Rusydi H. Makarim
Twin Column Parity Mixers and Gaston
We introduce a new type of mixing layer for the round function of cryptographic permutations, called circulant twin column parity mixer (CPM), that is a generalization of the mixing layers in KECCAK-f and XOODOO. While these mixing layers have a bitwise differential branch number of 4 and a computational cost of 2 (bitwise) additions per bit, the circulant twin CPMs we build have a bitwise differential branch number of 12 at the expense of an increase in computational cost: depending on the dimension this ranges between 3 and 3.34 XORs per bit. Our circulant twin CPMs operate on a state in the form of a rectangular array and can serve as mixing layer in a round function that has as non-linear step a layer of S-boxes operating in parallel on the columns. When sandwiched between two ShiftRow-like mappings, we can obtain a columnwise branch number of 12 and hence it guarantees 12 active S-boxes per two rounds in differential trails. Remarkably, the linear branch numbers (bitwise and columnwise alike) of these mappings is only 4. However, we define the transpose of a circulant twin CPM that has linear branch number of 12 and a differential branch number of 4. We give a concrete instantiation of a permutation using such a mixing layer, named Gaston. It operates on a state of 5*64 bits and uses chi operating on columns for its non-linear layer. Most notably, the Gaston round function is lightweight in that it takes as few bitwise operations as the one of NIST lightweight standard ASCON. We show that the best 3-round differential and linear trails of Gaston have much higher weights than those of ASCON. Permutations like Gaston can be very competitive in applications that rely for their security exclusively on good differential properties, such as keyed hashing as in the compression phase of Farfalle.
Boosting Differential-Linear Cryptanalysis of ChaCha7 with MILP
In this paper, we present an improved differential-linear cryptanalysis of the ChaCha stream cipher. Our main contributions are new differential-linear distinguishers that we were able to build thanks to the following improvements: a) we considered a larger search space, including 2-bit differences (besides 1-bit differences) for the difference at the beginning of the differential part of the differential-linear trail; b) a better choice of mask between the differential and linear parts; c) a carefully crafted MILP tool that finds linear trails with higher correlation for the linear part. We eventually obtain a new distinguisher for ChaCha reduced to 7 rounds that requires 2166.89 computations, improving the previous record (ASIACRYPT 2022) by a factor of 247. Also, we obtain a distinguisher for ChaCha reduced to 7.5 rounds that requires 2251.4 computations, being the first time of a distinguisher against ChaCha reduced to 7.5 rounds. Using our MILP tool, we also found a 5-round differential-linear distinguisher. When combined with the probabilistic neutral bits (PNB) framework, we obtain a key-recovery attack on ChaCha reduced to 7 rounds with a computational complexity of 2206.8, improving by a factor 214.2 upon the recent result published at EUROCRYPT 2022.
Towards Tight Differential Bounds of Ascon: A Hybrid Usage of SMT and MILP
Being one of the winners of the CAESAR competition and a finalist of the ongoing NIST lightweight cryptography competition, the authenticated encryption with associated data algorithm Ascon has withstood extensive security evaluation. Despite the substantial cryptanalysis, the tightness on Ascon’s differential bounds is still not well-understood until very recently, at ToSC 2022, Erlacher et al. have proven lower bounds (not tight) on the number of differential and linear active Sboxes for 4 and 6 rounds. However, a tight bound for the minimum number of active Sboxes for 4 − 6 rounds is still not known.In this paper, we take a step towards solving the above tightness problem by efficiently utilizing both Satisfiability Modulo Theories (SMT) and Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) based automated tools. Our first major contribution (using SMT) is the set of all valid configurations of active Sboxes (for e.g., 1, 3 and 11 active Sboxes at round 0, 1 and 2, respectively) up to 22 active Sboxes and partial sets for 23 to 32 active Sboxes for 3-round differential trails. We then prove that the weight (differential probability) of any 3-round differential trail is at least 40 by finding the minimum weights (using MILP) corresponding to each configuration till 19 active Sboxes. As a second contribution, for 4 rounds, we provide several necessary conditions (by extending 3 round trails) which may result in a differential trail with at most 44 active Sboxes. We find 5 new configurations for 44 active Sboxes and show that in total there are 9289 cases to check for feasibility in order to obtain the actual lower bound for 4 rounds. We also provide an estimate of the time complexity to solve these cases. Our third main contribution is the improvement in the 7-year old upper bound on active Sboxes for 4 and 5 rounds from 44 to 43 and from 78 to 72, respectively. Moreover, as a direct application of our approach, we find new 4-round linear trails with 43 active Sboxes and also a 5-round linear trail with squared correlation 2−184 while the previous best known linear trail has squared correlation 2−186. Finally, we provide the implementations of our SMT and MILP models, and actual trails to verify the correctness of results.