryptosystem
has a large key space (e.g. the key space associated with Dolphin Encrypt,
whose size is about 10^109) then a brute force attack is not feasible and
so any weakness in the system, if it exists, must be sought elsewhere.
In general, the security of a cryptosystem can only be measured by its
resistance to actual attempts to break it in practice. Those that have
been broken are obviously insecure. (There are several commercially
available PC encryption packages that have been broken; see for example the
articles by Kochanski in the bibliography at the end of this article.)
Those that have resisted the attentions of many cryptanalysts for many
years may be deemed secure, at least until better methods of cryptanalysis
are invented.
In the case of DES there has long been widespread suspicion that the
National Security Agency influenced its designers at IBM so that it was
strong enough to withstand most attacks but not strong enough to withstand
the NSA computers.
The original design submitted by IBM permitted all 16 x 48 = 768
bits of key used in the 16 rounds to be selected independently.
A U.S. Senate Select Committee ascertained in 1977 that the U.S.
National Security Agency (NSA) was instrumental in reducing the
DES secret key to 56 bits that are each used many times, although
this had previously been denied by IBM ... (Massey, p.541.)
But the best attempts by cryptanalysts over the years have produced only
meager results (in particular, the demonstration of Adi Shamir that
cryptanalysis of DES ciphertext, in the simplest DES mode (electronic code
book), can be done with somewhat less effort than that required for a brute
force attack). But recently a new method of DES cryptanalysis has been
proposed which involves the use of parallel processing (using many
computers simultaneously), and it now seems clear that for a few million
dollars a computer can be built which can crack DES ciphertext in a few
hours. Since NSA has practically unlimited funding and has the largest
concentration of computing power and mathematical talent in the world, it
is likely that NSA possesses the ability to decrypt DES ciphertext fairly
easily.
NSA has, of course, never affirmed or denied their ability to crack DES.
(NSA also means Never Say Anything.) However, the absence of publication
of a demonstration that a particular cryptosystem has been cracked is no
proof that it hasn't. Anyone who discovered a way to crack DES, RSA, etc.,
could make a lot more money by quietly providing a decryption service than
by telling the world about his discovery. In fact if he did announce it
people would quickly stop using that cryptosystem and he would have few
clients.
When selecting a cryptosystem, or cryptographic software, you should first
consider what you want it to accomplish. There are numerous (legitimate)
reasons why you might wish to conceal information, for example:
(i) Companies often possess data files on employees which are confidential,
such as medical records, salary records, etc. Employees will feel safer
knowing that these files are encrypted and are not accessible to casual
inspection by data entry clerks (who may be bribed to obtain information on
someone).
(ii) Individuals may share working space with others, of whose honor they
are not entirely sure, and may wish to make certain that in their absence
no-one will find anything by snooping about in their hard disk.
(iii) A company may wish to transfer sensitive business information
between sites such as branch offices. Or it may wish to send confidential
information (for example, a negotiating position, operating procedures or
proprietary data) to an agent in the field (perhaps abroad). If the
information is encrypted before transmission then one does not have to
worry about it being intercepted since if this happens the encrypted data
is incomprehensible (without the encryption key).
(iv) A company may have information that a competitor would like to see,
such as information concerning legal or financial problems, results of
research, who the customers are and what they are buying, information
revealing violations of government regulations, secret formulas or details
of manufacturing processes, plans for future expansion or for the
development of new products.
(v) A person or company may wish to transport to a distant location a
computer which contains sensitive information without being concerned that
if the computer is examined en route (e.g. by foreign customs agents) then
the information will be revealed.
(vi) Two individuals may wish to correspond by email on matters that they
wish to keep private and be sure that no-one else is reading their mail.
>From the above examples it can be seen that there are two general cases
when encryption is needed:
(a) When information, once encrypted, is simply to be stored on-site (and
invulnerable to unauthorized access) until there is a need to access that
information.
