Cryptanalysis of Merkle-Hellman cipher using ant colony optimization

Hicham Grari, Siham Lamzabi, Ahmed Azouaoui, Khalid Zine-Dine


The Merkle-Hellman (MH) cryptosystem is one of the earliest public key cryptosystems, which is introduced by Ralph Merkle and Martin Hellman in 1978 based on an NP-hard problem, known as the subset-sum problem. Furthermore, ant colony optimization (ACO) is one of the most nature-inspired meta-heuristic optimization, which simulates the social behaviour of ant colonies. ACO has demonstrated excellent performance in solving a wide variety of complex problems. In this paper, we present a novel ant colony optimization (ACO) based attack for cryptanalysis of MH cipher algorithm, where two different search techniques are used. Moreover, experimental study is included, showing the effectiveness of the proposed attacking scheme. The results show that ACO based attack is more suitable than many other algorithms like genetic algorithm (GA) and particle swarm optimization (PSO).


Ant colony optimization; Cryptanalysis; Merkle-hellman; Meta-heuristic; NP-hard

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IAES International Journal of Artificial Intelligence (IJ-AI)
ISSN/e-ISSN 2089-4872/2252-8938 
This journal is published by the Institute of Advanced Engineering and Science (IAES) in collaboration with Intelektual Pustaka Media Utama (IPMU).

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