International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Shichang Wang


Moving a Step of ChaCha in Syncopated Rhythm
The stream cipher ChaCha is one of the most widely used ciphers in the real world, such as in TLS, SSH and so on. In this paper, we study the security of ChaCha via differential cryptanalysis based on probabilistic neutrality bits (PNBs). We introduce the \textit{syncopation} technique for the PNB-based approximation in the backward direction, which significantly amplifies its correlation by utilizing the property of ARX structure. In virtue of this technique, we present a new and efficient method for finding a good set of PNBs. A refined framework of key-recovery attack is then formalized for round-reduced ChaCha. The new techniques allow us to break 7.5 rounds of ChaCha without the last XOR and rotation, as well as to bring faster attacks on 6 rounds and 7 rounds of ChaCha.


Shiqi Hou (1)
Dongdai Lin (1)
Meicheng Liu (1)