Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2014/901

A Practical Attack Against the Use of RC4 in the HIVE Hidden Volume Encryption System

Kenneth G. Paterson and Mario Strefler

Abstract: The HIVE hidden volume encryption system was proposed by Blass et al. at ACM-CCS 2014. Even though HIVE has a security proof, this paper demonstrates an attack on its implementation that breaks the main security property claimed for the system by its authors, namely plausible hiding against arbitrary-access adversaries. Our attack is possible because of the HIVE implementation's reliance on the RC4 stream cipher to fill unused blocks with pseudorandom data. While the attack can be easily eliminated by using a better pseudorandom generator, it serves as an example of why RC4 should be avoided in all new applications and a reminder that one has to be careful when instantiating primitives.

Category / Keywords: implementation / RC4, cryptanalysis

Original Publication (with minor differences): ASIACCS 2015

Date: received 30 Oct 2014, last revised 5 Jan 2015

Contact author: strefler at kit edu

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Note: This is the conference version for ASIACCS 2015, but in single-column layout

Version: 20150105:105446 (All versions of this report)

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