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Unformatted text preview: od 256 K = St The byte K is XORed with the plaintext to produce ciphertext or XORed with the ciphertext to produce plaintext. Encryption is fast—about 10 times faster than DES. Initializing the S-box is also easy. First, fill it linearly: S0 = 0, S1 = 1,..., S255 = 255. Then fill another 256-byte array with the key, repeating the key as necessary to fill the entire array: K0, K1,..., K255. Set the index j to zero. Then: for i = 0 to 255: j = (j + Si + Ki) mod 256 swap Si and Sj And that’s it. RSADSI claims that the algorithm is immune to differential and linear cryptanalysis, doesn’t seem to have any small cycles, and is highly nonlinear. (There are no public cryptanalytic results. RC4 can be in about 21700 (256! × 2562) possible states: an enormous number.) The S-box slowly evolves with use: i ensures that every element changes and j ensures that the elements change randomly. The algorithm is simple enough that most programmers can quickly code it from memory. It should be possible to generalize this idea to larger S-boxes and word sizes. The previous version is 8-bit RC4. There’s no reason why you can’t define 16-bit RC4 with a 16 * 16 S-box (100K of memory) and a 16-bit word. You’d have to iterate the initial setup a lot more times—65,536 to keep with the stated design—but the resulting algorithm should be faster. RC4 has special export status if its key length is 40 bits or under (see Section 13.8). This special export status has nothing to do with the secrecy of the algorithm, although RSA Data Security, Inc. has hinted for years that it does. The name is trademarked, so anyone who writes his own code has to call it something else. Various internal documents by RSA Data Security, Inc. have not yet been made public [1320,1337]. So, what’s the deal with RC4? It’s no longer a trade secret, so presumably anyone can use it. However, RSA Data Security, Inc. will almost certainly sue anyone who uses unlicensed RC4 in a commercial product. They probably wo...
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- Fall '10