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On Guess and Determine Cryptanalysis of LFSR-Based Stream Ciphers

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1 Author(s)
Pasalic, E. ; IMFM, Ljubljana

In this paper, the complexity of applying a guess and determine attack to so-called Linear Feedback Shift register (LFSR)-based stream ciphers is analyzed. This family of stream ciphers uses a single or several LFSR and a filtering function F : GF(2)n rarr GF(2)m to generate the blocks of m ges 1 keystream bits at the time. In difference to a classical guess and determine attack, a method based on guessing certain bits in order to determine the remaining secret key/state bits, our approach efficiently takes advantage of the reduced preimage space for relatively large m and at the same time employing the design structure of the cipher. Several variations of the algorithm are derived to circumvent the sensitivity of attack to the input data, n, m and the key length. In certain cases, our attack outperforms classical algebraic attacks; these being considered as one of the most efficient cryptanalyst tools for this type of ciphers. A superior performance of our attack over algebraic attacks is demonstrated in case the filtering function belongs to the extended Maiorana-McFarland class.

Published in:

Information Theory, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 7 )