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See detailState of the Art in Lightweight Symmetric Cryptography
Biryukov, Alex UL; Perrin, Léo Paul UL

E-print/Working paper (2017)

Lightweight cryptography has been one of the ``hot topics'' in symmetric cryptography in the recent years. A huge number of lightweight algorithms have been published, standardized and/or used in ... [more ▼]

Lightweight cryptography has been one of the ``hot topics'' in symmetric cryptography in the recent years. A huge number of lightweight algorithms have been published, standardized and/or used in commercial products. In this paper, we discuss the different implementation constraints that a ``lightweight'' algorithm is usually designed to satisfy. We also present an extensive survey of all lightweight symmetric primitives we are aware of. It covers designs from the academic community, from government agencies and proprietary algorithms which were reverse-engineered or leaked. Relevant national (\nist{}...) and international (\textsc{iso/iec}...) standards are listed. We then discuss some trends we identified in the design of lightweight algorithms, namely the designers' preference for \arx{}-based and bitsliced-S-Box-based designs and simple key schedules. Finally, we argue that lightweight cryptography is too large a field and that it should be split into two related but distinct areas: \emph{ultra-lightweight} and \emph{IoT} cryptography. The former deals only with the smallest of devices for which a lower security level may be justified by the very harsh design constraints. The latter corresponds to low-power embedded processors for which the \aes{} and modern hash function are costly but which have to provide a high level security due to their greater connectivity. [less ▲]

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See detailCryptanalysis, Reverse-Engineering and Design of Symmetric Cryptographic Algorithms
Perrin, Léo Paul UL

Doctoral thesis (2017)

In this thesis, I present the research I did with my co-authors on several aspects of symmetric cryptography from May 2013 to December 2016, that is, when I was a PhD student at the university of ... [more ▼]

In this thesis, I present the research I did with my co-authors on several aspects of symmetric cryptography from May 2013 to December 2016, that is, when I was a PhD student at the university of Luxembourg under the supervision of Alex Biryukov. My research has spanned three different areas of symmetric cryptography. In Part I of this thesis, I present my work on lightweight cryptography. This field of study investigates the cryptographic algorithms that are suitable for very constrained devices with little computing power such as RFID tags and small embedded processors such as those used in sensor networks. Many such algorithms have been proposed recently, as evidenced by the survey I co-authored on this topic. I present this survey along with attacks against three of those algorithms, namely GLUON, PRINCE and TWINE. I also introduce a new lightweight block cipher called SPARX which was designed using a new method to justify its security: the Long Trail Strategy. Part II is devoted to S-Box reverse-engineering, a field of study investigating the methods recovering the hidden structure or the design criteria used to build an S-Box. I co-invented several such methods: a statistical analysis of the differential and linear properties which was applied successfully to the S-Box of the NSA block cipher Skipjack, a structural attack against Feistel networks called the yoyo game and the TU-decomposition. This last technique allowed us to decompose the S-Box of the last Russian standard block cipher and hash function as well as the only known solution to the APN problem, a long-standing open question in mathematics. Finally, Part III presents a unifying view of several fields of symmetric cryptography by interpreting them as purposefully hard. Indeed, several cryptographic algorithms are designed so as to maximize the code size, RAM consumption or time taken by their implementations. By providing a unique framework describing all such design goals, we could design modes of operations for building any symmetric primitive with any form of hardness by combining secure cryptographic building blocks with simple functions with the desired form of hardness called plugs. Alex Biryukov and I also showed that it is possible to build plugs with an asymmetric hardness whereby the knowledge of a secret key allows the privileged user to bypass the hardness of the primitive. [less ▲]

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