**NOTE**: I originally posted this on Snipplr.

This code is public domain.

Improved ARC4 (IARC4) contains a number of proposed improvements over naive ARC4:

- Uses KSA from VMPC minus an IV.
- Uses 2 state spaces (RC4A). Splits the key and nonce to produce a key and nonce for each state space. Each subkey and subnonce is XOR'd together to produce a new subkey.
**TODO**: They should be hashed, but they are not currently, until I select a hash function with an appropriately sized output, which won't limit the keyspace available to IARC4. - Takes a nonce alongside the key. The key and nonce must be random and of even, equal length, with 512 bytes per key/nonce suggested.
- Drops the first 8192 (4096 per state space) iterations of the PRNG (RC4-drop8192).
- A KeyExpiredError is raised after 255 iterations of the PRNG, excluding the initial drop. Passing the
`expires`

option to IARC4 will alter this limit.

This code should not be considered secure. It has not been cryptanalyzed and should not be used in production. This code is strictly experimental.

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#!/usr/bin/env python3
# This code is public domain.
#
# Improved ARC4 (IARC4) contains a number of proposed improvements over naive ARC4:
#
# - Uses KSA from VMPC minus an IV.
# - Uses 2 state spaces (RC4A). Splits the key and nonce to produce a key and nonce for each
# state space. Each subkey and subnonce is XOR'd together to produce a new subkey.
# - Takes a nonce alongside the key. The key and nonce must be random and of even, equal
# length, with 512 bytes per key/nonce suggested. **TODO**: They should be hashed, but they
# are not currently, until I select a hash function with an appropriately sized output, which
# won't limit the keyspace available to IARC4.
# - Drops the first 8192 (4096 per state space) iterations of the PRNG (RC4-drop8192).
# - A KeyExpiredError is raised after 255 iterations of the PRNG, excluding the initial drop.
# Passing the `expires` option to IARC4 will alter this limit.
#
# This code should not be considered secure. It has not been cryptanalyzed and should not be used
# in production. This code is strictly experimental.
from bitstring import BitArray
from Crypto.Random import random
# Generates a random n-byte string. Makes no checks to ensure uniqueness.
def random_bytes(n_bytes=512):
return BitArray(uint=random.getrandbits(n_bytes*8), length=(n_bytes*8)).bytes
# VMPC state preparation without vector
def prepare_state(key, state_size=256):
key_size = len(key)
state = [i for i in range(state_size)]
j = 0
for n in range(state_size*3):
i = n % state_size
j = state[(((j + state[i]) % state_size) + key[i % key_size]) % state_size]
state[i] ^= state[j]
state[j] ^= state[i]
state[i] ^= state[j]
return state
# Generic error (e.g., key and nonce of different lengths)
class KeyError(Exception): pass
# Raised if a key/nonce combination has been used too many times already (255).
class KeyExpiredError(KeyError): pass
# Uses 2 state spaces (RC4A)
def pseudorandom_generator(state_a, state_b, state_size=256, expires=8447):
i = 0
j_a = 0
j_b = 0
n = 0
while True:
n += 1
i = (i + 1) % state_size
j_a = (j_a + state_a[i]) % state_size
state_a[i] ^= state_a[j_a]
state_a[j_a] ^= state_a[i]
state_a[i] ^= state_a[j_a]
yield state_b[(state_a[i] + state_a[j_a]) % state_size]
# Limit the PRNG to 255 iterations after dropping 8192 iterations
if (n == expires): break
n += 1
j_b = (j_b + state_b[i]) % state_size
state_b[i] ^= state_b[j_b]
state_b[j_b] ^= state_b[i]
state_b[i] ^= state_b[j_b]
yield state_a[(state_b[i] + state_b[j_b]) % state_size]
raise KeyExpiredError
# Main keystream generation and ciphering.
def IARC4(key, nonce, drop=8192, expires=255):
key_length = len(key)
# Keys and nonces must be of even, equal lengths, 512 bytes apiece is recommended.
if ((key_length != len(nonce)) or ((key_length % 2) != 0)):
raise KeyError
# Split key and nonce in half to gain key_a, key_b, nonce_a, and nonce_b
key_split = key_length >> 1
key_a = BitArray(bytes=key[:key_split])
key_b = BitArray(bytes=key[key_split:])
nonce_a = BitArray(bytes=nonce[:key_split])
nonce_b = BitArray(bytes=nonce[key_split:])
# XOR keys and nonces.
key_a = (key_a ^ nonce_a).bytes
key_b = (key_b ^ nonce_b).bytes
# Prepare the PRNG
state_a = prepare_state(key_a)
state_b = prepare_state(key_b)
keystream = pseudorandom_generator(state_a, state_b, expires=(drop + expires))
# Discard first 4096 iterations of each state space
for dropped in range(drop): next(keystream)
# Return the prepared PRNG to begin accepting input
def _IARC4(text):
# Combine the keystream and the text stream
for key_byte, text_byte in zip(keystream, text):
yield key_byte ^ text_byte
return _IARC4
# Test Vector for IARC4
#
# nonce: b'\x01' + bytes(255) + b'\x02' + bytes(255)
# key: b'key_a' + bytes(251) + b'key_b' + bytes(251)
# plaintext: b'Plaintext'
# ciphertext: b'\xb1\xc5\x8d)\x90\xf9WN\x94'
if (__name__ == "__main__"):
nonce = b'\x01' + bytes(255) + b'\x02' + bytes(255)
key = b'key_a' + bytes(251) + b'key_b' + bytes(251)
plaintext = b'Plaintext'
stream_length = len(plaintext)
encrypter = IARC4(key, nonce)
encryption = encrypter(plaintext)
ciphertext = bytes([next(encryption) for i in range(stream_length)])
decrypter = IARC4(key, nonce)
decryption = decrypter(ciphertext)
plaintext = bytes([next(decryption) for i in range(stream_length)])
print("nonce: %s\nkey: %s\nplaintext: %s\nciphertext: %s" %
(nonce, key, plaintext, ciphertext))