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What Should You Know About White-box Cryptography?

Cryptography, in simple, refers to common type of security processes including techniques like that of authentication, data integrity, data confidentiality, and non-repudiation. The usual aim of cryptography is to hide crucial information from cyber attackers, hackers, and other malicious perpetrators and make it available just to the intended party. With the development of the cryptographic environment, cryptoanalysis methods and even that of attack methods have also grown meaningfully.

What is white box type of cryptography?

The idea or concept of white-box cryptography was produced in the year 2002 to attain the highest possible security without depending on any sort of dedicated hardware.  If you are wondering what really is this white box concept of cryptography, well, white-box type of cryptography is a robust solution purposed at protecting secret keys from getting disclosed in a proper software implementation. It is fundamentally a way to protect the software implantations of diverse types of cryptographic algorithms from varied kinds of vulnerabilities. It blends encryption and obfuscation techniques to embed secret keys inside the application code.

The prime aim of white-box type of cryptography is to get together code and keys in a distinct way and make them vague to a hacker/attacker so that the concluding program is safe to run in an unconfident environment. This Whitebox type of cryptography is mainly crucial to app developers as it assists them in the procedure of minimizing security risks for diverse devices. For instance, varied consumer devices should be secured for making payments so that confidential information is not really accessible to a wrongdoer. Whitebox type of cryptography is generally designed to avert this exposure as keys here are arbitrarily stored as data as well as code.

Kerckhoffs’ principle of cryptography

One of the main design principles in the realm of cryptography is Kerckhoffs’ principle. This is the principle that simply states that a cryptosystem requires to be fully safe even if diverse aspects of the system, excluding for the key, is present in public knowledge. Here the concept or idea of white-box type of cryptography tries to fulfil both Kerchhoff’s cryptography principle and that of the openness of the platform. This simply means that a hacker is going to have full access to algorithms, implementation, memory and even that of protection method used, and its security depends on the confidentiality of the random data and even the secret key.

Working of Whitebox type of cryptography

White-box cryptography mainly works by making use of different mathematical techniques to flawlessly blend keys and app code and guard the sensitive cryptographic operations. This averts such keys from getting found or extracted by attackers or hackers from the app.

It is also crucial to note that every single white-box cryptography implementation works distinctly, and most instances are confidential to that of creator. Different white-box implementations may encompass varied techniques like that of runtime code modifications, proper protections against static analysis, and even more.

The general reason behind the admiration of white-box type of cryptography is that while guarding the program using white-box, it is expected that the attacker/hacker has proper access to all three aspects, encompassing the execution memory, executable binary, and the call intercepts of the cpu. Here are a few of the steps that you can take to successfully hide the keys in such a case-

Partial evaluation

Though operating, it is changed based on the key. For instance, in the replacement phase of a block cipher, the lookup table gets changed to be reliant on the key. 


All types of other operations are even transformed to use lookup tables. This is mainly possible because lookup tables can describe any sort of function.

Randomization and de linearization

Now, an encoded chain of lookup tables can be formed up with the same functionality as the original type of chain but conceals the key. An obfuscated algorithm gets developed with the use of this chain.

In a general sense, white-box type of cryptography obscures and mixes up both the execution flow and that of internal data of an algorithm in a manner that it turns out to be much difficult for a hacker or attacker to simply separate and classify cryptographic keys. This averts the possibilities of the keys from getting found or extracted from any application. 

Quick glimpse into applications of Whitebox type of cryptography

In most of the instances, Whitebox type of cryptography is used to guard cryptographic implementations in diverse apps executed on open devices, like smartphones, pcs and even that of tablets, when the developer is needed to accomplish the highest level of security in the absence of any dependency on secure hardware elements.

Various types of software applications store and even that of handle private and sensitive data and may get benefit immensely from white-box type of cryptography. In some of the sectors or industries, it is, in fact, a critical component of their security policy. Some of the instances of specific applications can be as under:

Medical applications

Most of the medical device information is encrypted and sent making use of a compact cipher. Other than this, this medical data could even be signed to guarantee its integrity. Characteristically, a key is kind of protected inside the boundaries of a medical device as well as and on cloud servers both. The applications or programs functioning on the smartphone or desktop pc are the feeblest link in terms of security.

White-box type of cryptography, in this case, assists to guard both the decryption and signing keys, hence promising the safety of medical data or that of records from either getting stolen or tampered with by attackers.

Contactless neck type of payments

Different mobile payment apps in the present time are using near field communication (neck) technology to alter commercially available phones into contactless payment terminals. These can get instrumental for enterprises, mainly the ones with restricted resources, to invest in professional point-of-sale systems. However, one of the main issues here remains overall security.

You know white -box type of cryptography has been declared the bests way for ensuring highly flexible data protection for the overall cryptographic keys in such applications. It is done by the payment card industry security standards council (ppc sac). The coolest thing is that this is irrespective of the device they run.


So, since you have proper idea about white box cryptography, make sure that you discuss your plans with experts like Appsealing

Am Content Writer at Newswire Club, Here am sharing my ideas about blogging, business latest trends and tips.

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