(b) When information is to be transmitted somewhere and it is encrypted so
that if it is intercepted before reaching its intended destination the
interceptor will not find anything they can make sense of.
In case (b) there arises the problem of secure key exchange. This problem
exists because the person who will decrypt the information is usually not
the same as the person who encrypted the information. Assuming that the
decryptor is in posssession of the decryption engine (normally a software
program) how does the decryptor know which decryption key to use? This
information must be communicated to the decryptor in some way. If, during
the course of this communication, the key is intercepted by a third party
then that third party can intercept and decrypt the ciphertext subsequently
sent by the encryptor to the decryptor.
This is a problem which all users of symmetric key systems (e.g. DES and
Dolphin Encrypt) must face when transmitting encrypted data, because in
such systems the decryption key is the same as the encryption key. The
encryptor can choose any encryption key they wish, but how are they to
communicate that key to the decryptor in a secure way? Governments
typically solve this problem by putting the key in a locked briefcase,
handcuffing it to the wrist of a trusted minion, and despatching him with
several armed guards to deliver the briefcase in person (typically at an
embassy in a foreign country). This solution is generally too expensive for
ordinary citizens.
If you know that your mail is not being opened then you can send the key
that way, but who can be sure of this? Even registered mail may be opened.
The best way to pass the key to whoever you will be sending encrypted
material to is by personal contact someplace where there is no chance of
being observed. If this is not possible then various less secure means are
available. For example, if you used to live in the same city as the person
for some years then you might call them and say, "Remember that restaurant
in San Diego where we used to have breakfast? Remember the name of that
cute waitress? Let's use her name as the key." Then you have a key that
only you two know, unless someone has extensive information on your
breakfast habits in San Diego several years ago and the names of the
waitresses you might have come in contact with.
There is a class of cryptosystems knowns as "public key" systems which were
first developed in the 1970s to solve this problem of secure key exchange.
These are the systems referred to above as "asymmetric key" systems, in
which the decryption key is not the same as the encryption key. Such
public key systems can, if used properly, go a long way toward solving the
problem of secure key exchange because the encryption key can be given out
to the world without compromising the security of communication, provided
that the decryption key is kept secret.
Let's say you wish to receive encrypted email from your girlfriend Alice.
You call her and give her your public key - the one used to perform
encryption. Alice writes a passionate love letter, encrypts it with your
public key and sends it to you. You decrypt it with your private key. If
your other girlfriend Cheryl intercepts this then there is no way she can
decrypt it because the public key (assumed to be known to everyone and thus
to her) is no good for decryption. Decryption can only be performed with
the private key, which only you know (unless Cheryl finds it written on a
piece of paper in the top drawer of the dresser under your socks).
A public key cryptosystem relies on some mathematical procedure to generate
the public and private keys. The mathematical nature of these systems
usually allows the security of the system to be measured by the difficulty
of solving some mathematical problem. There are numerous public key
cryptosystems, the most well known being the one based on the RSA Algorithm
(which is patented by its inventors, Rivest, Shamir and Adelman), which, as
noted above, relies for its security on the difficulty of factoring large
numbers. There are other public key systems available for licensing for
commercial use, such as the LUC public key system (from LUC Encryption
Technology, Sierra Madre, CA), and one developed by the computer
manufacturer Next, Inc.
Public key cryptography has applications beyond the classical one of hiding
information. As a consequence of the encryption key and the decryption key
being different, public key cryptography makes possible digital signatures
(for authentification of documents) and digital forms of such activities as
simultaneous contract signing. Digital cash is also an idea which builds
on the use of an asymmetric cryptosystem.
Although public key cryptography in theory solves the problem of secure key
exchange, it does in general have a couple of disadvantages compared to
asymmetric (or secret) key systems. The first is speed. Generally public
key systems, such as PGP, are much slower than secret key systems, and so
may be suitable for encrypting small amounts of data, such as messages sent
by email, but are not suitable for bulk encryption, where it may be
required to encrypt megabytes of data. Secret key systems can be very fast
(especially if implemented by instructions hard-coded into chips rather
than running in a computer's memory). The more complex such a system is
the slower it tends to be, but even complex systems are generally of
acceptable speed. For example, Dolphin Encrypt will encrypt and decrypt at
about 30 Kb/sec on a 80486 PC running at 50 Mhz (equivalent to 1 megabyte
in 35 seconds), which is fast enough for most people.
