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BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to an enciphering/deci- 5 phering system for transforming data into an encoded message before transmission thereof and for transforming a received message back into unscrambled data.
For example, the enciphering/deciphering systems GC-201, GC-505 and GC-515 of the company Gretag 10 AG, Regensdorf, Switzerland are typical representatives of such enciphering/deciphering systems. These systems contain an enciphering/deciphering generator as a principal item, whose structure and initial states are determined, among other things, by a primary key, or 15 code, and a non-secret, randomly determined auxiliary code. With each new initialization of the system (first transmission reception, resumption after disruption, etc.), a new randomly determined auxiliary code is automatically generated, transmitted and loaded into 20 the enciphering/deciphering generators on the transmission and reception ends of the system. On the other hand, as a general rule, the secret primary code is changed only after relatively long time intervals.
In the case of older systems, the primary code change 25 takes place by means of direct input of the new code into the generator with a keyboard or the like. The above-named GC-505 and GC-515 systems have a memory on the transmitting and receiving ends, in which a number (e.g. 30) of identical transmission and reception 30 side secret primary codes are kept available. To change the primary code, in the case of the GC-515 system, the memory address or the number of the desired code need be put in only at each station via a selection switch or the like, and the charging or loading of the code into the 35 encipher generator then takes place automatically. Code changes (e.g. to the next highest code number) are undertaken after certain time intervals agreed upon between the partner stations. In the case of the GC-505 system, it is sufficient to select the code address at the 40 calling station, after which it is transmitted automatically to the partner station.
In the case of ciphered transmission, for reasons of safety, it is known that the amount of data (i.e. number of bits) transmitted for a certain code setting must be 45 limited. An upper limit is given by the structure-caused recursion length of the cipher generators to be used. The maximum recursion time, during which one may work with an unchanged code setting, depends on this recursion length and is naturally inversely proportional 50 to the transmission rate. For example, a weekly change of the primary code is recommended for the abovenamed GC-515 system at a transmission rate of 19.2 kb/s. Since the code memory of the GC-515 system contains a total of 30 codes, the memory would have to 55 be replaced every six to seven months if the system is operated continuously. This relatively frequent changing of the primary code and the frequent replacement of the code memory cause an undesirable administrative and personnel effort which, following the trend to 60 higher transmission rates, may become greater in the future.
OBJECT AND BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE
It is thus the object of the invention to provide an improved enciphering/deciphering system of the type defined previously such that its operation relating to
selection and change of the ciphering codes is simplified as much as possible and is done completely automatically.
In a system according to the invention, the primary code is selected by a random address produced by a random number generator, which preferably is the one present for producing the auxiliary code, instead of by an intentional, manual selection of a code address or number (as for example with the aforementioned equipment). All code addresses are equally probable, so that a statistically relatively well-equalized operating time of each individual primary code is guaranteed over a long period of time. In particular, with limited or sporadic operation of the system, the degree of freedom of the code memory is cryptologicaJly better utilized by the frequent, statistical change of the primary code. The automatic change of code simplifies the code management and allows the ciphering equipment practically to become a "black box" type of unit not requiring operator input. Finally, the ciphering equipment becomes cheaper by elimination of manual code selection and the operating elements required for it.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a first embodiment of the present invention;
FIGS. 2-4 are graphical sketches for facilitating an explanation of the method of operation of the present invention;
FIGS. 5 and 6 are block diagrams of two other embodiments of the present invention; and
FIG. 7 is another graphical sketch for providing a functional explanation of the invention.
The enciphering/deciphering system shown in FIG. 1 consists of an enciphering section E and a deciphering section D, which are connected to each other by a data connection designated in general as a channel C.
The enciphering section E essentially contains an enciphering generator 11 and a load control 12 which are part of the enciphering unit 1, a primary code memory 2, a random number generator 3 and a multiplex unit 4. In a similar manner, the deciphering section D includes a deciphering unit S with a deciphering generator 51 and a load control 52, a primary code memory 6 and a demultiplex unit 7.
The multiplex unit 4 includes a counter 41, a switch 42 controlled by the counter, and a memory 43 storing a synchronizing sequence. Instead of the memory, of course a corresponding generator which generates the synchronizing sequence on request can be provided.
Analogous to the multiplex unit 4, the demultiplex unit includes a detection stage 71 for recognizing the synchronizing sequence, a counter 72 and a switch 73 controlled by the counter 72.
The design of the enciphering/deciphering system shown in FIG. 1 corresponds to the ciphering systems GC-505 and GC-515 of the company Gretag AG, Regensdorf, Switzerland, named above, except for a few essential special features. These ciphering systems have been sold world-wide for several years, so that their conception and their method of operation are known to the experts. The present description is thus limited to the essentials for an understanding of the invention, whereby everything which is not specially explained is
to be assumed functionally similar to the two aforementioned ciphering systems.
