Paper 2016/091

On the Security of the Algebraic Eraser Tag Authentication Protocol

Simon R. Blackburn and M. J. B. Robshaw


The Algebraic Eraser has been gaining prominence as SecureRF, the company commercializing the algorithm, increases its marketing reach. The scheme is claimed to be well-suited to IoT applications but a lack of detail in available documentation has hampered peer-review. Recently more details of the system have emerged after a tag authentication protocol built using the Algebraic Eraser was proposed for standardization in ISO/IEC SC31 and SecureRF provided an open public description of the protocol. In this paper we describe a range of attacks on this protocol that include very efficient and practical tag impersonation as well as partial, and total, tag secret key recovery. Most of these results have been practically verified, they contrast with the 80-bit security that is claimed for the protocol, and they emphasize the importance of independent public review for any cryptographic proposal.

Note: Final author version. Accepted for ACNS

Available format(s)
Cryptographic protocols
Publication info
Published elsewhere. MINOR revision.ACNS 2016
Algebraic Erasercryptanalysistag authenticationIoT
Contact author(s)
s blackburn @ rhul ac uk
2016-06-02: revised
2016-02-02: received
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Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Simon R.  Blackburn and M. J. B.  Robshaw},
      title = {On the Security of the Algebraic Eraser Tag Authentication Protocol},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2016/091},
      year = {2016},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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