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Jul 31, 2019

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Information security

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Information security

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Mechanisms

Dr Keith Martin

McCrea 349 01784 443099

keith.martin@rhul.ac.uk

Before we start…

Quiz 1

Which of the following activities can cryptography not be

used to provide in the electronic world?

A Ensuring that only an intended recipient can

obtain some information

B Ensuring that information cannot be altered

before it reaches an intended recipient

C Ensuring that a sender of some information

cannot later deny having sent the information

D Ensuring that some received information was sent

by the claimed sender

Quiz 2

Which of the following attacks is the odd one out?

A Sending a forged message

B Deleting the opening phrase of a message

C Reading a message that was not intended for you

D Intercepting a message and destroying it before it

gets to the intended recipient

Quiz 3

Under the worst-case conditions for a symmetric cipher

system, we assume that the attacker of a cipher system

has access to:

A The encryption algorithm, the encryption key, all

ciphertexts

B All ciphertexts, some plaintext/ciphertext pairs,

the decryption key

C Some plaintext/ciphertext pairs, the encryption

algorithm, all previously used decryption keys

D The encryption algorithm, all ciphertexts, some

plaintext/ciphertext pairs

Introduction to Cryptography and Security Mechanisms:

Unit 4

Historical algorithms

Dr Keith Martin

McCrea 349 01784 443099

keith.martin@rhul.ac.uk

Learning Outcomes

• Describe a number of simple historical cipher systems

• Relate a number of historical cipher system to the

basic model of a cipher system

• Appreciate the direction of historical advances in

cipher system design

• Illustrate the properties of these historical cipher

systems that make them unsuitable for modern use

• Formulate some essential basic design features for a

modern cipher system

Sections

1. Monoalphabetic ciphers

2. Historical advances

1. Monoalphabetic ciphers

Ciphers in this unit

Please note that all the ciphers in this unit are:

• Symmetric

• Operate on alphabetic characters

• Are not suitable for general modern use

• Illustrate the basic model of a cipher system

• Learn some basic design principles

The Caesar Cipher

use!

weaknesses that result in the Caesar

Cipher being regarded as insecure.

The Simple Substitution Cipher

improvement on the Caesar Cipher

Keyspace of the Substitution Cipher

approximately 4 x 1026, that is:

400 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000

Just how big is that?

universe. That means that the Simple Substitution Cipher has

about 40 000 times the number of keys than there are stars in

our universe.

The key space of DES is somewhere between 1016 and 1017.

That’s a much smaller number – it’s only about 100 000 times

the number of stars in our galaxy!

Wise words

an exhaustive key search, but it is not sufficient

to guarantee the security of a cipher system.

small key is a guarantee of insecurity.

Letter frequency analysis

letter frequency analysis

ciphertext to conduct this attack.

Identify at least two other pieces of

information that it would be useful to know

in order to conduct an effective letter

frequency analysis of the Simple

Substitution Cipher.

Four lessons

The following four lessons can be learnt if you conduct

Exercises 2, 3, 4 and 5 for this unit.

about the plaintext even before detailed letter

frequency analysis has been conducted.

2. Knowing the context of the plaintext can be

extremely important when conducting letter

frequency analysis.

3. Letter frequency analysis really works!

4. It is not necessary to determine the entire key

before being able to decrypt the ciphertext.

Unicity distance

The unicity distance of a cipher system is the number

of ciphertext letters that you need before, given a

ciphertext of that length, you can expect there to be

only one meaningful plaintext and encryption key that

could have been used to obtain that ciphertext.

The unicity distance is a value that can be calculated

from the statistical properties of the underlying plaintext

language.

For a Simple Substitution Cipher applied to English

plaintexts, the unicity distance is usually regarded as

being around 28 ciphertext letters.

Unicity distance

That’s the theory, so what about the practice?

Simple Substitution Cipher then you can be

fairly sure that there is only one matching

plaintext out there.

Can you actually find it?

Unicity distance

In theory Number of ciphertext In practice

letters

5

Between about

5 and 27

Around 28

= unicity distance

Between

28 and about 200

200

2. Historical advances

Advances on Simple Substitution

section, identify three types of cipher

system design improvement that would

make it harder to conduct single letter

frequency analysis?

Playfair Cipher

The Playfair Cipher operates on pairs of letters (bigrams).

The key is a 5x5 square consisting of every letter except J.

• Replace all J’s with I’s

• Write the plaintext in pairs of letters…

• …separating any identical pairs by a Z

• If the number of letters is odd, add a Z to the end

Playfair Cipher: Encryption

• If two plaintext letters lie in the same row then

replace each letter by the one on its “right” in

the key square

• If two plaintext letters lie in the same column

then replace each letter by the one “below” it

in the key square

• Else, replace:

– First letter by letter in row of first letter and column

of second letter in the key square

– Second letter by letter in column of first letter and

row of second letter in the key square

Playfair Cipher: Example

GLOW WORM

S T A N D

E R C H B

K F G I L GL OW WO RM

M O P Q U

V W X Y Z

IK WT TW EO

Playfair Cipher

defeated single letter frequency analysis?

that was encrypted using a Playfair Cipher,

without knowing the key?

English letter frequencies

D 4.253 E 12.702 F 2.228

G 2.015 H 6.094 I 6.966

J 0.153 K 0.772 L 4.025

M2.406 N 6.749 O 7.507

P 1.929 Q 0.095 R 5.987

S 6.327 T 9.056 U 2.758

V 0.978 W 2.360 X 0.150

Y 1.974 Z 0.074

Histogram of letter frequencies

Homophonic Coding

different ciphertext characters in order to confuse the

ciphertext character frequency statistics.

Homophonic Coding

• A possible homophonic code is as follows:

• Use a character alphabet of 1000.

• Use our table of letter frequencies:

use 82 different characters to encode A

use 15 different characters to encode B

use 1 character to encode J, Q, Y and Z

etc.

against single letter frequency analysis?

in a practical environment?

Vigenère Cipher

important technique for defeating letter

frequency analysis.

What is it?

Vigenère Cipher

works by conducting Exercises 6, 7, 8 and 9 for this

unit.

Vigenère Cipher?

Summary

• A large key space alone does not guarantee security.

• It is possible to break a cipher system without first

determining the key.

• The ciphertext produced by a cipher system should

disguise the statistics of the plaintext alphabet.

• Effective techniques for disguising plaintext statistics

include:

– Increasing the size of the plaintext alphabet

– Replacing plaintext characters with more than one different

ciphertext character

– Introducing positional dependence

but these properties alone do not guarantee security.

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