For the last three decades, hash functions have been an essential element of the cryptography used for securing computers and electronic communications. The SmartDongle is a flash drive produced by MicroWorks and is meant to secure data and assure authorized use of software. In this project, we investigate the security of certain cryptographic techniques used in the current implementation of the SmartDongle’s authentication protocol. In particular, we analyze how the use of Merkle-Damgard hash functions based on a simplified version of the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) can affect the SmartDongle's security. Our study involves extensive computational experimentation and analysis that produced a range of conjectures about the security of the SmartDongle.
Smith, Michael; Brandon Barker; and Babinkostova, Liljana, "Authentication Protocols Based on Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)" (2015). College of Arts and Sciences Presentations. Paper 41.