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applied cryptography - protocols, algorithms, and source code in c

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Unformatted text preview: rd to extract a mailing list of all the members. The scheme, from [550,549], is straightforward. Choose a one-way hash function and a symmetric encryption algorithm. Each record of the database has two fields. The index field is the last name of the member, operated on by the one-way hash function. The data field is the full name and address of the member, encrypted using the last name as the key. Unless you know the last name, you can’t decrypt the data field. Searching a specific last name is easy. First, hash the last name and look for the hashed value in the index field of the database. If there is a match, then that last name is in the database. If there are several matches, then there are several people in the database with the last name. Finally, for each matching entry, decrypt the full name and address using the last name as the key. In [550] the authors use this system to protect a dictionary of 6000 Spanish verbs. They report minimal performance degradation due to the encryption. Additional complications in [549] handle searches on multiple indexes, but the idea is the same. The primary problem with this system is that it’s impossible to search for people when you don’t know how to spell their name. You can try variant spellings until you find the correct one, but it isn’t practical to scan through everyone whose name begins with “Sch” when looking for “Schneier.” This protection isn’t perfect. It is possible for a particularly persistent insurance salesperson to reconstruct the membership database through brute-force by trying every possible last name. If he has a telephone database, he can use it as a list of possible last names. This might take a few weeks of dedicated number crunching, but it can be done. It makes his job harder and, in the world of junk mail, “harder” quickly becomes “too expensive.” Another approach, in [185], allows statistics to be compiled on encrypted data. Previous Table of Contents Next Products | Contac...
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