Aug 19 – 23
Santa Barbara




Resistance against Iterated Attacks Revisited


Asli Bay (EPFL, Switzerland)

Atefeh Mashatan (EPFL, Switzerland)

Serge Vaudenay (EPFL, Switzerland)


Iterated attacks are comprised of iterating adversaries who can make $d$ plaintext queries, in each iteration to compute a bit, and are trying to distinguish between a random cipher $C$ and the ideal random cipher $C^*$ based on all bits. In EUROCRYPT '99, Vaudenay showed that a $2d$-decorrelated cipher resists to iterated attacks of order $d$ when iterations make almost no common queries. Then, he first asked what the necessary conditions are for a cipher to resist a non-adaptive iterated attack of order $d$. Secondly, he speculated that repeating a plaintext query in different iterations does not provide any advantage to a non-adaptive distinguisher. We close here these two long-standing open problems.

We show that, in order to resist non-adaptive iterated attacks of order $d$, decorrelation of order $2d-1$ is not sufficient. We do this by providing a counterexample consisting of a cipher decorrelated to the order $2d-1$ and a successful non-adaptive iterated attack of order $d$ against it.

Moreover, we prove that the aforementioned claim is wrong by showing that a higher probability of having a common query between different iterations can translate to a high advantage of the adversary in distinguishing $C$ from $C^*$. We provide a counterintuitive example consisting of a cipher decorrelated to the order $2d$ which can be broken by an iterated attack of order 1 having a high probability of common queries.




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