Snake Oil Crypto Competition

The Snake Oil Competition (SOC) is an effort organized to identify new craptographic schemes in order to improve on the state-of-the-art, and to encourage the use of snake oil cryptography. Snake Oil cryptography is widely used in practice, but recent events show that more research is urgently needed to fill much needed gaps in the field.

The winner(s) will be invited to a special edition of the Journal of Craptology (JoC). The first prize is a bottle of premium snake oil, and 100 trillion ZWR (Third Zimbabwean Dollar), equivalent to 1027 ZWD (First Zimbabwean Dollar). The loser will also be invited to the JoC.

[New] The competition is dedicated to Emperor Alexander and its Information Dominance Center.

[New] We have received our first submissions!!!!! Thank you for making this competition a great success! [New]

We are proud to announce that the NSA has not interfered with this competition in any way since last Tuesday (dead-man's switch).

[Award] The SOC competition has been awarded the Cryptography Competition of the year Award! [Award]


The submissions received so far are listed here.

Submission guidelines

The competition is open to snake oil primitives, modes of operation, cryptanalitic techniques, evaluation methodologies, and random numbers. Original or non-original designs are accepted.

Submission should be written in English or Parseltongue. The submission document must provides proof or arguments (convincing if possible) for any claims.

NSA submissions must include a 10 million USD donation to cover committe members expenses.

Security requirements:

Potential extra features (worth extra points) [New]

Reference platform: Pentium II MMX. [New]

Reference designs: Dual_EC, ROT13.

The following submissions will be arbitrarly rejected:

Submission must be sent by postal mail, printed on pink elephant sized paper. The accompanying code should be on a floppy disc (5¼" is preferred). Alternatively, send an email to submit(at), and the NSA will inform us about any message sent there.

Tentative schedule:

[Running dog]

Q1 2014
Announcing the competition, going online. Setting dead-line to Q3 2014 (Crypto rump session).
Q2 2014
Call for submission published (FSE rump session). Postponing the dead-line to Q4 2014 (Asiacrypt rump session).
Q3 2014
Moving back the dead-line to Q2 2014 (make up complaints).
Q4 2014
Open website for submission.
Q5 2014
Asking for comments about the call for submission.
Q0 2015
Q1 2015
Real dead-line.
Q2 2015
Candidate workshop (collocated with Eurovision).
Q3 2015
NSA to submit secret comments.
Q4 2015
Leaking NSA secret comments.
Q5 2015
Announcing the winner(s).
Q1 2016
Trying to change winner's parameters.
Q2 2016
Changing winner's parameters to default ones.
Q3 2016
Retraction of the idea to change parameters.
Q5 2016
Standartization to end.
Q7 2016
Adding a missing rotate left by 1 instruction to standard.

Tentative dead-line: FSE 2015 rump session.

Selection committee

The selection will be made by a random oracle, and the task of the selection committee will be to find some rationale to justify the oracle decision. The voting process will use Helios.

Selection committee:

Members of the selection committee are expected to submit at least one design. Conflicts of interest are encouraged.


The competition is supported by the Journal of Craptology. We would like to thank Schloss Dagstuhl for hosting the kickoff meeting.

The following companies and organizations do not support this competition (we assume they already have enough snake oil or other sources):

Please sponsor us if you want your company removed from this list. If your competitors are not listed, they probably support this competition already.


General comments: committee(at)

Bribes: treasurer(at)

Email received at those address will be shared at our discretion.