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ISG Research Seminar 31 October 2013

31/10/2013 (11:00-12:00)

Contact: Lorenzo Cavallaro


Speaker: Jacob Schuldt  (Royal Holloway University of London, UK)

Dr. Jacob C. N. Schuldt received his Master's degree (cand.scient) in Computer Science from University of Copenhagen and his Ph.D. degree in Information Science and Technology from University of Tokyo. After receiving his Ph.D. degree, he was a JSPS postdoctoral research fellow at Research Center for Information Security, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan. He currently holds a postdoctoral research position in the Information Security Group at Royal Holloway, where he is engaged in research in cryptography with an emphasis on provable security.

Title: On the Security of RC4 in TLS


The Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol aims to provide confidentiality and integrity of data in transit across untrusted networks. TLS has become the de facto protocol standard for secured Internet and mobile applications. TLS supports several symmetric encryption options, including a scheme based on the RC4 stream cipher.

In this talk, I will present ciphertext-only plaintext recovery attacks against TLS when RC4 is selected for encryption. Variants of these attacks also apply to WPA, a prominent IEEE standard for wireless network encryption. The attacks build on recent advances in the statistical analysis of RC4, and on new findings. Lastly, I will discuss countermeasures to the attacks.

These results were presented at the USENIX Security Symposium 2013 in August.


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