In this thesis paper, we survey the literature arising from Stephan Wolfram's original paper, “Cryptography with Cellular Automata” [WOL86] that first suggested stream ciphers could be constructed with cellular automata. All published research directly and indirectly quoting this paper are summarized up until the present. We also present a novel stream cipher design called Sum4 that is shown to have good randomness properties and resistance to approximation using linear finite shift registers. Sum4 is further studied to determine its effective strength with respect to key size given that an attack with a SAT solver is more efficient than a bruteforce attack. Lastly, we give ideas for further research into improving the Sum4 cipher.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Ciphers; Cryptography; Cellular automata
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Department, Program, or Center
Computer Science (GCCIS)
Testa, Joseph S., "Investigations of cellular automata-based stream ciphers" (2008). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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