RFC 2268  A Description of the RC2(r) Encryption Algorithm
(Formats: TXT)
(Errata Exists)
Network Working Group R. Rivest
Request for Comments: 2268 MIT Laboratory for Computer Science
Category: Informational and RSA Data Security, Inc.
March 1998
A Description of the RC2(r) Encryption Algorithm
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does
not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this
memo is unlimited.
Copyright Notice
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1998). All Rights Reserved.
1. Introduction
This memo is an RSA Laboratories Technical Note. It is meant for
informational use by the Internet community.
This memo describes a conventional (secretkey) block encryption
algorithm, called RC2, which may be considered as a proposal for a
DES replacement. The input and output block sizes are 64 bits each.
The key size is variable, from one byte up to 128 bytes, although the
current implementation uses eight bytes.
The algorithm is designed to be easy to implement on 16bit
microprocessors. On an IBM AT, the encryption runs about twice as
fast as DES (assuming that key expansion has been done).
1.1 Algorithm description
We use the term "word" to denote a 16bit quantity. The symbol + will
denote twoscomplement addition. The symbol & will denote the bitwise
"and" operation. The term XOR will denote the bitwise "exclusiveor"
operation. The symbol ~ will denote bitwise complement. The symbol ^
will denote the exponentiation operation. The term MOD will denote
the modulo operation.
There are three separate algorithms involved:
Key expansion. This takes a (variablelength) input key and
produces an expanded key consisting of 64 words K[0],...,K[63].
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Encryption. This takes a 64bit input quantity stored in words
R[0], ..., R[3] and encrypts it "in place" (the result is left in
R[0], ..., R[3]).
Decryption. The inverse operation to encryption.
2. Key expansion
Since we will be dealing with eightbit byte operations as well as
16bit word operations, we will use two alternative notations
for referring to the key buffer:
For word operations, we will refer to the positions of the
buffer as K[0], ..., K[63]; each K[i] is a 16bit word.
For byte operations, we will refer to the key buffer as
L[0], ..., L[127]; each L[i] is an eightbit byte.
These are alternative views of the same data buffer. At all times it
will be true that
K[i] = L[2*i] + 256*L[2*i+1].
(Note that the loworder byte of each K word is given before the
highorder byte.)
We will assume that exactly T bytes of key are supplied, for some T
in the range 1 <= T <= 128. (Our current implementation uses T = 8.)
However, regardless of T, the algorithm has a maximum effective key
length in bits, denoted T1. That is, the search space is 2^(8*T), or
2^T1, whichever is smaller.
The purpose of the keyexpansion algorithm is to modify the key
buffer so that each bit of the expanded key depends in a complicated
way on every bit of the supplied input key.
The key expansion algorithm begins by placing the supplied Tbyte key
into bytes L[0], ..., L[T1] of the key buffer.
The key expansion algorithm then computes the effective key length in
bytes T8 and a mask TM based on the effective key length in bits T1.
It uses the following operations:
T8 = (T1+7)/8;
TM = 255 MOD 2^(8 + T1  8*T8);
Thus TM has its 8  (8*T8  T1) least significant bits set.
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For example, with an effective key length of 64 bits, T1 = 64, T8 = 8
and TM = 0xff. With an effective key length of 63 bits, T1 = 63, T8
= 8 and TM = 0x7f.
