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A cryptanalytic time-memory trade-off

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A probabilistic method is presented which cryptanalyzes any N key cryptosystem in N^{2/3} operational with N^{2/3} words of memory (average values) after a precomputation which requires N operations. If the precomputation can be performed in a reasonable time period (e.g, several years), the additional computation required to recover each key compares very favorably with the N operations required by an exhaustive search and the N words of memory required by table lookup. When applied to the Data Encryption Standard (DES) used in block mode, it indicates that solutions should cost between 1 and 100 each. The method works in a chosen plaintext attack and, if cipher block chaining is not used, can also be used in a ciphertext-only attack.

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Information Theory, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 4 )