Conference article

Cracking Matrix Modes of Operation with Goodness-of-Fit Statistics

George Teseleanu
Advanced Technologies Institute, Bucharest, Romania and Simion Stoilow Institute of Mathematics of the Romanian Academy, Bucharest, Romania

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Published in: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Historical Cryptology HistoCrypt 2020

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 171:17, p. 135-145

NEALT Proceedings Series 44:17, p. 135-145

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Published: 2020-05-19

ISBN: 978-91-7929-827-2

ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


The Hill cipher is a classical poly-alphabetical cipher based on matrices. Although known plaintext attacks for the Hill cipher have been known for almost a century, feasible ciphertext only attacks have been developed only about ten years ago and for small matrix dimensions. In this paper, we extend the ciphertext only attacks against the Hill cipher in two ways. First, we describe an attack against the affine version of the Hill cipher. Secondly, we show how to extend the (affine) Hill attack to several modes of operations. We also provide the reader with several experimental results and show how the message’s language can in?uence the presented attacks.


cryptanalysis; Hill cipher; matrix encryption; modes of operation


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