1. What is Multiple Encryption?

Intuitively, we might expect that by encrypting a message twice with some block cipher, either with the same key or by using two different keys, then we would expect the resultant encryption to be stronger in all but some exceptional circumstances. And by using three encryptions, we would expect to achieve a yet greater level of security. While there are some more complicated issues to consider, this is pretty much the case, and triple-DES has been used for a considerable time as a more secure cipher for protecting the keys used with single-DES. However, there are some surprising results when we consider exactly how much additional protection is provided by using double and triple encryption.

2. What are the Counter and PCBC Modes?

Due to shortcomings in OFB mode Diffie has proposed an additional mode of operation, termed the counter mode. It differs from OFB mode in the way the successive data blocks are generated for subsequent encryptions. Instead of deriving one data block as the encryption of the previous data block, Diffie proposed encrypting the quantity i + IV (mod 264) for the ith data block, where IV is some initialization vector.

3. What are the CFB and OFB modes?

The Cipher Feedback (CFB) mode and the Output Feedback (OFB) mode are two more standard modes of operation for a block cipher.

In CFB mode, the previous ciphertext block is encrypted and the output produced is combined with the plaintext block using exclusive-or to produce the current ciphertext block. It is possible to define CFB mode so that it uses feedback that is less than one full data block. An initialization vector or value c0 is used as a "seed" for the process.

4. What are the ECB and CBC Modes?

When we use a block cipher to encrypt a message of arbitrary length, we use techniques that are known as modes of operation for the block cipher. Modes must be at least as secure and as efficient as the underlying cipher. Modes may have properties in addition to those inherent in the basic cipher. The standard DES modes have been published in FIPS PUB 81 and as ANSI X3.106. A more general version of the standard generalized the four modes of DES to be applicable to a block cipher of any block size. The standard modes are Electronic Code Book (ECB), Cipher Block Chaining (CBC), Cipher Feedback (CFB), and Output Feedback (OFB).

5. What is the Rabin Signature Scheme?

The Rabin signature scheme is a variant of the RSA signature scheme. It has the advantage over RSA that finding the private key and forgery are both provably as hard as factoring. Verification is faster than signing, as with RSA signatures. In Rabin's scheme, the public key is an integer n where n = pq, and p and q are prime numbers which form the private key. The message to be signed must have a square root mod n; otherwise, it has to be modified slightly. Only about 1/4 of all possible messages have square roots mod n.

6. What is Probabilistic Encryption?

Probabilistic encryption, discovered by Goldwasser and Micali [GM84], is a design approach for encryption where a message is encrypted into one of many possible ciphertexts (not just a single ciphertext as in deterministic encryption), in such a way that it is provably as hard to obtain partial information about the message from the ciphertext, as it is to solve some hard problem. In previous approaches to encryption, even though it was not always known whether one could obtain such partial information, neither was it proved that one could not do so.

7. What is Merkles Tree Signature Scheme?

Merkle proposed a digital signature scheme that was based on both one-time signatures and a hash function and that provides an infinite tree of one-time signatures.

One-time signatures normally require the publishing of large amounts of data to authenticate many messages, since each signature can only be used once. Merkle's scheme solves the problem by implementing the signatures via a tree-like scheme. Each message to be signed corresponds a node in a tree, with each node consisting of the verification parameters that are used to sign a message and to authenticate the verification parameters of subsequent nodes. Although the number of messages that can be signed is limited by the size of the tree, the tree can be made arbitrarily large. Merkle's signature scheme is fairly efficient, since it requires only the application of hash functions.

8. What is the McEliece Cryptosystem?

The McEliece cryptosystem is a public-key encryption algorithm based on algebraic coding theory. The system uses a class of error-correcting codes, known as the Goppa codes, for which fast decoding algorithms exist. The basic idea is to construct a Goppa code as the private key and disguise it as a general linear code, which is the public key. The general linear code cannot be easily decoded unless the corresponding private matrix is known.

9. What is LUC?

LUC is a public-key cryptosystem developed by a group of researchers in Australia and New Zealand. The cipher implements the analogs of ElGamal, Diffie-Hellman, and RSA over Lucas sequences. LUCELG is the Lucas sequence analog of ElGamal, while LUCDIF and LUCRSA are the Diffie-Hellman and RSA analogs. Lucas sequences used in the cryptosystem are the general second-order linear recurrence relation defined by

10. What are Knapsack Cryptosystems?

The Merkle-Hellman knapsack cryptosystem is a public-key cryptosystem that was first published in 1978. It is commonly referred to as the knapsack cryptosystem. It is based on the subset sum problem in combinatorics. The problem involves selecting a number of objects with given weights from a large set such that the sum of the weights is equal to a pre-specified weight. This is considered to be a difficult problem to solve in general, but certain special cases of the problem are relatively easy to solve, which serve as the "trapdoor" of the system. The-single iteration knapsack cryptosystem introduced in 1978 was broken by Shamir. Merkle then published the multiple-iteration knapsack problem which was broken by Brickell [Bri85]. Merkle offered a $100 reward for anybody able to crack the single iteration knapsack and a $1000 reward for anybody able to crack the multiple iteration cipher from his own pocket. When they were cracked, he promptly paid up.

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