A Framework with Improved Heuristics to Optimize Low-Latency Implementations of Linear Layers
In recent years, lightweight cryptography has been a hot field in symmetric cryptography. One of the most crucial problems is to find low-latency implementations of linear layers. The current main heuristic search methods include the Boyar-Peralta (BP) algorithm with depth limit and the backward search. In this paper we firstly propose two improved BP algorithms with depth limit mainly by minimizing the Euclidean norm of the new distance vector instead of maximizing it in the tie-breaking process of the BP algorithm. They can significantly increase the potential for finding better results. Furthermore, we give a new framework that combines forward search with backward search to expand the search space of implementations, where the forward search is one of the two improved BP algorithms. In the new framework, we make a minor adjustment of the priority of rules in the backward search process to enable the exploration of a significantly larger search space. As results, we find better results for the most of matrices studied in previous works. For example, we find an implementation of AES MixColumns of depth 3 with 99 XOR gates, which represents a substantial reduction of 3 XOR gates compared to the existing record of 102 XOR gates.
Differentially 4-Uniform Permutations with the Best Known Nonlinearity from Butterflies
Many block ciphers use permutations defined over the finite field F22k with low differential uniformity, high nonlinearity, and high algebraic degree to provide confusion. Due to the lack of knowledge about the existence of almost perfect nonlinear (APN) permutations over F22k, which have lowest possible differential uniformity, when k > 3, constructions of differentially 4-uniform permutations are usually considered. However, it is also very difficult to construct such permutations together with high nonlinearity; there are very few known families of such functions, which can have the best known nonlinearity and a high algebraic degree. At Crypto’16, Perrin et al. introduced a structure named butterfly, which leads to permutations over F22k with differential uniformity at most 4 and very high algebraic degree when k is odd. It is posed as an open problem in Perrin et al.’s paper and solved by Canteaut et al. that the nonlinearity is equal to 22k−1−2k. In this paper, we extend Perrin et al.’s work and study the functions constructed from butterflies with exponent e = 2i + 1. It turns out that these functions over F22k with odd k have differential uniformity at most 4 and algebraic degree k +1. Moreover, we prove that for any integer i and odd k such that gcd(i, k) = 1, the nonlinearity equality holds, which also gives another solution to the open problem proposed by Perrin et al. This greatly expands the list of differentially 4-uniform permutations with good nonlinearity and hence provides more candidates for the design of block ciphers.