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Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 31;7:41789. doi: 10.1038/srep41789.

Ciphertext-only attack on optical cryptosystem with spatially incoherent illumination: from the view of imaging through scattering medium.

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Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Devices and Systems of Ministry of Education and Guangdong Province, College of Optoelectronics Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China.


Security analysis is important and necessary for a new cryptosystem. In this paper, we evaluate the security risk of the optical cryptosystem with spatially incoherent illumination from the view of imaging through scattering medium and then demonstrate that it is vulnerable to ciphertext-only attack. The proposed ciphertext-only attack method relies on the optical memory effect for speckle correlations, which reveals a fact that the ciphertext's autocorrelation is essentially identical to the plaintext's own autocorrelation. Furthermore, by employing of an improved dynamic hybrid input-output phase-retrieval algorithm, we show that a plaintext image can be directly reconstructed from the autocorrelation of its corresponding ciphertext without any prior knowledge about the plaintext or the phase keys. Meanwhile, the theory analysis and experiment results will also be provided to verify the validity and feasibility of our proposed ciphertext-only attack method. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time to report optical cryptanalysis from the point of view of imaging through scattering medium and we believe this contribution will open up an avenue to deepen the investigation of optical cryptosystems.

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