International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Lingyue Qin

ORCID: 0000-0003-3312-2189


Generic MitM Attack Frameworks on Sponge Constructions
This paper proposes general meet-in-the-middle (MitM) attack frameworks for preimage and collision attacks on hash functions based on (generalized) sponge construction. As the first contribution, our MitM preimage attack framework covers a wide range of sponge-based hash functions, especially those with lower claimed security level for preimage compared to their output size. Those hash functions have been very widely standardized (e.g., {\tt Ascon-Hash}, {\tt PHOTON}, etc.), but are rarely studied against preimage attacks. Even the recent MitM attack framework on sponge construction by Qin et al. (EUROCRYPT 2023) cannot attack those hash functions. As the second contribution, our MitM collision attack framework shows a different tool for the collision cryptanalysis on sponge construction, while previous collision attacks on sponge construction are mainly based on differential attacks. Most of the results in this paper are the first third-party cryptanalysis results. If cryptanalysis previously existed, our new results significantly improve the previous results, such as improving the previous 2-round collision attack on {\tt Ascon-Hash} to the current 4 rounds, improving the previous 3.5-round quantum preimage attack on SPHINCS$^+$-{\tt Haraka} to our 4-round classical preimage attack, etc.
Meet-in-the-Middle Preimage Attacks on Sponge-based Hashing
The Meet-in-the-Middle (MitM) attack has been widely applied to preimage attacks on Merkle-Damgård (MD) hashing. In this paper, we introduce a generic framework of the MitM attack on sponge-based hashing. We find certain bit conditions can significantly reduce the diffusion of the unknown bits and lead to longer MITM characteristics. To find good or optimal configurations of MitM attacks, e.g., the bit conditions, the neutral sets, and the matching points, we introduce the bit-level MILP-based automatic tools on Keccak, Ascon and Xoodyak. To reduce the scale of bit-level models and make them solvable in reasonable time, a series of properties of the targeted hashing are considered in the modelling, such as the linear structure and CP-kernel for Keccak, the Boolean expression of Sbox for Ascon. Finally, we give an improved 4-round preimage attack on Keccak-512/SHA3, and break a nearly 10 years’ cryptanalysis record. We also give the first preimage attacks on 3-/4-round Ascon-XOF and 3-round Xoodyak-XOF.
Automatic Search of Meet-in-the-Middle Differential Fault Analysis on AES-like Ciphers
Fault analysis is a powerful technique to retrieve secret keys by exploiting side-channel information. Differential fault analysis (DFA) is one of the most powerful threats utilizing differential information between correct and faulty ciphertexts and can recover keys for symmetric-key cryptosystems efficiently. Since DFA usually targets the first or last few rounds of the block ciphers, some countermeasures against DFA only protect the first and last few rounds for efficiency. Therefore, to explore how many rounds DFA can affect is very important to make sure how many rounds to protect in practice. At CHES 2011, Derbez et al. proposed an improved DFA on AES based on MitM approach, which covers one more round than previous DFAs. To perform good (or optimal) MitM DFA on block ciphers, the good (or optimal) attack configurations should be identified, such as the location where the faults inject, the matching point with differential relationship, and the two independent computation paths where two independent subsets of the key are involved. In this paper, we formulate the essential ideas of the construction of the attack, and translate the problem of searching for the best MitM DFA into optimization problems under constraints in Mixed-Integer-Linear-Programming (MILP) models. With the models, we achieve more powerful and practical DFA attacks on SKINNY, CRAFT, QARMA, PRINCE, PRINCEv2, and MIDORI with faults injected in 1 to 9 earlier rounds than the best previous DFAs.
Automated Meet-in-the-Middle Attack Goes to Feistel
Feistel network and its generalizations (GFN) are another important building blocks for constructing hash functions, e.g., Simpiravb, Areion, and the ISO standard Lesamnta-lw. The Meet-in-the-Middle (MitM) is a general paradigm to build preimage and collision attacks on hash functions, which has been automated in several papers. However, those automatic tools mostly focus on hash function with Substitution–Permutation network (SPN) as building blocks, and only one for Feistel network by Schrottenloher and Stevens (at CRYPTO 2022). In this paper, we introduce a new automatic model for MitM attacks on Feistel networks by generalizing the traditional {\em direct or indirect partial matching strategies} and also Sasaki's multi-round matching strategy. Besides, we find the equivalent transformations of Feistel and GFN can significantly simplify the MILP modellings. Based on our automatic model, we improve the preimage attacks on Feistel-SP-MMO, Simpira-2/-4-DM, Areion-256/-512-DM by 1-2 rounds or significantly reduce the complexities. Furthermore, we fill in the gap left by Schrottenloher and Stevens at CRYPTO 2022 on the large branch ($b>4$) Simpira-$b$'s attack and propose the first 11-round attack on Simpira-6. Besides, we significantly improve the collision attack on the ISO standard hash Lesamnta-lw by increasing the attacked round number from previous 11 to ours 17 rounds.