Here PITABLE[0], ..., PITABLE[255] is an array of "random" bytes
based on the digits of PI = 3.14159... . More precisely, the array
PITABLE is a random permutation of the values 0, ..., 255. Here is
the PITABLE in hexadecimal notation:
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 a b c d e f
00: d9 78 f9 c4 19 dd b5 ed 28 e9 fd 79 4a a0 d8 9d
10: c6 7e 37 83 2b 76 53 8e 62 4c 64 88 44 8b fb a2
20: 17 9a 59 f5 87 b3 4f 13 61 45 6d 8d 09 81 7d 32
30: bd 8f 40 eb 86 b7 7b 0b f0 95 21 22 5c 6b 4e 82
40: 54 d6 65 93 ce 60 b2 1c 73 56 c0 14 a7 8c f1 dc
50: 12 75 ca 1f 3b be e4 d1 42 3d d4 30 a3 3c b6 26
60: 6f bf 0e da 46 69 07 57 27 f2 1d 9b bc 94 43 03
70: f8 11 c7 f6 90 ef 3e e7 06 c3 d5 2f c8 66 1e d7
80: 08 e8 ea de 80 52 ee f7 84 aa 72 ac 35 4d 6a 2a
90: 96 1a d2 71 5a 15 49 74 4b 9f d0 5e 04 18 a4 ec
a0: c2 e0 41 6e 0f 51 cb cc 24 91 af 50 a1 f4 70 39
b0: 99 7c 3a 85 23 b8 b4 7a fc 02 36 5b 25 55 97 31
c0: 2d 5d fa 98 e3 8a 92 ae 05 df 29 10 67 6c ba c9
d0: d3 00 e6 cf e1 9e a8 2c 63 16 01 3f 58 e2 89 a9
e0: 0d 38 34 1b ab 33 ff b0 bb 48 0c 5f b9 b1 cd 2e
f0: c5 f3 db 47 e5 a5 9c 77 0a a6 20 68 fe 7f c1 ad
The key expansion operation consists of the following two loops and
intermediate step:
for i = T, T+1, ..., 127 do
L[i] = PITABLE[L[i1] + L[iT]];
L[128T8] = PITABLE[L[128T8] & TM];
for i = 127T8, ..., 0 do
L[i] = PITABLE[L[i+1] XOR L[i+T8]];
(In the first loop, the addition of L[i1] and L[iT] is performed
modulo 256.)
The "effective key" consists of the values L[128T8],..., L[127].
The intermediate step's bitwise "and" operation reduces the search
space for L[128T8] so that the effective number of key bits is T1.
The expanded key depends only on the effective key bits, regardless
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of the supplied key K. Since the expanded key is not itself modified
during encryption or decryption, as a pragmatic matter one can expand
the key just once when encrypting or decrypting a large block of
data.
3. Encryption algorithm
The encryption operation is defined in terms of primitive "mix" and
"mash" operations.
Here the expression "x rol k" denotes the 16bit word x rotated left
by k bits, with the bits shifted out the top end entering the bottom
end.
3.1 Mix up R[i]
The primitive "Mix up R[i]" operation is defined as follows, where
s[0] is 1, s[1] is 2, s[2] is 3, and s[3] is 5, and where the indices
of the array R are always to be considered "modulo 4," so that R[i1]
refers to R[3] if i is 0 (these values are
"wrapped around" so that R always has a subscript in the range 0 to 3
inclusive):
R[i] = R[i] + K[j] + (R[i1] & R[i2]) + ((~R[i1]) & R[i3]);
j = j + 1;
R[i] = R[i] rol s[i];
In words: The next key word K[j] is added to R[i], and j is advanced.
Then R[i1] is used to create a "composite" word which is added to
R[i]. The composite word is identical with R[i2] in those positions
where R[i1] is one, and identical to R[i3] in those positions where
R[i1] is zero. Then R[i] is rotated left by s[i] bits (bits rotated
out the left end of R[i] are brought back in at the right). Here j is
a "global" variable so that K[j] is always the first key word in the
expanded key which has not yet been used in a "mix" operation.
3.2 Mixing round
A "mixing round" consists of the following operations:
Mix up R[0]
Mix up R[1]
Mix up R[2]
Mix up R[3]
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3.3 Mash R[i]
The primitive "Mash R[i]" operation is defined as follows (using the
previous conventions regarding subscripts for R):
R[i] = R[i] + K[R[i1] & 63];
In words: R[i] is "mashed" by adding to it one of the words of the
expanded key. The key word to be used is determined by looking at the
loworder six bits of R[i1], and using that as an index into the key
array K.
3.4 Mashing round
A "mashing round" consists of:
Mash R[0]
Mash R[1]
Mash R[2]
Mash R[3]
3.5 Encryption operation
The entire encryption operation can now be described as follows. Here
j is a global integer variable which is affected by the mixing
operations.
1. Initialize words R[0], ..., R[3] to contain the
64bit input value.
2. Expand the key, so that words K[0], ..., K[63] become
defined.