The second disadvantage of public key systems is that there is a problem of
key validation. If you wish to send encrypted data to a person, Fred, say,
and you have obtained what is claimed to be Fred's public key, how do you
know it really is Fred's public key? What if a third party, Jack, were to
publish a public key in Fred's name? If Jack works for a U.S. intelligence
or law enforcement agency and can monitor communications channels used by
Fred then he can intercept encrypted data sent to Fred, including any
message you send to him, and can then decrypt it (since he has the
corresponding private key). If Jack were really sneaky, and knew Fred's
real public key, he could re-encrypt your message to Fred using the real
public key (perhaps after altering your message in ways you might not
approve of) and deliver it to Fred as if it had come directly from you.
Fred would then decrypt it with his private key and read a message which he
assumes is from you, but which may in fact be quite different from what you
sent. In theory Jack could sit in the middle of an assumed two-way email
correspondence between you and Fred, read everything each of you send to
the other, and pass to each of you faked messages saying anything he wanted
you to believe was from the other.
A recent contributor to sci.crypt (Terry Ritter, 11/29/93) wrote:
When we have a secret-key cipher, we have the serious problem of
transporting a key in absolute secrecy. However, after we do
this, we can depend on the cipher providing its level of technical
secrecy as long as the key is not exposed.
When we have a public-key cipher, we apparently have solved the
problem of transporting a key. In fact, however, we have only
done so if we ignore the security requirement to validate that
key. Now, clearly, validation must be easier than secure
transport, so it can be a big advantage. But validation is not
trivial, and many people do not understand that it is necessary.
When we have a public-key cipher and use an unvalidated key, our
messages could be exposed to a spoofer who has not had to "break"
the cipher. The spoofer has not had to break RSA. The spoofer
has not had to break IDEA. Thus, discussion of the technical
strength of RSA and IDEA are insufficient to characterize the
overall strength of such a cipher. In contrast, discussion of the
technical strength of a secret-key cipher *IS* sufficient to
characterize the strength of that cipher.
Discussion of the strength of public-key cipher mechanisms is
irrelevant without a discussion of the strength of the public-key
validation protocol. Private-key ciphers need no such protocol,
nor any such discussion. And a public-key cipher which includes
the required key-validation protocol can be almost as much
trouble as a secret-key cipher which needs none.
When encryption is used in case (a), to be stored on-site (and invulnerable
to unauthorized access) until there is a need to access that information, a
secret key cryptosystem is clearly preferable, since such a system has the
virtue of speed, and there is no problem of key validation and no problem
of key exchange (since there is no need to transmit the encryption key to
anyone other than by face-to-face communication).
However, many people are still using secret key cryptosystems that are
relatively easy to break since those people don't know any better. For
example, the WordPerfect word processing program allows you to lock the
information in a file by means of a password. In a bad marriage one spouse
might think that by locking their WordPerfect files they can write what
they like and not worry that the other spouse might later use this against
them. What the first spouse doesn't know is that there are programs around
that can automatically (and in a few seconds) find the password used to
lock a WordPerfect file.
In fact the WordPerfect encryption method (at least for Versions 5.1 and
earlier) has been shown to be very easy to break. Full descriptions are
given in the articles by Bennett, for Version 4.2, and by Bergen and
Caelli, for Version 5.0 (see the bibliography below).
Another case is the encryption scheme used by Microsoft's word processing
program Word. A method to crack encrypted Word files was published on
Usenet late in 1993, so this method of protecting information is now
obsolete. There is even a company, Access Data Recovery (in Orem, Utah)
that sells software that automatically recovers the passwords used to
encrypt data in a number of commercial software applications, including
Lotus 123.
