Cryptanalysis of the DECT Standard Cipher

Karsten Nohl, Erik Tews, Ralf-Philipp Weinmann

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    The DECT Standard Cipher (DSC) is a proprietary 64-bit stream cipher based on irregularly clocked LFSRs and a non-linear output combiner. The cipher is meant to provide confidentiality for cordless telephony. This paper illustrates how the DSC was reverse-engineered from a hardware implementation using custom firmware and information on the structure of the cipher gathered from a patent. Beyond disclosing the DSC, the paper proposes a practical attack against DSC that recovers the secret key from 215 keystreams on a standard PC with a success rate of 50% within hours; somewhat faster when a CUDA graphics adapter is available.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationFast Software Encryption
    Subtitle of host publication17th International Workshop, FSE 2010, Seoul, Korea, February 7-10, 2010, Revised Selected Papers
    EditorsSeokhie Hong, Tetsu Iwata
    Place of PublicationBerlin
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-642-13858-4
    ISBN (Print)978-3-642-13857-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    Event17th International Workshop on Fast Software Encryption, FSE 2010 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
    Duration: 7 Feb 201010 Feb 2010
    Conference number: 17

    Publication series

    NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
    ISSN (Print)0302-9743
    ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


    Workshop17th International Workshop on Fast Software Encryption, FSE 2010
    Abbreviated titleFSE
    Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of


    Dive into the research topics of 'Cryptanalysis of the DECT Standard Cipher'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this