on the paper "Side Channel Cryptanalysis of Product Ciphers"

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Jul 12, 2010, 5:48:14 AM7/12/10
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Hello,

I'm referring to a 2000 paper by J. Kelsey, B. Schneier, D. Wagner and
C. Hall. In Section 6 they work out a Hamming-weight cryptanalysis
against DES. They qualify this as a kind of ciphertext-only attack
(2nd paragraph).

One point of the attack which is not clear to me is the following: at
some point (last par. of p. 13), the attacker has to guess the 6 bits
secret key entering the first SBox and then "compute the Hamming
weight of that S-Box's output". This last task, however, would seem to
require knowledge of the first 6 bit of *plaintext* on the part of the
attacker. If this is true, I do not understand in what sense this
attack can be classified as cipertext-only.

Any clarification on this point would be most welcome.

Cheers,
MB

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