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

When manuel blum introduced the problem of flipping a

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Unformatted text preview: Web Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of EarthWeb is prohibited. Read EarthWeb's privacy statement. To access the contents, click the chapter and section titles. Applied Cryptography, Second Edition: Protocols, Algorthms, and Source Code in C (cloth) Go! Keyword Brief Full Advanced Search Search Tips (Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) Author(s): Bruce Schneier ISBN: 0471128457 Publication Date: 01/01/96 Search this book: Go! Previous Table of Contents Next ----------- 4.10 Fair Coin Flips It’s story time with Joe Kilian [831]: Alice and Bob wanted to flip a fair coin, but had no physical coin to flip. Alice offered a simple way of flipping a fair coin mentally. “First, you think up a random bit, then I’ll think up a random bit. We’ll then exclusive-or the two bits together, ” she suggested. “But what if one of us doesn’t flip a coin at random?” Bob asked. “It doesn’t matter. As long as one of the bits is truly random, the exclusive-or of the bits should be truly random, ” Alice replied, and after a moment’s reflection, Bob agreed. A short while later, Alice and Bob happened upon a book on artificial intelligence, lying abandoned by the roadside. A good citizen, Alice said, “One of us must pick this book up and find a suitable waste receptacle.” Bob agreed, and suggested they use their coin-flipping protocol to determine who would have to throw the book away. “If the final bit is a 0, then you will pick the book up, and if it is a 1, then I will, ” said Alice. “What is your bit?” Bob replied, “1.” “Why, so is mine, ” said Alice, slyly, “I guess this isn’t your lucky day.” Needless to say, this coin-flipping protocol had a serious bug. While it is true that a truly random bit, x, exclusive-ORed with any independently distributed bit, y, will yield a truly random bit, Alice’s protocol did not ensure that the two bits were distributed independently. In fact, it is not hard to verify that no mental protoc...
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