A progress report on subliminal-free channels

Mike Burmester, Yvo G. Desraedt, Toshiya Itoh, Kouichi Sakurai, Hiroki Shizuya, Moti Yung

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

13 Citations (Scopus)


Subliminal channels are closely related to covert channelsand are used to hide secret information. They abuse the communications resource. Subliminal channels can be introduced in many cryptographicsystems, and exploit the inherent randomness of the systems. For example, secret information can be hidden in the randomness of the authenticators of an authentication system. Similarly secret information can be hidden in the randomness (of the prover or verifier) of both zeroknowledge proof systems and signature systems. To establish a subliminal channel the cryptosystem is abused, that is, used in a different way and for a different purpose than intended by its designer. A particularly obnoxious type of subliminal channel may be activated by abortive halting. For state-of-the-art security, it may be desirable to detect, and if possible prevent, subliminal channels. In this paper we address the problem of whether it is possible to develop (and if so, how) appropriate techniquesfor detecting or preventing the use of such channels. Several such techniques have already been proposed in the literature, and are suitable for many systems. We review these. We also consider recent developments, in particular with regards to the formal security requirements and their impact on research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformation Hiding - 1st International Workshop, Proceedings
EditorsRoss Anderson
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783540619963
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Event1st International Workshop on Information Hiding, 1996 - Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: May 30 1996Jun 1 1996

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other1st International Workshop on Information Hiding, 1996
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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