International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Gilles Van Assche


Tighter Trail Bounds for Xoodoo
Silvia Mella Joan Daemen Gilles Van Assche
Determining bounds on the differential probability of differential trails and the squared correlation contribution of linear trails forms an important part of the security evaluation of a permutation. For Xoodoo, such bounds were proven using the trail core tree search technique, with a dedicated tool (XooTools) that scans the space of all r-round trails with weight below a given threshold Tr. The search space grows exponentially with the value of Tr and XooTools appeared to have reached its limit, requiring huge amounts of CPU time to push the bounds a little further. The bottleneck was the phase called trail extension where short trails are extended to more rounds, especially in the backward direction. In this work, we present a number of techniques that allowed us to make extension much more efficient and as such to increase the bounds significantly. Notably, we prove that the minimum weight of any 4-round trail is 80, the minimum weight of any 6-round trail is at least 132 and the minimum weight of any 12-round trail is at least 264, both for differential and linear trails. As a byproduct we found families of trails that have predictable weight once extended to more rounds and use them to compute upper bounds for the minimum weight of trails for arbitrary numbers of rounds.
Jammin' on the deck 📺
Currently, a vast majority of symmetric-key cryptographic schemes are built as block cipher modes. The block cipher is designed to be hard to distinguish from a random permutation and this is supported by cryptanalysis, while (good) modes can be proven secure if a random permutation takes the place of the block cipher. As such, block ciphers form an abstraction level that marks the border between cryptanalysis and security proofs. In this paper, we investigate a re-factored version of symmetric-key cryptography built not around the block ciphers but rather the deck function: a keyed function with arbitrary input and output length and incrementality properties. This allows for modes of use that are simpler to analyze and still very efficient thanks to the excellent performance of currently proposed deck functions. We focus on authenticated encryption (AE) modes with varying levels of robustness. Our modes have built-in support for sessions, but are also efficient without them. As a by-product, we define a new ideal model for AE dubbed the jammin cipher. Unlike the OAE2 security models, the jammin cipher is both a operational ideal scheme and a security reference, and addresses real-world use cases such as bi-directional communication and multi-key security.
Thinking Outside the Superbox 📺
Designing a block cipher or cryptographic permutation can be approached in many different ways. One such approach, popularized by AES, consists in grouping the bits along the S-box boundaries, e.g., in bytes, and in consistently processing them in these groups. This aligned approach leads to hierarchical structures like superboxes that make it possible to reason about the differential and linear propagation properties using combinatorial arguments. In contrast, an unaligned approach avoids any such grouping in the design of transformations. However, without hierarchical structure, sophisticated computer programs are required to investigate the differential and linear propagation properties of the primitive. In this paper, we formalize this notion of alignment and study four primitives that are exponents of different design strategies. We propose a way to analyze the interactions between the linear and the nonlinear layers w.r.t. the differential and linear propagation, and we use it to systematically compare the four primitives using non-trivial computer experiments. We show that alignment naturally leads to different forms of clustering, e.g., of active bits in boxes, of two-round trails in activity patterns, and of trails in differentials and linear approximations.
Xoodyak, a lightweight cryptographic scheme 📺
In this paper, we present Xoodyak, a cryptographic primitive that can be used for hashing, encryption, MAC computation and authenticated encryption. Essentially, it is a duplex object extended with an interface that allows absorbing strings of arbitrary length, their encryption and squeezing output of arbitrary length. It inherently hashes the history of all operations in its state, allowing to derive its resistance against generic attacks from that of the full-state keyed duplex. Internally, it uses the Xoodoo[12] permutation that, with its width of 48 bytes, allows for very compact implementations. The choice of 12 rounds justifies a security claim in the hermetic philosophy: It implies that there are no shortcut attacks with higher success probability than generic attacks. The claimed security strength is 128 bits. We illustrate the versatility of Xoodyak by describing a number of use cases, including the ones requested by NIST in the lightweight competition. For those use cases, we translate the relatively detailed security claim that we make for Xoodyak into simple ones.