Key Guessing Strategies for Linear Key-Schedule Algorithms in Rectangle Attacks 📺
When generating quartets for the rectangle attack on ciphers with linear key-schedule ciphers, we find the right quartets which may suggest key candidates have to satisfy some nonlinear relationships. However, some quartets generated always violate these relationships, so that they will never suggest any key candidates. Inspired by previous rectangle frameworks, we find that guessing certain key cells before generating quartets may reduce the number of those invalid quartets. However, guessing a lot of key cells at once may lose the benefit from the early abort technique, which may lead to a higher overall complexity. To get better tradeoff, we build a new rectangle attack framework on ciphers with linear key-schedule with the purpose of reducing the overall complexity or attacking more rounds. In the tradeoff model, there are many parameters affecting the overall complexity, especially for the choices of the number and positions of key guessing cells before generating quartets. To identify optimal parameters, we build a uniform automatic tool on SKINNY as an example, which includes the optimal rectangle distinguishers for key-recovery phase, the number and positions of key guessing cells before generating quartets, the size of key counters to build that affecting the exhaustive search step, etc. Based on the automatic tool, we identify a 32-round key-recovery attack on SKINNY-128-384 in the related-key setting, which extends the best previous attack by 2 rounds. For other versions with n-2n or n-3n, we also achieve one more round than before. In addition, using the previous rectangle distinguishers, we achieve better attacks on round-reduced ForkSkinny, Deoxys-BC-384 and GIFT-64. At last, we discuss the conversion of our rectangle framework from related-key setting into single-key setting and give new single-key rectangle attack on 10-round Serpent.
Mind the TWEAKEY Schedule: Cryptanalysis on SKINNYe-64-256 📺
Designing symmetric ciphers for particular applications becomes a hot topic. At EUROCRYPT 2020, Naito, Sasaki and Sugawara invented the threshold implementation friendly cipher SKINNYe-64-256 to meet the requirement of the authenticated encryption PFB_Plus. Soon, Thomas Peyrin pointed out that SKINNYe-64-256 may lose the security expectation due the new tweakey schedule. Although the security issue of SKINNYe-64-256 is still unclear, Naito et al. decided to introduce SKINNYe-64-256 v2 as a response. In this paper, we give a formal cryptanalysis on the new tweakey schedule of SKINNYe-64-256 and discover unexpected differential cancellations in the tweakey schedule. For example, we find the number of cancellations can be up to 8 within 30 consecutive rounds, which is significantly larger than the expected 3 cancellations. This property is derived by the analysis of the updated functions (LFSRs) of the tweakey via linear algebra. Moreover, we take our new discoveries into rectangle, MITM and impossible differential attacks, and adapt the corresponding automatic tools with new constraints from our discoveries. Finally, we find a 41-round related-tweakey rectangle attack on SKINNYe-64-256 and leave a security margin of 3 rounds only. As STK accepts arbitrary tweakey size, but SKINNY and SKINNYe-64-256 v2 only support up to 4n tweakey size. We introduce a new design of tweakey schedule for SKINNY-64 to further extend the supported tweakey size. We give a formal proof that our new tweakey schedule inherits the security requirement of STK and SKINNY.
Automated Search Oriented to Key Recovery on Ciphers with Linear Key Schedule: Applications to Boomerangs in SKINNY and ForkSkinny 📺
Automatic modelling to search distinguishers with high probability covering as many rounds as possible, such as MILP, SAT/SMT, CP models, has become a very popular cryptanalysis topic today. In those models, the optimizing objective is usually the probability or the number of rounds of the distinguishers. If we want to recover the secret key for a round-reduced block cipher, there are usually two phases, i.e., finding an efficient distinguisher and performing key-recovery attack by extending several rounds before and after the distinguisher. The total number of attacked rounds is not only related to the chosen distinguisher, but also to the extended rounds before and after the distinguisher. In this paper, we try to combine the two phases in a uniform automatic model.Concretely, we apply this idea to automate the related-key rectangle attacks on SKINNY and ForkSkinny. We propose some new distinguishers with advantage to perform key-recovery attacks. Our key-recovery attacks on a few versions of round-reduced SKINNY and ForkSkinny cover 1 to 2 more rounds than the best previous attacks.