Code-based cryptosystems using generalized concatenated codes

Sven Puchinger, Sven Müelich, Karim Ishak, Martin Bossert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The security of public-key cryptosystems is mostly based on number-theoretic problems like factorization and the discrete logarithm. There exists an algorithm which solves these problems in polynomial time using a quantum computer. Hence, these cryptosystems will be broken as soon as quantum computers emerge. Code-based cryptography is an alternative which resists quantum computers since its security is based on an NP-complete problem, namely decoding of random linear codes. The McEliece cryptosystem is the most prominent scheme to realize code-based cryptography. Many code classes were proposed for the McEliece cryptosystem, but most of them are broken by now. Sendrier suggested to use ordinary concatenated codes, however, he also presented an attack on such codes. This work investigates generalized concatenated codes to be used in the McEliece cryptosystem. We examine the application of Sendrier’s attack on generalized concatenated codes and present alternative methods for both partly finding the code structure and recovering the plaintext from a cryptogram. Further, we discuss modifications of the cryptosystem making it resistant against these attacks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationApplications of Computer Algebra
EditorsIlias S. Kotsireas, Edgar Martinez-Moro
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages27
ISBN (Print)9783319569307
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event21st International Conference on Applications of Computer Algebra, ACA 2015 - Kalamata, Greece
Duration: 20 Jul 201523 Jul 2015

Publication series

NameSpringer Proceedings in Mathematics and Statistics
ISSN (Print)2194-1009
ISSN (Electronic)2194-1017


Conference21st International Conference on Applications of Computer Algebra, ACA 2015


  • Code-based cryptosystems
  • Generalized concatenated codes
  • McEliece cryptosystem
  • Post-Quantum cryptography


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