Lecture Notes in Computer Science vol:3017 pages:245-259
FSE 2004 date:February 05-07, 2004
The paper presents a new statistical bias in the distribution of the first two output bytes of the RC4 keystream generator. The number of outputs required to reliably distinguish RC4 outputs from random strings using this bias is only 2(25) bytes. Most importantly, the bias does not disappear even if the initial 256 bytes are dropped. This paper also proposes a new pseudorandom bit generator, named RC4A, which is based on RC4's exchange shuffle model. It is shown that the new cipher offers increased resistance against most attacks that apply to RC4. RC4A uses fewer operations per output byte and offers the prospect of implementations that can exploit its inherent parallelism to improve its performance further.