New attack against multiple encryption functions

August 23, 2008 – 2:16 PM

Unless you’re a dyed in the wool cryptographic geek you probably didn’t know that there was a Crypto conference, or even a chain of worldwide crypto conferences that take place each year. Fortunately, for the most of us that aren’t crypto geeks there are a handful of very highly skilled people who are; they can take the highly theoretical and complex mathematical proofs and arguments that make up most of modern cryptographic and cryptanalytic research and put it into plain language.

Probably the best known is Bruce Schneier, who is a dedicated crypto geek famous for his general Information Security and cryptographic work; including being responsible (or partly responsible) for ciphers such as Blowfish and Twofish. From his blog he has provided a tantalising suggestion that one of the most famous names in cryptography is introducing a new form of cryptanalysis.

Adi Shamir, who is the S in RSA, has presented material at the Crypto 2008 conference that has promised a new form of mathematical attack against a broad range of cryptographic ciphers, including hash functions (such as MD5, SHA-256), stream ciphers (such as RC4), and block ciphers (such as DES, Triple-DES, AES). The new method of cryptanalysis has been called a “cube attack” and formed part of Shamir’s invited presentation at Crypto 2008 – “How to solve it: New Techniques in Algebraic Cryptanalysis”.


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