1996-02-28 - Re: Remember, RC4 is now PC1

Header Data

From: Mutant Rob <wlkngowl@unix.asb.com>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: b9c1dcc8189de76704f75a444ea6636833558864aed9f5e6ba59592d3e575541
Message ID: <199602280431.XAA21477@bb.hks.net>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1996-02-28 11:32:28 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 28 Feb 1996 19:32:28 +0800

Raw message

From: Mutant Rob <wlkngowl@unix.asb.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 1996 19:32:28 +0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Remember, RC4 is now PC1
Message-ID: <199602280431.XAA21477@bb.hks.net>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain


Bill Stewart wrote:
> >Every time you say RC4 without saying "Trademark of some bunch of
> >lawyer scum" you theoretically break the lawyer made law.  So let us
> >stop doing it.   Serve them right.
> You can always call it "Ron's Code 4" or "Rivest's Code 4" or whatever.

Bah. I don't think there's much RSA can do, esp. if you use a homegrown

If someone says "A stream cipher compatible with RSA's RC4 (tm)" then
what is RSA going to do?

It'd be funny if the next time somebody hacks a proprietary code, if they
make some changes, redo the key schedule, perhaps in mind of 
strengthening the algorithm, and then post it to sci.crypt as "hey, I got
this idea for a new crypto algorithm... what do you think?".  If the 
algorithm is different enough from the proprietary code version, with
no clear connection between them, and the author can give full design 
rationale as if s/he wrote it from scratch, then what's a company to do?

(If the practice of secret/proprietary algorithms continues for the long 
term future then it's quite possible a genuine coincidence like this will 
occur... RC4 [officially secret] and RC5 [not officially secret] are some 
very simply constructed algorithms... what's to say another skilled 
cryptographer could not have reinvented the wheel?)
- ---
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