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Durham e-Theses
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Stream ciphers for secure display

Devlin, Iain (2007) Stream ciphers for secure display. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

[img]Archive (ZIP) (Verilog hardware description language code. Code can be read by any general purpose text-editor but is primarily aimed at Altera's Quartus 7 design environment and the Cyclone family of FPGAs. Also related stream cipher files.) - Supplemental Material


In any situation where private, proprietary or highly confidential material is being dealt with, the need to consider aspects of data security has grown ever more important. It is usual to secure such data from its source, over networks and on to the intended recipient. However, data security considerations typically stop at the recipient's processor, leaving connections to a display transmitting raw data which is increasingly in a digital format and of value to an adversary. With a progression to wireless display technologies the prominence of this vulnerability is set to rise, making the implementation of 'secure display' increasingly desirable. Secure display takes aspects of data security right to the display panel itself, potentially minimising the cost, component count and thickness of the final product. Recent developments in display technologies should help make this integration possible. However, the processing of large quantities of time-sensitive data presents a significant challenge in such resource constrained environments. Efficient high- throughput decryption is a crucial aspect of the implementation of secure display and one for which the widely used and well understood block cipher may not be best suited. Stream ciphers present a promising alternative and a number of strong candidate algorithms potentially offer the hardware speed and efficiency required. In the past, similar stream ciphers have suffered from algorithmic vulnerabilities. Although these new-generation designs have done much to respond to this concern, the relatively short 80-bit key lengths of some proposed hardware candidates, when combined with ever-advancing computational power, leads to the thesis identifying exhaustive search of key space as a potential attack vector. To determine the value of protection afforded by such short key lengths a unique hardware key search engine for stream ciphers is developed that makes use of an appropriate data element to improve search efficiency. The simulations from this system indicate that the proposed key lengths may be insufficient for applications where data is of long-term or high value. It is suggested that for the concept of secure display to be accepted, a longer key length should be used.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2007
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:28

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