International Association for Cryptologic Research

Ph.D. Database

The aim of the IACR Ph.D. database is twofold. On the first hand, we want to offer an overview of Ph.D. already completed in the domain of cryptology. Where possible, this should also include a subject classification, an abstract, and access to the full text. On the second hand, it deals with Ph.D. subjects currently under investigation. This way, we provide a timely map of contemporary research in cryptology. All entries or changes need to be approved by an editor. You can contact them via phds (at)


Sebastiaan Indesteege (#629)
Name Sebastiaan Indesteege
Topic of his/her doctorate. Analysis and Design of Cryptographic Hash Functions
Category secret-key cryptography
Keywords hash functions, cryptanalysis
Ph.D. Supervisor(s) Bart Preneel
Year of completion 2010
Abstract Cryptographic hash functions play an important role in the security of many applications such as digital signatures, the protection of passwords, the derivation of cryptographic keys, tamper detection, and countless others. This versatility has earned them the nickname ‘Swiss army knives of cryptography’.

Most of the widespread and popular hash functions, such as MD5, SHA-1 and SHA-2, share a common design philosophy. Recent cryptanalytic advances have raised serious concerns regarding the long-term security of these hash functions. Some of them, e.g., MD4 and MD5, were broken in practice, and for others, e.g., SHA-1, severe theoretical weaknesses were shown. Even though the SHA-2 family is not (yet) really threatened by any attack, it receives little con?dence because it is based on the same design principles. Hence, there is a clear need for new, secure cryptographic hash functions. The United States ‘National Institute of Standards and Technology’ (NIST) has started an international competition to develop the next generation cryptographic hash function standard, which will be called SHA-3. This competition started in 2007, and is still ongoing with 14 candidates left in the second round of evaluations.

Most of the research presented in this dissertation is closely related to this competition. We have designed a candidate cryptographic hash function called Lane. The primary objectives of Lane are to be secure, easy to understand, elegant and ?exible in implementation. It was entered into the SHA-3 competition, but did not advance to the second round of evaluations.

Furthermore, we have actively contributed to the evaluation of several SHA-3 candidates. For a number of ?rst round candidates, we have demonstrated attacks that contradict the security claims made by their designers. In particular, we have shown practical collision attacks on the candidates Dynamic SHA, EnRUPT and SHAMATA, as well as a theoretical collision attack on Dynamic SHA2 and a practical preimage attack on Maraca. Beside the SHA-3 competition, we have contributed to the cryptanalysis of the hash functions RC4-Hash, SHA-2, and Tiger, and the block cipher KeeLoq that is used among others in vehicle anti-theft systems.

E-Mail Address sebastiaan.indesteege (at)
Last Change 2011-08-05 06:54:49
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