International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Shibam Ghosh


Attacking the IETF/ISO Standard for Internal Re-keying CTR-ACPKM
Encrypting too much data using the same key is a bad practice from a security perspective. Hence, it is customary to perform re-keying after a given amount of data is transmitted. While in many cases, the re-keying is done using a fresh execution of some key exchange protocol (e.g., in IKE or TLS), there are scenarios where internal re-keying, i.e., without exchange of information, is performed, mostly due to performance reasons.Originally suggested by Abdalla and Bellare, there are several proposals on how to perform this internal re-keying mechanism. For example, Liliya et al. offered the CryptoPro Key Meshing (CPKM) to be used together with GOST 28147-89 (known as the GOST block cipher). Later, ISO and the IETF adopted the Advanced CryptoPro Key Meshing (ACKPM) in ISO 10116 and RFC 8645, respectively.In this paper, we study the security of ACPKM and CPKM. We show that the internal re-keying suffers from an entropy loss in successive repetitions of the rekeying mechanism. We show some attacks based on this issue. The most prominent one has time and data complexities of O(2κ/2) and success rate of O(2−κ/4) for a κ-bit key.Furthermore, we show that a malicious block cipher designer or a faulty implementation can exploit the ACPKM (or the original CPKM) mechanism to significantly hinder the security of a protocol employing ACPKM (or CPKM). Namely, we show that in such cases, the entropy of the re-keyed key can be greatly reduced.


Orr Dunkelman (1)
Eran Lambooij (1)