Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2015/097

Surreptitiously Weakening Cryptographic Systems

Bruce Schneier and Matthew Fredrikson and Tadayoshi Kohno and Thomas Ristenpart

Abstract: Revelations over the past couple of years highlight the importance of understanding malicious and surreptitious weakening of cryptographic systems. We provide an overview of this domain, using a number of historical examples to drive development of a weaknesses taxonomy. This allows comparing different approaches to sabotage. We categorize a broader set of potential avenues for weakening systems using this taxonomy, and discuss what future research is needed to provide sabotage-resilient cryptography.

Category / Keywords: Sabotage, cryptographic weaknesses, backdoors

Date: received 9 Feb 2015

Contact author: rist at cs wisc edu

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Version: 20150223:214625 (All versions of this report)

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