Chosen-prefix collisions for MD5 and applications
by Marc Stevens; Arjen K. Lenstra; Benne De Weger
International Journal of Applied Cryptography (IJACT), Vol. 2, No. 4, 2012

Abstract: We present a novel, automated way to find differential paths for MD5. Its main application is in the construction of chosen-prefix collisions. We have shown how, at an approximate expected cost of 239 calls to the MD5 compression function, for any two chosen message prefixes P and P′, suffixes S and S′ can be constructed such that the concatenated values P||S and P′||S′ collide under MD5. The practical attack potential of this construction of chosen-prefix collisions is of greater concern than the MD5-collisions that were published before. This is illustrated by a pair of MD5-based X.509 certificates one of which was signed by a commercial Certification Authority (CA) as a legitimate website certificate, while the other one is a certificate for a rogue CA that is entirely under our control (cf. Other examples, such as MD5-colliding executables, are presented as well. More details can be found on

Online publication date: Tue, 30-Sep-2014

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