The general functioning method of the described system is as follows. To make a connection, an initializing command is first given over an input terminal 9 5 present on the enciphering section E. The initializing cycle is commenced by this command, wherein the enciphering and the deciphering sections are synchronized by means of the synchronizing sequence. An auxiliary code AK is produced by the random number '0 generator 3, transmitted and read into the enciphering and deciphering generators. Furthermore a random selection address KAj is generated by the random number generator 3 for the primary code PK/ stored in the code memory 2; the address is transmitted and the cor- 15 responding primary code PK; is read into the enciphering and deciphering generators.
This initializing cycle takes place the same as in the case of the previously described known ciphering systems GC-505 and GC-515, with the only exception, forming the main part of the invention, that the selection of the primary code is controlled by the random number generator 3, rather than by hand. In terms of switching technology, this is accomplished by the fact ^ that the input terminal 44 of the multiplex unit 4 and the address input terminal of the memory 2 are connected with the random number generator 3, rather than a manual input mechanism.
The initializing cycle is illustrated in FIG. 2. First, J0 the synchronizing sequence SS, then the address KA/ for the actual primary code PK/, and finally the randomly determined auxiliary code AK are transmitted. The two latter signals naturally could be reversed in sequence, or the address could be contained in the auxil- 35 iary code in some kind of form. The counters 41 and 72 (the latter after reset by the detection stage 71) monitor the just transmitted information (synchronization sequence, code address etc.) and when reaching the given length (number of bits) of this information, cause a switching of the switches 42 and 73 into the switch positions corresponding to the correct data flow, as well as actuation of the load control 52 in the deciphering section and the loading of codes PK and AK into the deciphering generator 51. 45
After concluding the initializing cycle, the enciphering and deciphering generators are synchronized and loaded with the same primary and auxiliary codes PK/ and AK. The switches 42 and 73 are located again in their initial positions indicated in FIG. 1. Now, un- 50 scrambled data CD is fed to the enciphering unit 1, and enciphered in a known way. The resulting coded data CT is then transmitted, via the multiplex unit 4, channel C and the demultiplex unit, to the deciphering unit 5 and is then transformed there back into the original 55 unscrambled data CD.
The primary code PKy which is used is randomly selected by the random number generator 3 upon each new initialization. The random number generator can have a separate output terminal for the address informa- 60 tion, but it is also conceivable to randomly derive the address information directly from the auxiliary code which is present anyway, e.g. perhaps by means of a polynomial factor.
The address of the randomly selected primary code, 65 which, for example, is selected by the calling station, is clearly transmitted to the receiver, preferably with the use of error-correcting or error-recognizing codes.
Each address is equally probable in the random selcc tion of the primary code from the stored supply. A "bookkeeping" type of operation is thus not necessary to avoid repeated calling of the same code.
In a practical example, the code memory, e.g., can store 256 different codes of 64 bits each. Such a memory can be realized in a single integrated programmable read only memory (PROM). In the case of five year operation of the system, each code would be used for one week on the average. In the case of new initializing in intervals of 5-6 hours on the average, each code would be used on the average of about 32 times during the five year operating time, which should provide a relatively good statistical equalization of the operating times for the individual codes.
A new initialization of the system, and thus a change of the primary code (and in the given case also the auxiliary code), is generally undertaken in the case of network interruption, interruption of conduction, activation of a self test, loss of a byte cycle and change of the transmission direction. A new primary code can furthermore be used when a given maximum amount of data Nma;t is processed. Advantageously, the maximum amount of data amounts to only a fraction of the recursion length of the enciphering generator and is furthermore small enough to allow one to expect a statistically equalized mixing of all codes during the intended operating time of the code memory.
The events leading to a new initialization are summarized in FIG. 3. The small boxes 92-96 symbolize sensors or detectors for the concerned events, whereby the small boxes 93 and 95 respond to all possible disturbances. The output signals of the event sensors are combined in an OR-gate 91, which is connected with the initializing input terminal $ of the enciphering section 1, so that an initializing is triggered with the actuation of some of the sensors.
It will be appreciated that the representation according to FIG. 3 is purely symbolic and in reality of course other events can be provided for.
On the whole, the entire ciphering system is advantageously realized in the form of a micro-computer system, in which the individual operations and data flow take place in a program-controlled manner.
For reasons of speed or for other reasons, individual components, as for example parts of the enciphering generator, etc., can naturally be implemented with hardware. The present description and the figures are intended to explain only the functional elements essential for the invention, and it makes no difference whether these groups are implemented by specific hardware or by means of software in a micro-computer system. The previously described GC-505 system is one example of a ciphering system implemented by a microcomputer system.
