Distinguishing attacks on stream ciphers based on arrays of pseudo-random words

Nathan Keller, Stephen D. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In numerous modern stream ciphers, the internal state consists of a large array of pseudo-random words, while the output key-stream is a relatively simple function of the state. It has been heuristically shown in several situations [3,8-11,14] that this structure may lead to distinguishing attacks on the cipher. In this note we present a more rigorous treatment of this structural attack. First, we present a rigorous proof of the main probabilistic claim behind it in the basic cases. We then apply it concretely to the cipher sn3 [12], and demonstrate that the heuristic assumptions of the attack are remarkably precise in more complicated cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-132
Number of pages4
JournalInformation Processing Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 16 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Signal Processing
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Cryptography
  • Distinguishing attacks
  • MV3
  • SN3
  • Stream ciphers


Dive into the research topics of 'Distinguishing attacks on stream ciphers based on arrays of pseudo-random words'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this