International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Jiahui He


Massive Superpoly Recovery with a Meet-in-the-middle Framework -- Improved Cube Attacks on Trivium and Kreyvium
The cube attack extracts the information of secret key bits by recovering the coefficient called superpoly in the output bit with respect to a subset of plaintexts/IV, which is called a cube. While the division property provides an efficient way to detect the structure of the superpoly, superpoly recovery could still be prohibitively costly if the number of rounds is sufficiently high. In particular, Core Monomial Prediction (CMP) was proposed at ASIACRYPT 2022 as a scaled-down version of Monomial Prediction (MP), which sacrifices accuracy for efficiency but ultimately gets stuck at 848 rounds of \trivium. In this paper, we provide new insights into CMP by elucidating the algebraic meaning to the core monomial trails. We prove that it is sufficient to recover the superpoly by extracting all the core monomial trails, an approach based solely on CMP, thus demonstrating that CMP can achieve perfect accuracy as MP does. We further reveal that CMP is still MP in essence, but with variable substitutions on the target function. Inspired by the divide-and-conquer strategy that has been widely used in previous literature, we design a meet-in-the-middle (MITM) framework, in which the CMP-based approach can be embedded to achieve a speedup. To illustrate the power of these new techniques, we apply the MITM framework to \trivium, \grain and \kreyvium. As a result, not only can the previous computational cost of superpoly recovery be reduced (e.g., 5x faster for superpoly recovery on 192-round \grain), but we also succeed in recovering superpolies for up to 851 rounds of \trivium and up to 899 rounds of \kreyvium. This surpasses the previous best results by respectively 3 and 4 rounds. Using the memory-efficient M\"obius transform proposed at EUROCRYPT 2021, we can perform key recovery attacks on target ciphers, even though the superpoly may contain over $2^{40}$ monomials. This leads to the best key recovery attacks on the target ciphers.
Stretching Cube Attacks: Improved Methods to Recover Massive Superpolies 📺
Cube attacks exploit the algebraic properties of symmetric ciphers by recovering a special polynomial, the superpoly, and subsequently the secret key. When the algebraic normal forms of the corresponding Boolean functions are not available, the division property based approach allows to recover the exact superpoly in a clever way. However, the computational cost to recover the superpoly becomes prohibitive as the number of rounds of the cipher increases. For example, the nested monomial predictions (NMP) proposed at ASIACRYPT 2021 stuck at round 845 for \trivium. To alleviate the bottleneck of the NMP technique, i.e., the unsolvable model due to the excessive number of monomial trails, we shift our focus to the so-called valuable terms of a specific middle round that contribute to the superpoly. Two new techniques are introduced, namely, Non-zero Bit-based Division Property (NBDP) and Core Monomial Prediction (CMP), both of which result in a simpler MILP model compared to the MILP model of MP. It can be shown that the CMP technique offers a substantial improvement over the monomial prediction technique in terms of computational complexity of recovering valuable terms. Combining the divide-and-conquer strategy with these two new techniques, we catch the valuable terms more effectively and thus avoid wasting computational resources on intermediate terms contributing nothing to the superpoly. As an illustration of the power of our techniques, we apply our framework to \trivium, \grain, \kreyvium and \acorn. As a result, the computational cost of earlier attacks can be significantly reduced and the exact ANFs of the superpolies for 846-, 847- and 848-round \trivium, 192-round \grain, 895-round \kreyvium and 776-round \acorn can be recovered in practical time, even though the superpoly of 848-round \trivium contains over 500 million terms; this corresponds to respectively 3, 1, 1 and 1 rounds more than the previous best results. Moreover, by investigating the internal properties of M\"obius transformation, we show how to perform key recovery using superpolies involving full key bits, which leads to the best key recovery attacks on the targeted ciphers.


Jiahui He (2)
Kai Hu (2)
Hao Lei (1)
Bart Preneel (1)
Meiqin Wang (2)