International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Programming the Demirci-Selçuk Meet-in-the-Middle Attack with Constraints

Danping Shi
Siwei Sun
Patrick Derbez
Yosuke Todo
Bing Sun
Lei Hu
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-03329-3_1
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Presentation: Slides
Conference: ASIACRYPT 2018
Abstract: Cryptanalysis with SAT/SMT, MILP and CP has increased in popularity among symmetric-key cryptanalysts and designers due to its high degree of automation. So far, this approach covers differential, linear, impossible differential, zero-correlation, and integral cryptanalysis. However, the Demirci-Selçuk meet-in-the-middle ($$\mathcal {DS}$$-$$\mathsf {MITM}$$) attack is one of the most sophisticated techniques that has not been automated with this approach. By an in-depth study of Derbez and Fouque’s work on $$\mathcal {DS}$$-$$\mathsf {MITM}$$ analysis with dedicated search algorithms, we identify the crux of the problem and present a method for automatic $$\mathcal {DS}$$-$$\mathsf {MITM}$$ attack based on general constraint programming, which allows the cryptanalysts to state the problem at a high level without having to say how it should be solved. Our method is not only able to enumerate distinguishers but can also partly automate the key-recovery process. This approach makes the $$\mathcal {DS}$$-$$\mathsf {MITM}$$ cryptanalysis more straightforward and easier to follow, since the resolution of the problem is delegated to off-the-shelf constraint solvers and therefore decoupled from its formulation. We apply the method to SKINNY, TWINE, and LBlock, and we get the currently known best $$\mathcal {DS}$$-$$\mathsf {MITM}$$ attacks on these ciphers. Moreover, to demonstrate the usefulness of our tool for the block cipher designers, we exhaustively evaluate the security of $$8! = 40320$$ versions of LBlock instantiated with different words permutations in the F functions. It turns out that the permutation used in the original LBlock is one of the 64 permutations showing the strongest resistance against the $$\mathcal {DS}$$-$$\mathsf {MITM}$$ attack. The whole process is accomplished on a PC in less than 2 h. The same process is applied to TWINE, and similar results are obtained.
  title={Programming the Demirci-Selçuk Meet-in-the-Middle Attack with Constraints},
  booktitle={Advances in Cryptology – ASIACRYPT 2018},
  series={Lecture Notes in Computer Science},
  author={Danping Shi and Siwei Sun and Patrick Derbez and Yosuke Todo and Bing Sun and Lei Hu},