Summer Research Fellowship Programme of India's Science Academies

Feasibility of Using Deadlocks in Cryptography to Resist Brute-force/Key-guessing Attacks

Manoj kumar

Aryabhatta College, University of Delhi, New Delhi-110021

Prof. Rajesh Sundaresan & Dr. Arun Babu

Robert Bosch Center for Cyber-Physical System, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru-560012


This report presents the tasks completed during the summer internship at Robert Bosch Centre for Cyber-Physical Systems. Here, we discuss the use of deadlocks in cryptography, in order to resist a brute-force/key guessing attack.

Cryptography is the science of sending and receiving information securely. It involves the process of converting ordinary, plain text into incomprehensible text, and vice versa. These days, cryptography also involves confidentiality, integrity, authentication, and more.

A deadlock (in an operating system) is a state in which a process depends on another process for its execution, which in turn depends on yet another process. Existing research is focused on detecting/avoiding deadlocks in various applications and scenarios. Currently, almost all research in the area of deadlocks is on detecting and preventing deadlocks, and apparently, there are no uses for them. This research problem deals with the feasibility of using deadlocks in cryptography, in order to resist brute-force/key-guessing attacks. This includes designing an encryption/decryption scheme which is most likely to end in a deadlock, while attempting to decrypt a message with an incorrect key. However, for the correct key, the algorithm will decrypt successfully.

One important factor here is the key-guessing penalty (KGP), which is defined as the ratio of the expected time taken by an attacker to attempt decryption with an incorrect key, and the expected time taken by a genuine user to decrypt a message. The main goal of the work is to achieve a high KGP, by using a cryptographic puzzle in order to achieve our goal.

Keywords: Deadlocks, Cryptographic puzzle, encryption, decryption

Written, reviewed, revised, proofed and published with