For a cryptosystem to be considered strong it should possess the following
properties (I shall illustrate these by reference to the Dolphin Encrypt
file encryption software):
(i) The security of a strong system resides with the secrecy of the key
rather than with the supposed secrecy of the algorithm. In other words,
even if an attacker knows the full details of the method used to encrypt
and to decrypt, this should not allow him to decrypt the ciphertext if he
does not know the key which was used to encrypt it (although obviously his
task is even more difficult if he does not know the method). The
encryption algorithm used in Dolphin Encrypt is defined by the C source
code for the encryption and decryption functions, and this source code is
part of a publicly available C function library (the Dolphin Encryption
Library). The method is not secret and its full details are available for
examination to anyone who purchases the library.
(ii) A strong cryptosystem has a large keyspace, that is, there are very
many possible encryption keys. DES is considered by many to be flawed in
this respect, because there are only 2^56 (about 10^17) possible keys. The
size of the keyspace associated with Dolphin Encrypt is about 10^109, due
to the fact that keys can be up to 60 characters in length.
(iii) A strong cryptosystem will produce ciphertext which appears random
to all standard statistical tests. A full discussion of these tests is
beyond the scope of an introductory article such as this on the use of
encryption software, but we may consider one interesting test, the
so-called kappa test, otherwise known as the index of coincidence.
The idea behind this is as follows: Suppose that the elements of the
cipher text are any of the 256 possible bytes (0 through FF). Consider the
ciphertext to be a sequence of bytes (laid out in a row). Now duplicate
this sequence and place it beneath the first (with the first byte of the
second sequence below the first byte of the first sequence). We then have
a sequence of pairs of identical bytes. Slide the lower sequence to the
right a certain distance, say, 8 places. Then count how many pairs there
are in which the bytes are identical. If the sequence of bytes were truly
random then we would expect about 1/256 of the pairs to consist of
identical bytes, i.e. about 0.39% of them. It is not difficult to write a
program which analyzes a file of data, calculating the indices of
coincidence (also known as the kappa value) for multiple displacement
values.
When we run such a program on ordinary English text we obtain values such
as the following ("IC" means "index of coincidence"):
Offset IC coincidences
1 5.85% 2397 in 40968
2 6.23% 2551 in 40967
3 9.23% 3780 in 40966
4 8.31% 3406 in 40965
5 7.91% 3240 in 40964
6 7.88% 3227 in 40963
7 7.78% 3187 in 40962
8 7.92% 3244 in 40961
9 8.24% 3377 in 40960
10 7.98% 3268 in 40959
11 8.16% 3341 in 40958
12 8.09% 3315 in 40957
13 8.15% 3337 in 40956
14 7.97% 3264 in 40955
15 7.97% 3265 in 40954
16 8.07% 3306 in 40953
17 8.04% 3293 in 40952
18 7.85% 3214 in 40951
Typically only 80 or so different byte values occur in a file of English
text. If these byte values occurred randomly then we would expect an index
of coincidence for each displacement of about 1/80, i.e. about 1.25%.
However, the distribution of characters in English text is not random ("e",
"t" and the space character occur most frequently), which is why we obtain
the larger IC values shown above.
The kappa test can be used to break a weak cryptosystem, or at least, to
provide a clue toward breaking it. The index of coincidence for the
displacement equal to the length of the encryption key will often be
significantly higher than the other indices, in which case one can infer
the length of the key.
