A CPLD-based RC4 cracking system

TitleA CPLD-based RC4 cracking system
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsKundarewich, P. D., S. J. E. Wilton, and A. J. Hu
Conference NameElectrical and Computer Engineering, 1999 IEEE Canadian Conference on
Pagination397 -402 vol.1
Keywords15 to 30 hour, 159 day, Altera EPF10K20 CPLD, Altera UP1 Education Board, complex programmable logic device, control unit, CPLD-based RC4 cracking system, cryptography, cryptosystem, FPGA, functional units, key length, low-cost approach, performance, performance evaluation, price/performance ratio, programmable logic, programmable logic devices, RC4 encryption algorithm

Presents a complex programmable logic device (CPLD) based system for cracking the RC4 (Rivest Cipher 4) encryption algorithm. The system achieves an outstanding price/performance ratio, easily beating other low-cost approaches, such as commodity PCs. The system was implemented using a single Altera EPF10K20 CPLD on an Altera UP1 Education Board. This CPLD is large enough to contain the control unit and five functional units. Measured performance on our prototype shows that we can crack a 32-bit RC4 in an expected time of 15 hours (30 hours worst case). This gives a theoretical expected time of 159 days to crack 40-bit keys-the maximum possible key length that can exported from Canada and the USA. Our results demonstrate the effectiveness of programmable logic (CPLD or FPGA) against even a cryptosystem designed for software implementation


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