Paper 2021/458

FAMILY KEY CRYPTOGRAPHY: Interchangeable Symmetric Keys; a Different Cryptographic Paradigm

Gideon Samid


In the current crypto paradigm a single secret key transforms a plaintext into a ciphertext and vice versa, or at most a different key is doing the reverse action. Attackers exposed to the ciphertext are hammering it to extract that single key and the plaintext. This paradigm may be challenged with an alternate setup: using a particular crypto algorithm, there is an infinite number of keys that are perfectly interchangeable -- each has the same effect. Nonetheless they are hard to find. And unlike regular cryptography, the best an attacker can hope for using this new "Family Key Cryptography”, is to identify the entire infinitely large family of keys, not the actual key that executed the cryptographic action. This very fact is a cornerstone for a host of applications, mostly still to be unfolded. E.g.: (1) Community Cryptography, where each member has a different key, but the community will encrypt and decrypt as if sharing the same key; (2) 'Forever Key Cryptography': crashing the Shannon's limit, the Forever Key strategy will allow a single finite key to last indefinitely. The shared secret key will be used to derive a succession of operating keys, which will be replaced before they are being compromised. Since any cryptanalysis of usage will end up with an infinite list of key candidates, there will be equal number of candidates for the shared "Forever Key", and thus there will be no erosion in the secrecy of the Forever Key regardless of its level of use. The very idea of infinite number of interchangeable keys is so fundamentally different, that most of its applications are still unknown.

Note: The "Forever Key" cryptography described herein, is now being evaluated for 'drop-and-forget' climate sensors in hard to reach locations, and where it is important to ascertain the authenticity of the climate recordings.

Available format(s)
Secret-key cryptography
Publication info
Preprint. Minor revision.
paradigmVernamShannonMathematical Secrecy
Contact author(s)
gideon samid @ case edu
2021-04-08: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Gideon Samid},
      title = {FAMILY KEY CRYPTOGRAPHY:  Interchangeable Symmetric Keys; a Different Cryptographic Paradigm},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2021/458},
      year = {2021},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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