3. Initialize j to zero.
4. Perform five mixing rounds.
5. Perform one mashing round.
6. Perform six mixing rounds.
7. Perform one mashing round.
8. Perform five mixing rounds.
Note that each mixing round uses four key words, and that there are
16 mixing rounds altogether, so that each key word is used exactly
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once in a mixing round. The mashing rounds will refer to up to eight
of the key words in a datadependent manner. (There may be
repetitions, and the actual set of words referred to will vary from
encryption to encryption.)
4. Decryption algorithm
The decryption operation is defined in terms of primitive operations
that undo the "mix" and "mash" operations of the encryption
algorithm. They are named "rmix" and "rmash" (r denotes the
reverse operation).
Here the expression "x ror k" denotes the 16bit word x rotated right
by k bits, with the bits shifted out the bottom end entering the top
end.
4.1 RMix up R[i]
The primitive "RMix up R[i]" operation is defined as follows, where
s[0] is 1, s[1] is 2, s[2] is 3, and s[3] is 5, and where the indices
of the array R are always to be considered "modulo 4," so that R[i1]
refers to R[3] if i is 0 (these values are "wrapped around" so that R
always has a subscript in the range 0 to 3 inclusive):
R[i] = R[i] ror s[i];
R[i] = R[i]  K[j]  (R[i1] & R[i2])  ((~R[i1]) & R[i3]);
j = j  1;
In words: R[i] is rotated right by s[i] bits (bits rotated out the
right end of R[i] are brought back in at the left). Here j is a
"global" variable so that K[j] is always the key word with greatest
index in the expanded key which has not yet been used in a "rmix"
operation. The key word K[j] is subtracted from R[i], and j is
decremented. R[i1] is used to create a "composite" word which is
subtracted from R[i]. The composite word is identical with R[i2] in
those positions where R[i1] is one, and identical to R[i3] in those
positions where R[i1] is zero.
4.2 RMixing round
An "rmixing round" consists of the following operations:
RMix up R[3]
RMix up R[2]
RMix up R[1]
RMix up R[0]
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4.3 RMash R[i]
The primitive "RMash R[i]" operation is defined as follows (using
the previous conventions regarding subscripts for R):
R[i] = R[i]  K[R[i1] & 63];
In words: R[i] is "rmashed" by subtracting from it one of the words
of the expanded key. The key word to be used is determined by looking
at the loworder six bits of R[i1], and using that as an index into
the key array K.
4.4 RMashing round
An "rmashing round" consists of:
RMash R[3]
RMash R[2]
RMash R[1]
RMash R[0]
4.5 Decryption operation
The entire decryption operation can now be described as follows.
Here j is a global integer variable which is affected by the mixing
operations.
1. Initialize words R[0], ..., R[3] to contain the 64bit
ciphertext value.
2. Expand the key, so that words K[0], ..., K[63] become
defined.
3. Initialize j to 63.
4. Perform five rmixing rounds.
5. Perform one rmashing round.
6. Perform six rmixing rounds.
7. Perform one rmashing round.
8. Perform five rmixing rounds.
5. Test vectors
Test vectors for encryption with RC2 are provided below.
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RFC 2268 RC2(r) Encryption Algorithm March 1998
All quantities are given in hexadecimal notation.
