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Unformatted text preview: tly encrypt a message at step (3), but Alice would discover this when she looked at the final message at step (6). He could improperly perform step (5), but this would also result in gibberish, which Alice would discover at step (6). He could claim that he could not properly perform step (5) because of some cheating on the part of Alice, but this form of cheating would be discovered at step (7). Finally, he could send a “tails” message to Alice at step (5), regardless of the message he decrypted, but Alice would immediately be able to check the message for authenticity at step (6). Flipping Coins into a Well
It is interesting to note that in all these protocols, Alice and Bob don’t learn the result of the coin flip at the same time. Each protocol has a point where one of the parties (Alice in the first two protocols and Bob in the last one) knows the result of the coin flip but cannot change it. That party can, however, delay disclosing the result to the other party. This is known as flipping coins into a well. Imagine a well. Alice is next to the well and Bob is far away. Bob throws the coin and it lands in the well. Alice can now look into the well and see the result, but she cannot reach down to change it. Bob cannot see the result until Alice lets him come close enough to look. Key Generation Using Coin Flipping
A real application for this protocol is session-key generation. Coin-flipping protocols allow Alice and Bob to generate a random session key such that neither can influence what the session key will be. And assuming that Alice and Bob encrypt their exchanges, this key generation is secure from eavesdropping as well. 4.11 Mental Poker
A protocol similar to the public-key fair coin flip protocol allows Alice and Bob to play poker with each other via electronic mail. Instead of Alice making and encrypting two messages, one for heads and one for tails, she makes 52 messages, M1, M2,..., M52, one for each card in the deck. Bob chooses five messages at random, encrypts them with his public key, and then se...
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- Fall '10