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Questions tagged [rc4]

RC4 is a fast and simple stream cipher used correctly in SSL and incorrectly in WEP.

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49
votes
7answers
32k views

Google is using RC4, but isn't RC4 considered unsafe?

Why is Google using RC4 for their HTTPS/SSL? $ openssl s_client -connect www.google.com:443 | grep "Cipher is" New, TLSv1/SSLv3, Cipher is RC4-SHA Isn't RC4 ...
13
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3answers
3k views

What is the PRG period of stream ciphers such as RC4 or Salsa20?

I am confused about how long a stream cipher can be used before you should change the key. To be concrete, let me use the stream cipher based on RC4 as an example. Let's say I want to encrypt a very ...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

Is there a way to make RC4 (ARCFOUR) secure, or is it completely broken?

I need a method to authenticate a process with another in order to establish interprocess communication between them, to prevent malicious processes from trying to hook onto the system. Currently I ...
11
votes
2answers
504 views

Is RC4 a problem for password-based authentication?

This is a follow-up question to Does TLS use RC4-drop[n]?. As mentioned in section 6 of RFC4345, there are weak distinguishers for RC4 keystreams available that even work for keystreams that ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Is RC4 secure with a single-use 32-byte random key prefix and 3072 prefix bytes discarded?

Are there any known attacks against RC4 if used with a single-use, random-generated 32-byte key, and 3072 random bytes prepended to the plaintext? Are there any reasons why we should consider such a ...
9
votes
1answer
524 views

Are there any long term RC4 bias based exploits?

The RC4 cipher possibly exhibits low level bias in it's long run PRNG keystream. I'm specifically excluding short term bias attacks which I'm defining as outputs < 1024 bytes. Are there any real ...
7
votes
2answers
255 views

How are constructs with data-dependent swaps and rotations cryptanalyzed?

Linear and differential cryptanalysis seem well suited for constructs with a (relatively) simple fixed structure of boolean expressions. But some ciphers incorporate swaps of array elements where the ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Security analysis of Spritz?

Recently, a new cipher called Spritz has been released by Ronald L. Rivest and Jacob Schuldt. It should be a "drop-in replacement" for RC4. There are many differences to RC4, Spritz is "spongy" and ...
7
votes
1answer
751 views

Does omitting the first two lines of RC4's pseudo-random generation algorithm weaken the cipher?

A particular educational software program published by a U.S. government agency uses a variant of RC4 to obfuscate its data files (see Stack Overflow question). The variant of RC4 in question is ...
7
votes
1answer
324 views

Does “double RC4” exhibit the same weaknesses as standard RC4?

I know that RC4 is weak. However, I don't know if two RC4 streams XORed with each other can be attacked in the same way that one can, especially if $n$ bytes are dropped. Assume keys and IVs are ...
7
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1answer
741 views

Can somebody help me understand RC4 Spritz? (Three Questions)

So ever since I first took a stab at understanding stream Ciphers, not one stood out more than RC4, because it's so fantastically simple. As most people reading this will know, with its fantastic ...
7
votes
1answer
785 views

Does TLS use RC4-drop[n]?

According to many sources, the first few (n) bytes of the RC4 keystream are strongly biased, and therefore should be discarded before using the keystream to encrypt anything; this precaution is ...
7
votes
0answers
118 views

Does the bias in RC4 drop asymptotically further in the keystream?

It's well-known that the RC4 keystream has significant biases that become less prominent later in the keystream. The most severe bias is in the second byte, which has a 128-1 bias towards zero. Other ...
6
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2answers
6k views

RC2, RC4, RC5 key length

While reading the Wiki page on RC4 I noticed that the key size must be in the range of 40–2,048 bits. So should I understand like this, that I can have a key that has length of, lets say 333 bits? (...
6
votes
0answers
112 views

What is the “brand X” cipher mentioned in the Usenet thread about RC4?

In the original Usenet thread about RC4 when it was finally reverse engineered, a user by the name of Michael Johnson mentioned that the RC4 algorithm looked surprisingly like another proprietary ...
5
votes
3answers
12k views

RC4 Keylength Limits

While reading the Wiki page on RC4 I noticed that the key size must be in the range of 40–2,048 bits. Why is that? Is there a reason it can't have a lower or higher length?
5
votes
2answers
10k views

RC4 , Is it possible to find the key if we know the plaintext and ciphertext?