Instead of changing the primary code PK only upon a new initialization, the code change can also be undertaken according to the following principle illustrated by the example of FIG. 4. At the beginning of transmission, a new initialization takes place, whereby a first randomly determined auxiliary code AK 1 and a first, randomly selected primary code are produced and read out of the memory 2. It is assumed in FIG. 4 that a supply of eight primary codes, which are numbered from 0-7, is stored in the memory. The first selected primary code is denoted in this example by the number 3. Enciphering and deciphering are now carried out with this code setting, AK 1-PK 3. After processing a given maximum
amount of data Nma^, which naturally depends on the recursion length of the enciphering generator, a new primary code is selected with the auxiliary code AK 1 remaining the same, and the primary code portion of the code setting is adjusted. For purposes of simplicity, as a 5 rule the new primary code is the same as the code with the next following memory address, in the present example therefore the primary code is No. 4. With this new code combination AK 1-PK 4, operation is carried out, assuming disturbance-free operation, until the max- 10 imum amount of data Nmax is processed. Then the following primary code is selected and so on, until all the codes (in the present example eight) in the memory have been used. Thereafter, a new initializing takes place automatically with the generation of a new, ran- 15 dom auxiliary code AK 2 and a new starting address, for example No. 7, for the primary code PK.
The operation proceeds in this manner until some event occurs which forces a new initialization. In FIG. 4, these events are designated by the symbol ® . After 20 initialization has taken place, the operation continues in the above-described manner, as can be recognized from FIG. 4.
The previously described procedure has the advantage that a code change can be undertaken without 25 interrupting the data transmission after processing the maximum given amount of data, Nmax, since the simple incrementing of the storage addresses for the code address need not be transmitted.
The length NmflJt of the maximum data amount of 30 course need not necessarily be constant. For example, the primary code change could also take place according to the particular data package. Another possibility would be to undertake the code change, that is to say the incrementing of the primary code addresses, in se- 35 cret, possibly pseudo-randomly determined, time intervals.
A circuit which practically realizes the code change scheme described with respect to FIG. 4 is illustrated in FIG. 5, whereby only the elements necessary for an 40 understanding of this embodiment are represented and the remainder is as shown in FIG. 1. In this embodiment of the ciphering system according to the invention, the individual function groups are preferably realized by a micro-computer system. 45
In addition to the elements shown in FIG. 1, the transmission end of the system shown in FIG. 5 includes an address register 21 for the memory 2, a counter 22 for the determination of the processed data, and a code counter 23. The reception end of the system includes an 50 address register 61 and a data counter 62.
Upon a new initialization, all counters are reset and the first random address KA for the primary code is loaded into the address register 21, and processing of the data begins. As soon as the data counter 22 reaches 55 a predetermined number ~Nmax, the address register 21 and the code counter 23 are incremented, and a new primary code is read into the enciphering generator. Logically, the same occurs in the diciphering section. When the code counter 23 reaches the count NK corre- 60 sponding to the number of primary codes PK present in memory 2, it causes a new initialization over the ORgate 91 and the input terminal 9 and so on.
The code change principle described up to now can be generalized in the sense of better memory utilization. 65 Instead of subdividing the given memory capacity N X M of the primary code memory into N independent codes of M bits each, a much greater number of codes
can be housed in the memory when each code consists of a specified arrangement of M of the total MXN information elements. In the most extreme case, where each of the M code bits per code would be determined by a random address, (M XN)M different code combinations would be possible, whereby naturally only 2M codes would be mutually distinguishable. Such selected primary codes would have practically ideal random character, but the statistical use of the secret elements would be insufficient and the address information to be transmitted would be too long for practical purposes.
A practically more attractive solution is the counting off of M code bits to a bit selected randomly from the total of M X N bits. Now, instead of N, we have M X N codes, whereby additional code pairs PK/-^ and PKj+p exist for each code PK/, which PK/ overlap (l§(iSM-l) by M-u. bits. Not all MxN codes are absolutely different, but the degree of difference is sufficiently great without subjecting the memory content to special limitations.
FIG. 7 illustrates this type of code organization in the memory 2 or 6 for N=2 and M=4. As can be recognized, eight different codes are possible with the starting addresses 0-7, whereby neighboring codes actually mutually overlap by 3 bits.
The mutual overlapping of the primary codes PK can be kept small, if so desired. This can be achieved, for example, by selecting shorter starting addresses, which define groups of bits instead of individual bits. As an example, one can imagine the arrangement shown in FIG. 7 as bytes instead of bits. A byte-addressing as the smallest unit is especially favorable in terms of software and hardware economy with most micro-computer systems.
For example, the following possibilities exist with a fixed value memory (e.g. PROM) of 2048 X 8 bits memory capacity, with a code length of M = 64 bits:
FIG. 6 illustrates an embodiment of a ciphering system which is arranged for this type of code organization. It has overlapping codes. A distinction is made as compared with the embodiment according to FIG. 5, only by an additional address register 24 and 64 and an pulse generator 25 or 65. Furthermore, a transcoder 26 or 66 is provided, which in itself does not affect the code organization, and in the following description will not be considered.
The primary code memories 2 and 6, for example have a format of 2048 X 8 bits and therefore need an 11-bit address for the addressing of a byte. Each primary code may include 64 bits.
Upon initialization, an 8-bit address formed by the random number generator 3 is first read into the second address registers 24 or 64. At the same time, the eight higher value bits of this address information are included with the 8-bit address and loaded into the first address register 21 or 61. Now, the pulse generators 25 and 65 generate a sequence of eight cycle pulses, which increment the first address registers eight times. After this, eight successive bytes are addressed in succession