For example, here are the indices of coincidence for a file of ciphertext
(2048 bytes in size) produced by encrypting a text file using a weak
cryptosystem (one which was discussed on sci.crypt in December 1993):
Offset IC coincidences
1 0.15% 3 in 2047
2 0.34% 7 in 2046
3 0.34% 7 in 2045
4 0.54% 11 in 2044
5 0.44% 9 in 2043
6 0.39% 8 in 2042
7 0.24% 5 in 2041
8 0.49% 10 in 2040
9 0.49% 10 in 2039
10 0.29% 6 in 2038
11 0.15% 3 in 2037
12 0.10% 2 in 2036
13 0.64% 13 in 2035
14 0.74% 15 in 2034
15 0.39% 8 in 2033
16 0.20% 4 in 2032
17 0.30% 6 in 2031
18 0.34% 7 in 2030
256 different byte values occur in the ciphertext, so if it were to appear
as random then the kappa value should be about 0.39% for each displacement.
But the kappa values for displacements 13 and 14 are significantly higher
than the others, suggesting that the length of the key used in the
encryption was either 13 or 14. This clue led to the decryption of the
ciphertext and it turned out that the key length was in fact 13.
As an example of how non-random some ciphertext produced by commercial
cryptosystems may be it is instructive to consider the proprietary
encryption algorithm used by the Norton Diskreet program. The file named
NORTON.INI, which comes with the Diskreet program, contains 530 bytes and
41 different byte values, including 403 instances of the byte value 0. The
non-zero byte values are dispersed among the zero values. If we encrypt
this file using Diskreet's proprietary encryption method and the key
"ABCDEFGHIJ" we obtain a file, NORTON.SEC, which contains 2048 bytes,
including 1015 0-bytes. When we examine this file with a hex editor we
find that it consists of the letters "PNCICRYPT", seven 0-bytes or 1-bytes,
1024 bytes of apparent gibberish (the ciphertext) and finally 1008 0-bytes.
Suppose we extract the 1024 bytes of ciphertext. There are 229 different
byte values in this ciphertext, so if it really appeared random we would
expect the kappa values to be about 1/229, i.e. about 0.44%. What we find
is the following:
Offset IC coincidences
1 0.29% 3 in 1023
2 21.72% 222 in 1022
3 0.69% 7 in 1021
4 1.08% 11 in 1020
5 0.49% 5 in 1019
6 0.20% 2 in 1018
7 0.39% 4 in 1017
8 0.00% 0 in 1016
9 0.79% 8 in 1015
10 0.39% 4 in 1014
11 0.69% 7 in 1013
12 0.69% 7 in 1012
13 0.30% 3 in 1011
14 0.99% 10 in 1010
15 0.20% 2 in 1009
16 0.30% 3 in 1008
17 0.40% 4 in 1007
18 0.20% 2 in 1006
The figure of 21.72% for offset 2 is quite astounding. When we look at the
ciphertext with a hex editor we see that there are many lines which have a
byte pattern:
xx yy aa bb aa bb cc dd cc dd ee ff ee ff gg hh
gg hh ...
that is, in which pairs of bytes tend to be repeated, for example:
4B 25 4B 25 8D 28 8D 28 2D F8 2D F8 21 AC
21 AC E8 9E E8 9E F2 FC F2 FC C6 C5 C6 C5 7E 4F
7E 4F B2 8B B2 8B 32 EE 32 EE 25 2C 25 2C A5 32
A5 32 8D 61 8D 61 E5 C1 E5 C1 D4 F7 D4 F7
This explains why sliding the ciphertext against itself two places to the
right produces such a large number of coincidences.
Clearly this ciphertext shows obvious regularities, and appears to be very
far from random. Such regularities are what a cryptanalyst looks for, as a
clue to the encryption method and to the key, and which a good cryptosystem
denies him.