The design of Xoodoo and Xoofff 📺
This paper presents Xoodoo, a 48-byte cryptographic permutation with excellent propagation properties. Its design approach is inspired by Keccak-p, while it is dimensioned like Gimli for efficiency on low-end processors. The structure consists of three planes of 128 bits each, which interact per 3-bit columns through mixing and nonlinear operations, and which otherwise move as three independent rigid objects. We analyze its differential and linear propagation properties and, in particular, prove lower bounds on the weight of trails using the tree search-based technique of Mella et al. (ToSC 2017). Xoodoo’s primary target application is in the Farfalle construction that we instantiate for the doubly-extendable cryptographic keyed (or deck) function Xoofff. Combining a relatively narrow permutation with the parallelism of Farfalle results in very efficient schemes on a wide range of platforms, from low-end devices to high-end processors with vector instructions.
Sound Hashing Modes of Arbitrary Functions, Permutations, and Block Ciphers 📺
Joan Daemen Bart Mennink Gilles Van Assche
Cryptographic hashing modes come in many flavors, including Merkle-Damgård with various types of strengthening, Merkle trees, and sponge functions. As underlying primitives, these functions use arbitrary functions, permutations, or block ciphers. In this work we provide three simple proofs, one per primitive type, that cover all modes where the input to the primitive consists of message bits, chaining value bits, and bits that only depend on the mode and message length. Our approach generalizes and simplifies over earlier attempts of Dodis et al. (FSE 2009) and Bertoni et al. (Int. J. Inf. Sec. 2014). We prove tight indifferentiability bounds for modes using each of these three primitive types provided that the mode satisfies some easy to verify conditions.
New techniques for trail bounds and application to differential trails in Keccak
Silvia Mella Joan Daemen Gilles Van Assche
We present new techniques to efficiently scan the space of high-probability differential trails in bit-oriented ciphers. Differential trails consist in sequences of state patterns that we represent as ordered lists of basic components in order to arrange them in a tree. The task of generating trails with probability above some threshold starts with the traversal of the tree. Our choice of basic components allows us to efficiently prune the tree based on the fact that we can tightly bound the probability of all descendants for any node. Then we extend the state patterns resulting from the tree traversal into longer trails using similar bounding techniques. We apply these techniques to the 4 largest Keccak-f permutations, for which we are able to scan the space of trails with weight per round of 15. This space is orders of magnitude larger than previously best result published on Keccak-f[1600] that reached 12, which in turn is orders of magnitude larger than any published results achieved with standard tools, that reached at most 9. As a result we provide new and improved bounds for the minimum weight of differential trails on 3, 4, 5 and 6 rounds. We also report on new trails that are, to the best of our knowledge, the ones with the highest known probability.
Farfalle: parallel permutation-based cryptography
In this paper, we introduce Farfalle, a new permutation-based construction for building a pseudorandom function (PRF). The PRF takes as input a key and a sequence of arbitrary-length data strings, and returns an arbitrary-length output. It has a compression layer and an expansion layer, each involving the parallel application of a permutation. The construction also makes use of LFSR-like rolling functions for generating input and output masks and for updating the inner state during expansion. On top of the inherent parallelism, Farfalle instances can be very efficient because the construction imposes less requirements on the underlying primitive than, e.g., the duplex construction or typical block cipher modes. Farfalle has an incremental property: compression of common prefixes of inputs can be factored out. Thanks to its input-output characteristics, Farfalle is really versatile. We specify simple modes on top of it for authentication, encryption and authenticated encryption, as well as a wide block cipher mode. As a showcase, we present Kravatte, a very efficient instance of Farfalle based on Keccak-p[1600, nr] permutations and formulate concrete security claims against classical and quantum adversaries. The permutations in the compression and expansion layers of Kravatte have only 6 rounds apiece and the rolling functions are lightweight. We provide a rationale for our choices and report on software performance.

Program Committees

Crypto 2023
FSE 2023
FSE 2022
CHES 2021
Eurocrypt 2020
FSE 2020
FSE 2019
Asiacrypt 2018
FSE 2018
Eurocrypt 2018
FSE 2017
Asiacrypt 2017
Crypto 2014
FSE 2013
FSE 2012