Key length (bytes) = 8
Effective key length (bits) = 63
Key = 00000000 00000000
Plaintext = 00000000 00000000
Ciphertext = ebb773f9 93278eff
Key length (bytes) = 8
Effective key length (bits) = 64
Key = ffffffff ffffffff
Plaintext = ffffffff ffffffff
Ciphertext = 278b27e4 2e2f0d49
Key length (bytes) = 8
Effective key length (bits) = 64
Key = 30000000 00000000
Plaintext = 10000000 00000001
Ciphertext = 30649edf 9be7d2c2
Key length (bytes) = 1
Effective key length (bits) = 64
Key = 88
Plaintext = 00000000 00000000
Ciphertext = 61a8a244 adacccf0
Key length (bytes) = 7
Effective key length (bits) = 64
Key = 88bca90e 90875a
Plaintext = 00000000 00000000
Ciphertext = 6ccf4308 974c267f
Key length (bytes) = 16
Effective key length (bits) = 64
Key = 88bca90e 90875a7f 0f79c384 627bafb2
Plaintext = 00000000 00000000
Ciphertext = 1a807d27 2bbe5db1
Key length (bytes) = 16
Effective key length (bits) = 128
Key = 88bca90e 90875a7f 0f79c384 627bafb2
Plaintext = 00000000 00000000
Ciphertext = 2269552a b0f85ca6
Key length (bytes) = 33
Effective key length (bits) = 129
Key = 88bca90e 90875a7f 0f79c384 627bafb2 16f80a6f 85920584
c42fceb0 be255daf 1e
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Plaintext = 00000000 00000000
Ciphertext = 5b78d3a4 3dfff1f1
6. RC2 Algorithm Object Identifier
The Object Identifier for RC2 in cipher block chaining mode is
rc2CBC OBJECT IDENTIFIER
::= {iso(1) memberbody(2) US(840) rsadsi(113549)
encryptionAlgorithm(3) 2}
RC2CBC takes parameters
RC2CBCParameter ::= CHOICE {
iv IV,
params SEQUENCE {
version RC2Version,
iv IV
}
}
where
IV ::= OCTET STRING  8 octets
RC2Version ::= INTEGER  11024
RC2 in CBC mode has two parameters: an 8byte initialization vector
(IV) and a version number in the range 11024 which specifies in a
roundabout manner the number of effective key bits to be used for the
RC2 encryption/decryption.
The correspondence between effective key bits and version number is
as follows:
1. If the number EKB of effective key bits is in the range 1255,
then the version number is given by Table[EKB], where the 256byte
translation table Table[] is specified below. Table[] specifies a
permutation on the numbers 0255; note that it is not the same
table that appears in the key expansion phase of RC2.
2. If the number EKB of effective key bits is in the range
2561024, then the version number is simply EKB.
The default number of effective key bits for RC2 is 32. If RC2CBC
is being performed with 32 effective key bits, the parameters
should be supplied as a simple IV, rather than as a SEQUENCE
containing a version and an IV.
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RFC 2268 RC2(r) Encryption Algorithm March 1998
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 a b c d e f
00: bd 56 ea f2 a2 f1 ac 2a b0 93 d1 9c 1b 33 fd d0
10: 30 04 b6 dc 7d df 32 4b f7 cb 45 9b 31 bb 21 5a
20: 41 9f e1 d9 4a 4d 9e da a0 68 2c c3 27 5f 80 36
30: 3e ee fb 95 1a fe ce a8 34 a9 13 f0 a6 3f d8 0c
40: 78 24 af 23 52 c1 67 17 f5 66 90 e7 e8 07 b8 60
50: 48 e6 1e 53 f3 92 a4 72 8c 08 15 6e 86 00 84 fa
60: f4 7f 8a 42 19 f6 db cd 14 8d 50 12 ba 3c 06 4e
70: ec b3 35 11 a1 88 8e 2b 94 99 b7 71 74 d3 e4 bf
80: 3a de 96 0e bc 0a ed 77 fc 37 6b 03 79 89 62 c6
90: d7 c0 d2 7c 6a 8b 22 a3 5b 05 5d 02 75 d5 61 e3
a0: 18 8f 55 51 ad 1f 0b 5e 85 e5 c2 57 63 ca 3d 6c
b0: b4 c5 cc 70 b2 91 59 0d 47 20 c8 4f 58 e0 01 e2
c0: 16 38 c4 6f 3b 0f 65 46 be 7e 2d 7b 82 f9 40 b5
d0: 1d 73 f8 eb 26 c7 87 97 25 54 b1 28 aa 98 9d a5
e0: 64 6d 7a d4 10 81 44 ef 49 d6 ae 2e dd 76 5c 2f
f0: a7 1c c9 09 69 9a 83 cf 29 39 b9 e9 4c ff 43 ab
A. Intellectual Property Notice
RC2 is a registered trademark of RSA Data Security, Inc. RSA's
copyrighted RC2 software is available under license from RSA Data
Security, Inc.
B. Author's Address
Ron Rivest
RSA Laboratories
100 Marine Parkway, #500
Redwood City, CA 94065 USA
Phone: (650) 5957703
EMail: rsalabs@rsa.com
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C. Full Copyright Statement
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