Cryptology and Data Communications

Unknown author (1976-12)

Research reported herein was conducted at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology research program supported in part by the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense and monitored by the office of Naval Research under contract N00014-75-C-0643.

Working Paper

This paper is divided into two parts. The first part deals with cryptosystems and cryptanalysis. It surveys the basic information about cryptosystems and then addresses two specific questions. Are cryptosystems such as LUCIFER which are based on the ideas of Feistel and Shannon secure for all practical purposes? Is the proposed NBS standard cryptosystem secure for all practical purposes? This paper argues that the answer to the first question is "they might well be" and that the answer to the second is "no." The second part of this paper considers how a cryptosystem can be used to provide security of data transmission in a computer environment. It discusses the two basic aspects of security: secrecy and authentication. It then describes and discusses a specific proposal by Kent of a set of protocols designed to provide security through encryption. Finally, an alternate proposal is given in order to explore some of the other design choices which could have been made.