International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Reza Reyhanitabar


Power Yoga: Variable-Stretch Security of CCM for Energy-Efficient Lightweight IoT
Emiljano Gjiriti Reza Reyhanitabar Damian Vizár
The currently ongoing NIST LWC project aims at identifying new standardization targets for lightweight authenticated encryption with associated data (AEAD) and (optionally) lightweight cryptographic hashing. NIST has deemed it important for performance and cost to be optimized on relevant platforms, especially for short messages. Reyhanitabar, Vaudenay and Vizár (Asiacrypt 2016) gave a formal treatment for security of nonce-based AEAD with variable stretch, i.e., when the length of the authentication tag is changed between encryptions without changing the key. They argued that AEAD supporting variable stretch is of practical interest for constrained applications, especially low-power devices operated by battery, due to the ability to flexibly trade communication overhead and level of integrity.In this work, we investigate this hypothesis with affirmative results. We present vCCM, a variable-stretch variant of the standard CCM and prove it is secure when used with variable stretch. We then experimentally measure the energy consumption of a real-world wireless sensor node when encrypting and sending messages with vCCM and CCM, respectively. Our projections show that the flexible trade of integrity level and ciphertext expansion can lead up to 21% overall energy consumption reduction in certain scenarios. As vCCM is obtained from the widely-used CCM by a black-box transformation, allowing any existing CCM implementations to be reused as-is, our results can be immediately put to use in practice. vCCM is all the more relevant because neither the NIST LWC project, nor any of the candidates give a consideration for the support of variable stretch and the related integrity-overhead trade-off.
Forkcipher: A New Primitive for Authenticated Encryption of Very Short Messages
Highly efficient encryption and authentication of short messages is an essential requirement for enabling security in constrained scenarios such as the CAN FD in automotive systems (max. message size 64 bytes), massive IoT, critical communication domains of 5G, and Narrowband IoT, to mention a few. In addition, one of the NIST lightweight cryptography project requirements is that AEAD schemes shall be “optimized to be efficient for short messages (e.g., as short as 8 bytes)”.In this work we introduce and formalize a novel primitive in symmetric cryptography called forkcipher. A forkcipher is a keyed primitive expanding a fixed-lenght input to a fixed-length output. We define its security as indistinguishability under a chosen ciphertext attack (for n-bit inputs to 2n-bit outputs). We give a generic construction validation via the new iterate-fork-iterate design paradigm.We then propose $$ {\mathsf {ForkSkinny}} $$ as a concrete forkcipher instance with a public tweak and based on SKINNY: a tweakable lightweight cipher following the TWEAKEY framework. We conduct extensive cryptanalysis of $$ {\mathsf {ForkSkinny}} $$ against classical and structure-specific attacks.We demonstrate the applicability of forkciphers by designing three new provably-secure nonce-based AEAD modes which offer performance and security tradeoffs and are optimized for efficiency of very short messages. Considering a reference block size of 16 bytes, and ignoring possible hardware optimizations, our new AEAD schemes beat the best SKINNY-based AEAD modes. More generally, we show forkciphers are suited for lightweight applications dealing with predominantly short messages, while at the same time allowing handling arbitrary messages sizes.Furthermore, our hardware implementation results show that when we exploit the inherent parallelism of $$ {\mathsf {ForkSkinny}} $$ we achieve the best performance when directly compared with the most efficient mode instantiated with SKINNY.