International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Xiaolei Dong


Security Proofs for Key-Alternating Ciphers with Non-Independent Round Permutations
This work studies the key-alternating ciphers (KACs) whose round permutations are not necessarily independent. We revisit existing security proofs for key-alternating ciphers with a single permutation (KACSPs), and extend their method to an arbitrary number of rounds. In particular, we propose new techniques that can significantly simplify the proofs, and also remove two unnatural restrictions in the known security bound of 3-round KACSP (Wu et al., Asiacrypt 2020). With these techniques, we prove the first tight security bound for t-round KACSP, which was an open problem. We stress that our techniques apply to all variants of KACs with non-independent round permutations, as well as to the standard KACs.
Tight Security Analysis of 3-Round Key-Alternating Cipher with A Single Permutation 📺
The tight security bound of the KAC (Key-Alternating Cipher) construction whose round permutations are independent from each other has been well studied. Then a natural question is how the security bound will change when we use fewer permutations in a KAC construction. In CRYPTO 2014, Chen et al. proved that 2-round KAC with a single permutation (2KACSP) has the same security level as the classic one (i.e., 2-round KAC). But we still know little about the security bound of incompletely-independent KAC constructions with more than 2 rounds. In this paper,we will show that a similar result also holds for 3-round case. More concretely, we prove that 3-round KAC with a single permutation (3KACSP) is secure up to $\varTheta(2^{\frac{3n}{4}})$ queries, which also caps the security of 3-round KAC. To avoid the cumbersome graphical illustration used in Chen et al.'s work, a new representation is introduced to characterize the underlying combinatorial problem. Benefited from it, we can handle the knotty dependence in a modular way, and also show a plausible way to study the security of $r$KACSP. Technically, we abstract a type of problems capturing the intrinsic randomness of $r$KACSP construction, and then propose a high-level framework to handle such problems. Furthermore, our proof techniques show some evidence that for any $r$, $r$KACSP has the same security level as the classic $r$-round KAC in random permutation model.


Zhenfu Cao (4)
Jie Chen (2)
Junqing Gong (2)
Shaohua Tang (1)
Yusai Wu (2)
Liqing Yu (2)
Yu Yu (1)