International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Baptiste Lambin


Lower Bounds on the Degree of Block Ciphers 📺
Only the method to estimate the upper bound of the algebraic degree on block ciphers is known so far, but it is not useful for the designer to guarantee the security. In this paper we provide meaningful lower bounds on the algebraic degree of modern block ciphers.
Efficient Search for Optimal Diffusion Layers of Generalized Feistel Networks 📺
The Feistel construction is one of the most studied ways of building block ciphers. Several generalizations were then proposed in the literature, leading to the Generalized Feistel Network, where the round function first applies a classical Feistel operation in parallel on an even number of blocks, and then a permutation is applied to this set of blocks. In 2010 at FSE, Suzaki and Minematsu studied the diffusion of such construction, raising the question of how many rounds are required so that each block of the ciphertext depends on all blocks of the plaintext. They thus gave some optimal permutations, with respect to this diffusion criteria, for a Generalized Feistel Network consisting of 2 to 16 blocks, as well as giving a good candidate for 32 blocks. Later at FSE’19, Cauchois et al. went further and were able to propose optimal even-odd permutations for up to 26 blocks.In this paper, we complete the literature by building optimal even-odd permutations for 28, 30, 32, 36 blocks which to the best of our knowledge were unknown until now. The main idea behind our constructions and impossibility proof is a new characterization of the total diffusion of a permutation after a given number of rounds. In fact, we propose an efficient algorithm based on this new characterization which constructs all optimal even-odd permutations for the 28, 30, 32, 36 blocks cases and proves a better lower bound for the 34, 38, 40 and 42 blocks cases. In particular, we improve the 32 blocks case by exhibiting optimal even-odd permutations with diffusion round of 9. The existence of such a permutation was an open problem for almost 10 years and the best known permutation in the literature had a diffusion round of 10. Moreover, our characterization can be implemented very efficiently and allows us to easily re-find all optimal even-odd permutations for up to 26 blocks with a basic exhaustive search
On Recovering Affine Encodings in White-Box Implementations
Ever since the first candidate white-box implementations by Chow et al. in 2002, producing a secure white-box implementation of AES has remained an enduring challenge. Following the footsteps of the original proposal by Chow et al., other constructions were later built around the same framework. In this framework, the round function of the cipher is “encoded” by composing it with non-linear and affine layers known as encodings. However, all such attempts were broken by a series of increasingly efficient attacks that are able to peel off these encodings, eventually uncovering the underlying round function, and with it the secret key.These attacks, however, were generally ad-hoc and did not enjoy a wide applicability. As our main contribution, we propose a generic and efficient algorithm to recover affine encodings, for any Substitution-Permutation-Network (SPN) cipher, such as AES, and any form of affine encoding. For AES parameters, namely 128-bit blocks split into 16 parallel 8-bit S-boxes, affine encodings are recovered with a time complexity estimated at 232 basic operations, independently of how the encodings are built. This algorithm is directly applicable to a large class of schemes. We illustrate this on a recent proposal due to Baek, Cheon and Hong, which was not previously analyzed. While Baek et al. evaluate the security of their scheme to 110 bits, a direct application of our generic algorithm is able to break the scheme with an estimated time complexity of only 235 basic operations.As a second contribution, we show a different approach to cryptanalyzing the Baek et al. scheme, which reduces the analysis to a standalone combinatorial problem, ultimately achieving key recovery in time complexity 231. We also provide an implementation of the attack, which is able to recover the secret key in about 12 seconds on a standard desktop computer.