Playing ‘Hide and Seek’ with Stored Keys

  • Adi Shamir
  • Nicko van Someren
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1648)


In this paper we consider the problem of efficiently locating cryptographic keys hidden in gigabytes of data, such as the complete file system of a typical PC. We describe efficient algebraic attacks which can locate secret RSA keys in long bit strings, and more general statistical attacks which can find arbitrary cryptographic keys embedded in large programs. These techniques can be used to apply “lunchtime attacks” on signature keys used by financial institutes, or to defeat “authenticode” type mechanisms in software packages.


False Alarm High Entropy Code Authentication Computation Overhead Modular Exponentiation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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    Aucsmith, D.: Tamper resistant software. Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Information Hiding 1174 (1996) 317–333.Google Scholar
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    Rivest, R., Shamir, A., Adleman, L.: Cryptographic communications system and method. U.S. Patent no. 4,405,829 (1983).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adi Shamir
    • 1
  • Nicko van Someren
    • 2
  1. 1.Applied Math Dept.The Weizmann Institute of ScienceRehovotIsrael
  2. 2.nCipher Corporation LimitedCambridgeEngland

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