Two new attacks on the self-shrinking generator

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The self-shrinking generator was introduced in 1994. It is based on the idea behind the shrinking generator and despite its simplicity it has remained remarkably resistant to efficient attacks. Several known plaintext attacks have been proposed on the generator, some operating on a short keystream and others requiting a longer sequence to succeed. In this paper, two new attacks on the self-shrinking generator are proposed. The first attack, using a short known keystream, has the same complexity as the BDD-based attack, which is the best previously known attack. However, while the BDD-based attack requires a huge amount of memory, the proposed algorithm uses almost no memory, leaving it as the preferred alternative. The second attack operates on a longer known keystream, exponential in the length of the LFSR. The attack considers one or several segments of keystream bits and guesses that these bits stem from LFSR segments of some size. It is shown that this attack achieves better complexity than any previously known attack.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3837-3843
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering


  • stream ciphers
  • self-shrinking generator
  • (LFSRs)
  • linear feedback shift registers
  • cryptanalysis
  • key recovery attack


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