Tuesday 16th of January 2018

Ant-Crypto, a Cryptographer for Data Encryption Standard

Salabat Khan, Armughan Ali and Mehr Yahya Durrani

Swarm Intelligence and Evolutionary Techniques are attracting the cryptanalysts in the field of cryptography. This paper presents a novel swarm based attack called Ant-Crypto (Ant-Cryptographer) for the cryptanalysis of Data Encryption Standard (DES). Ant-Crypto is based on Binary Ant Colony Optimization (BACO) i.e. a binary search space based directed graph is modeled for efficiently searching the optimum result (an original encryption key, in our case). The reason that why evolutionary techniques are becoming attractive is because of the inapplicability of traditional techniques and brute force attacks against feistel ciphers due to their inherent structure based on high nonlinearity and low autocorrelation. Ant-Crypto uses a known-plaintext attack to recover the secret key of DES which is required to break/ decipher the secret messages. Ant-Crypto iteratively searches for the secret key while generating several candidate optimum keys that are guessed across different runs on the basis of routes completed by ants. These optimum keys are then used to find each individual bit of the 56 bit secret key used during encryption by DES. Ant-Crypto is compared with some other state of the art evolutionary based attacks i.e. Genetic Algorithm and Comprehensive Binary Particle Swarm Optimization. The experimental results show that Ant-Crypto is an effective evolutionary attack against DES and can deduce large number of valuable bits as compared to other evolutionary algorithms; both in terms of time and space complexity.

Keywords: Ant-Crypto, Binary Ant Colony Optimization, Comparison of Optimization Techniques, Cryptanalysis of Data Encryption Standard

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Salabat Khan
Salabat Khan received the BS degree in computer science from Virtual University, Pakistan, in 2007, and the MS degree in computer science from National University of Computer & Emerging Sciences, Islamabad, Pakistan, in 2009. He is currently working towards his Ph.D. degree in computer science from the same university. His research interests include data mining, pattern analysis, medical image processing, bio-informatics, and all kinds of bio-inspired algorithms.

Armughan Ali
Dept. of Computer Science, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Attock Campus, Pakistan

Mehr Yahya Durrani
Dept. of Computer Science, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Attock Campus, Pakistan

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