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On Authentication with HMAC and Non-Random Properties
Authors: Christian Rechberger, Vincent RijmenAbstract:
MAC algorithms can provide cryptographically secure authentication services. One of the most popular algorithms in commercial applications is HMAC based on the hash functions MD5 or SHA-1. In the light of new collision search methods for members of the MD4 family including SHA-1, the security of HMAC based on these hash functions is reconsidered. We present a new method to recover both the inner- and the outer key used in HMAC when instantiated with a concrete hash function by observing text/MAC pairs. In addition to collisions, also other non-random properties of the hash function are used in this new attack. Among the examples of the proposed method, the first theoretical full key recovery attack on NMAC-MD5 is presented. Other examples are distinguishing, forgery and partial or full key recovery attacks on NMAC/HMAC-SHA-1 with a reduced number of steps (up to 61 out of 80). This information about the new, reduced security margin serves as an input to the selection of algorithms for authentication purposes.
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