Is it possible to find the key if we know the plaintext and ciphertext with RC4. How should I write the algorithm?
5
votes
2answers
11k views

Which stream cipher can we replace the RC4 in the SSL?

In cryptography, the Fluhrer, Mantin and Shamir attack is a particular stream cipher attack, a dedicated form of cryptanalysis for attacking the widely-used stream cipher RC4. The attack allows an ...
5
votes
2answers
137 views

How does one measure the decrease in security, if any, of RC4 when mapping to a specific range of values?

For a project using RC4, the output is to be mapped to values of 0 to 35. Thus, only 36 unique output values representing the letters A to Z and 0 to 9. To avoid bias, the RC4 byte output (with a ...
5
votes
2answers
443 views

What happens when a RC4 stream gets corrupted?

I want to encrypt a large file using RC4. But what happens if the encrypted file gets corrupted (bytes modified or lost)? Can I still decrypt the rest of the file correctly? If not, what is the best ...
5
votes
1answer
132 views

Use large key size for RC4 to avoid RC4 bias

I saw a question on StackOverflow where RC4 was initialized by a 1024 bit key (with 2048 the maximum key size, if I'm not mistaken). Will such a large key size possibly solve any of the bias of the ...
4
votes
1answer
982 views

Why does “2xAES-256” provide “99.99%” security strength whereas “1xAES-128” provides “40%”? [closed]

I recently was "directed" to FlipsCloud, a company selling security solutions (as far as I can tell). In particular I've investigated their page and found a page on their "encryption features". This ...
4
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2answers
609 views

Do we have anyway of knowing if avoiding self-permutation in RC4 makes it any stronger?

OK, so lots of questions get asked about RC4 but I want to make mine specific and hopefully answerable. RC4 Design as I'm sure anyone reading this knows, uses self permutation in stage 1 of the KSA. ...
4
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2answers
446 views

Can stream ciphers (usually) be “run backwards”?

Is it possible to reconstruct the previous output bits of a stream cipher, e.g. RC4, when only the current state is known, or is that computationally hard, or even impossible (due to ambiguous ...
4
votes
2answers
203 views

Are there ready-to-use software that can try many decryption techniques on a ciphertext, with no information?

Let's say I receive a 1 MB encrypted file, but I get no information about the encryption method, and no password. The only thing I can guess is that the person probably used a weak encryption method ...
4
votes
1answer
486 views

Has there been any cryptanalysis of RC4-52?

Several websites ( such as Is there a secure cryptosystem that can be performed mentally? ) briefly mention RC4-52 as a modification of standard RC4. RC4-52 has only with 52 instead of 256 elements ...
3
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1answer
7k views

Difference between RC2, RC4, RC5 and RC6

Can anyone point out the core differences between RC variations?
3
votes
2answers
246 views

Does a stream cipher require a KDF when it's key is variable length?

RC4 has a variable length key. Is it still necessary to use a key derivation function, such as PBKDF2, to initialize it? Would using a single character password weaken it's output when compared to a ...
3
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2answers
6k views

Double Encrypting with two different keys

In terms of security, would it be MORE or LESS secure to take, say, an RC4 output (or Serpent) or other, that is encrypted with one key, and to encrypt that output with AES (using a different key)? <...
3
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2answers
1k views

Simple RC4 key generation scheme

I would like to ask you about your opinion on the following scheme of combining a master key and a nonce and stretching the result to the full 256-bytes RC4 key. Master key $K_m$ is a pre-shared ...
3
votes
1answer
8k views

What are the steps for decryption of RC4?

I've seen a lot of algorithms posted everywhere about how to encrypt using RC4. For example, this wiki article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RC4 explains the KSA and PRGA steps. After it generates ...
3
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2answers
2k views

Can two rc4 encoded messages be XORed and decrypted if encrypted with the same key?