In contrast to Diskreet, Dolphin Encrypt encrypts the same file,
NORTON.INI, using the same key, to a file of 450 bytes (in which there are
207 different byte values, implying that the kappa values should be about
0.48% if the ciphertext is to appear random) with kappa values as follows:
Offset IC coincidences
1 0.45% 2 in 449
2 0.45% 2 in 448
3 0.00% 0 in 447
4 0.45% 2 in 446
5 0.00% 0 in 445
6 0.23% 1 in 444
7 0.45% 2 in 443
8 0.23% 1 in 442
9 0.23% 1 in 441
10 0.23% 1 in 440
11 0.46% 2 in 439
12 0.23% 1 in 438
13 0.23% 1 in 437
14 0.46% 2 in 436
15 0.23% 1 in 435
16 0.69% 3 in 434
17 0.00% 0 in 433
18 0.46% 2 in 432
The essentially discrete distribution of these indices of coincidence
(0.00, 0.23, 0.46, 0.69) are due to the small size of the ciphertext (450
bytes). When we do the same test for a file of Dolphin ciphertext of size
60201 bytes (in which there are 256 different byte values, implying a
desired kappa value of 0.39%) we find:
Offset IC coincidences
1 0.41% 248 in 60200
2 0.43% 258 in 60199
3 0.44% 263 in 60198
4 0.43% 258 in 60197
5 0.43% 257 in 60196
6 0.34% 205 in 60195
7 0.40% 239 in 60194
8 0.42% 252 in 60193
9 0.40% 241 in 60192
10 0.40% 242 in 60191
11 0.41% 247 in 60190
12 0.36% 216 in 60189
13 0.41% 245 in 60188
14 0.37% 223 in 60187
15 0.36% 219 in 60186
16 0.41% 247 in 60185
17 0.40% 238 in 60184
18 0.37% 222 in 60183
The kappa test, and other statistical tests, reveal no regularities in
the ciphertext produced by Dolpin Encrypt (or by EZ-Crypt).
Selected Bibliography
Cryptology is an academic discipline which has implications for the
security of life and property, and thus there is a vast literature on the
subject, often highly technical in nature. Much of the research is secret
and unpublished. The following are just a few of the many books and
journal articles available. The history of codes and code-breaking is
especially interesting. The best book on this subject is David Kahn's The
Codebreakers (the bound edition is recommended). Among the following works
those marked with an asterisk are more historical than technical and tend
to be somewhat easier reading. Those marked "#" contain commentary on some
contemporary political aspects of the civilian use of cryptography.
Andreassen, K.: Computer Cryptology, Prentice-Hall.
Angluin, D. and Lichtenstein, D.: Provable Security in Cryptosystems,
Yale University, 1983.
#Bamford, J.: The Puzzle Palace, Penguin Books.
#Barlow, J. P.: "Decrypting the Puzzle Palace", Communications of the ACM,
July 1992, pp. 25-31.
*Barker, W. G.: History of Codes and Ciphers in the U.S., several volumes,
Aegean Park Press, P. O. Box 2837, Laguna Hills, CA 92654.
Beker, H. and Piper, F.: Cipher Systems, Wiley, 1982.
Bennett, J.: "Analysis of the Encryption Algorithm Used in the WordPerfect
Word Processing Program", Cryptologia 11(4), pp. 206-210, 1987.
Bergen, H. A. and Caelli, W. J.: "File Security in WordPerfect 5.0",
Cryptologia 15(1), pp. 57-66, January 1991.
Biham, E. and Shamir, A.: "Differential cryptanalysis of DES-like
cryptosystems", Journal of Cryptology, vol. 4, #1, pp. 3-72, 1991.
*Boyd, C.: "Anguish under Siege: High-Grade Japanese Signal Intelligence
and the Fall of Berlin", Cryptologia 8(3), July 1989, pp. 193-209.
Brassard, G.: Modern Cryptology, Springer-Verlag, 1988.
Deavours, C. A. and Kruh, L.: Machine Cryptography and Modern Crypt-
analysis, Artech House, 610 Washington St., Dedham, MA 02026, 1985.
DeLaurentis, J. M.: "A Further Weakness in the Common Modulus Protocol
in the RSA Cryptoalgorithm", Cryptologia, 8(3), July 1984, pp. 253-259.
Denning, D.: Cryptography and Data Security, Addison-Wesley, 1982.
*Diffie, W.: "The first ten years of public key cryptography",
IEEE proceedings, 76(5), 560--577, 1988.
