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.
Improved MITM Cryptanalysis on Streebog
At ASIACRYPT 2012, Sasaki et al. introduced the guess-and-determine approach to extend the meet-in-the-middle (MITM) preimage attack. At CRYPTO 2021, Dong et al. proposed a technique to derive the solution spaces of nonlinear constrained neutral words in the MITM preimage attack. In this paper, we try to combine these two techniques to further improve the MITM preimage attacks. Based on the previous MILP-based automatic tools for MITM attacks, we introduce new constraints due to the combination of guess-and-determine and nonlinearly constrained neutral words to build a new automatic model.As a proof of work, we apply it to the Russian national standard hash function Streebog, which is also an ISO standard. We find the first 8.5-round preimage attack on Streebog-512 compression function and the first 7.5-round preimage attack on Streebog-256 compression function. In addition, we give the 8.5-round preimage attack on Streebog-512 hash function. Our attacks extend the best previous attacks by one round. We also improve the time complexity of the 7.5-round preimage attack on Streebog-512 hash function and 6.5-round preimage attack on Streebog-256 hash function.
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.
Meet-in-the-Middle Attacks Revisited: Key-recovery, Collision, and Preimage Attacks 📺
At EUROCRYPT 2021, Bao et al. proposed an automatic method for systematically exploring the configuration space of meet-in-the-middle (MITM) preimage attacks. We further extend it into a constraint-based framework for finding exploitable MITM characteristics in the context of key-recovery and collision attacks by taking the subtle peculiarities of both scenarios into account. Moreover, to perform attacks based on MITM characteristics with nonlinear constrained neutral words, which have not been seen before, we present a procedure for deriving the solution spaces of neutral words without solving the corresponding nonlinear equations or increasing the overall time complexities of the attack. We apply our method to concrete symmetric-key primitives, including SKINNY, ForkSkinny, Romulus-H, Saturnin, Grostl, Whirlpool, and hashing modes with AES-256. As a result, we identify the first 23-round key-recovery attack on \skinny-$n$-$3n$ and the first 24-round key-recovery attack on ForkSkinny-$n$-$3n$ in the single-key model. Moreover, improved (pseudo) preimage or collision attacks on round-reduced Whirlpool, Grostl, and hashing modes with AES-256 are obtained. In particular, imploying the new representation of the \AES key schedule due to Leurent and Pernot (EUROCRYPT 2021), we identify the first preimage attack on 10-round AES-256 hashing.