If I have the following: E1 = RC4(M1, K); E2 = RC4(M2, K); If two different messages M1 and M2 are encrypted with the same key, K, can the key be recovered by ...
3
votes
2answers
539 views

Do Export Restrictions Still Apply To The Key Length of RC4?

I've just read a paper from 2004 which stated that the RC4 encryption algorithm was restricted to a 40 bit key size when exported from the USA; however the reference for this information (Applied ...
3
votes
1answer
244 views

Is it possible for an element to be swapped with itself in RC4?

Given the design of RC4, is it possible or impossible for the values $i$ and $j$ to be equal to each other when $S[i]$ and $S[j]$ are swapped?
3
votes
1answer
778 views

Safety of AES ECB when used with openssl_seal function

I'm trying to use PHP to encrypt files with a public key. I'm using the function openssl_seal that "encrypts data by using RC4 with a randomly generated secret key." RC4 is considered unsafe so the ...
3
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1answer
226 views

simulating rc4-256 with rc4-128

OpenSSL supports rc4 with 128-bit keys and rc4 with 40-bit keys. It does not support rc4 with 256-bit keys. My question is... is it possible to modify the state of the pseudo-random generation ...
3
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1answer
428 views

RC4 key schedule and algorithm design

I've looked up RC4 algorithm and it's seems easy enough but some parts of it seem random to me. In the key schedule part take for example the following part : ...
3
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1answer
2k views

RC4 : Keystream reconstruction?

First up: it's a step in some challenge found on the Internet, where we get an application and a file. The application must be feed with that file and a password (the password is the flag for the ...
3
votes
2answers
175 views

Stream Ciphers — Need clarification on their benefits in practice

Compared to a block cipher which encrypts 16 bytes at a time, stream ciphers can encrypt a byte at a time. I am curious about which applications would immensely benefit from the ability to encrypt a ...
3
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1answer
602 views

Explain the 'Breaking 104 bit WEP in less than 60 seconds' paper

Could you explain the 'Breaking 104 bit WEP in less than 60 seconds' paper, without skipping too much technical details. Could you an answer questions, like: how is '1.24/256' a significant ...
3
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1answer
423 views

Recovering state of modified RC4 key scheduling algorithm

Consider this algorithm: ...
3
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0answers
110 views

Can a stream cipher with a big S-box create ASIC-resistance?

For a proof of work system a hash algorithm generates one pseudorandom index each round, in the same manner as RC4 and Spritz do. And it uses a bigger S-box, e.g. 2^20 numbers. The actual hash would ...
3
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0answers
2k views

Understanding the FMS attack on WEP

I am trying to implement the Fluhrer, Mantin and Shamir attack, one of the ways to break WEP. I seem to have hit on a problem. I have no idea whether or not it is a programming error, or if I don't ...
2
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3answers
2k views

Using a PRNG for a stream cipher instead of a dedicated algorithm

I am aware, that it is possible to build a stream cipher using some deterministic PRNG (like HASH_DRBG or CTR_DRBG) with good key material as the seed. What are the advantages of using a purpose ...
2
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2answers
948 views

Arbitrary key size in RC4

Is it possible using RC4 that for e.g. a 17-bit long plaintext i can get a 17-bit long ciphertext? From my understanding, for this example i need a 17-bit long key to do the XOR operation for ...
2
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2answers
811 views

Is the RC4 keystream random or not?

I have cause to use the PRNG half of RC4, but am seriously confused as to the randomness of its output. (Only the PRNG half.) On the one hand, there is a large body of literature finding ever ...
2
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1answer
676 views

How insecure in practice?

I am in attempt to understand relative insecurity of certain encryption schemes. Particularly of interest is DES and RC2. I know AES is better and should be used to encrypt. But practically, if ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the period of a cipher?

For the following explanation of RC4: It is a variable key-size stream cipher with byte-oriented operations. The algorithm is based on the use of a random permutation. Analysis shows that the ...
2
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1answer
3k views

RC4 encryption -> AES encryption = more or less secure than RC4 or AES alone?

Say I have ...
2
votes
2answers
910 views

Question about the key in RC4

I am planning to develop a more secure version of the RC4 algorithm. Since I´m not an encryption expert, I´ld like you to help me find answers to the following questions: Does the value of the key ...