---- and Hellman, M.: "Privacy and authentication: an introduction to
cryptography", IEEE proceedings, 67(3), 397-427, 1979.
Feistel, H.: "Cryptography and Computer Privacy", Scientific American,
228(5), pp. 15-23, 1973.
*Flicke, W. F.: War Secrets in the Ether, Volumes 1 & 2, Aegean Park Press.
*Friedman, W. F.: Solving German Codes in World War I, Aegean Park Press.
*---- and Mendelsohn, C. J.: The Zimmermann Telegram of 1917 and its
Cryptographic Backround, Aegean Park Press.
Gaines, H. F.: Cryptanalysis, Dover, 1956.
Garon, G. and Outerbridge, R.: "DES watch: an examination of the sufficiency
of the Data Encryption Standard for financial institutions in the 1990's",
Cryptologia 15(3), 1991, pp. 177-193.
*Hinsley, F. H. et al.: British Intelligence in the Second World War,
Cambridge U. P., volumes 1 - 4.
*---- and Stripp, A. (eds.): Codebreakers: The Inside Story of Bletchley
Park, Oxford U.P., 1993.
Held, G.: Top Secret Data Encryption Techniques, Sams Publishing, 1993.
Hellman, M.: "The mathematics of public key cryptography", Scientific
American, pp. 130-139, 1979.
*Kahn, D.: The Codebreakers, Macmillan, 1967.
*----: Seizing the Enigma, Houghton Mifflin, 1991.
Kochanski, M.: "A Survey of Data Insecurity Packages", Cryptologia 11(1),
pp. 1-15, 1987.
----: "Another Data Insecurity Package", Cryptologia 12(3), pp.165-177,
July 1988.
Konheim, A. G.: Cryptography: A Primer, John Wiley, 1981.
#Kruh, L.: "The Control of Public Cryptography and Freedom of Speech
- A Review", Cryptologia 10(1), January 1986, pp. 2-9.
Lysing, H.: Secret Writing, Dover, 1974.
Marotta, M.: The Code Book, Loompanics, 1987.
Massey, J.: "An Introduction to Contemporary Cryptology", IEEE Proceedings,
76(5), pp. 533-549, May 1988.
Meyer, C. H., and Matyas, S. M.: Cryptography, John Wiley, 1982.
#Pierce, K. J.: "Public Cryptography, Arms Export Controls, and the First
Amendment: A Need for Legislation", Cornell International Law
Journal, Vol. 17, No. 3 (Winter 1984), pp. 197-236.
Rivest, R. L., Shamir, A. and Adelman, L.: "A Method for Obtaining Digital
Signatures and Public-key Cryptosystems," Communications of the
ACM, February 1979.
Salomaa, A.: Public Key Cryptography, Springer-Verlag, 1990.
Schneier, B.: "Untangling Public Key Cryptography", Dr Dobb's Journal,
May 1992, pp. 16-28.
----: "The IDEA Encryption Algorithm", Dr Dobb's Journal, December 1993,
pp. 50-56.
----: Practical Cryptography, John Wiley & Sons, 1994.
Simmons, G. (ed.): Contemporary Cryptology: the Science of Information
Integrity, IEEE Press, 1991.
Smith, L. D.: Cryptography, Dover, 1955.
*Weber, R. E.: United States Diplomatic Codes and Ciphers 1775-1938,
Precedent, 1979.
Welsh, D.: Codes and Cryptography, Claredon Press, 1988.
*Yardley, H. O.: The American Black Chamber, Ballantine 1981.
---
"In a Time/CNN poll of 1,000 Americans conducted last week by Yankelovich
Partners, two-thirds said it was more important to protect the privacy of
phone calls than to preserve the ability of police to conduct wiretaps.
When informed about the Clipper Chip, 80% said they opposed it."
- Philip Elmer-Dewitt, "Who Should Keep the Keys", TIME, Mar. 4 1994
== To get PGP, FTP /pub/unix/security/crypt/pgp23A.zip from ftp.funet.fi ==