The Shannon cipher system with a guessing wiretapper
The Shannon theory of cipher systems is combined with recent work on guessing values of random variables. The security of encryption systems is measured in terms of moments of the number of guesses needed for the wiretapper to uncover the plaintext given the cryptogram. While the encrypter aims at maximizing the guessing effort, the wiretapper strives to minimize it, e.g., by ordering guesses according to descending order of posterior probabilities of plaintexts given the cryptogram. For a memoryless plaintext source and a given key rate, a singleletter characterization is given for the highest achievable guessing exponent function, that is, the exponential rate of the th moment of the number of guesses as a function of the plaintext message length. Moreover, we demonstrate asymptotically optimal strategies for both encryption and guessing, which are universal in the sense of being independent of the statistics of the source. The guessing exponent is then investigated as a function of the key rate and related to the large-deviations guessing performance.