7.3. Backdoor Attacks

Backdoor attacks on a public-key cryptosystem refer to attacks embedded in the key generation procedure (hardware or software) by the designer of the procedure. A contaminated cryptosystem is one in which the key generation procedure comes with hidden backdoors. A good backdoor attack should meet the following criteria:

  • To a user, keys generated by the contaminated system should be indistinguishable from those generated by an honest version of the cryptosystem. For example, the parameters and keys must look sufficiently random.

  • Keys generated by the contaminated system should satisfy the input/output requirements of an honest system. For example, for the RSA cryptosystem the user should be allowed to opt for small public ...

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