International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research

IACR News item: 20 February 2021

Yunwen Liu, Siwei Sun, Chao Li
ePrint Report ePrint Report
The differential-linear attack, combining the power of the two most effective techniques for symmetric-key cryptanalysis, was pro- posed by Langford and Hellman at CRYPTO 1994. From the exact for- mula for evaluating the bias of a differential-linear distinguisher (JoC 2017), to the differential-linear connectivity table (DLCT) technique for dealing with the dependencies in the switch between the differential and linear parts (EUROCRYPT 2019), and to the improvements in the con- text of cryptanalysis of ARX primitives (CRYPTO 2020), we have seen significant development of the differential-linear attack during the last four years. In this work, we further extend this framework by replacing the differential part of the attack by rotational-xor differentials. Along the way, we establish the theoretical link between the rotational-xor dif- ferential and linear approximations, revealing that it is nontrivial to directly apply the closed formula for the bias of ordinary differential- linear attack to rotational differential-linear cryptanalysis. We then re- visit the rotational cryptanalysis from the perspective of differential- linear cryptanalysis and generalize Morawiecki et al.’s technique for an- alyzing Keccak, which leads to a practical method for estimating the bias of a (rotational) differential-linear distinguisher in the special case where the output linear mask is a unit vector. Finally, we apply the rota- tional differential-linear technique to the permutations involved in FRIET, Xoodoo, Alzette, and SipHash. This gives significant improvements over existing cryptanalytic results, or offers explanations for previous exper- imental distinguishers without a theoretical foundation. To confirm the validity of our analysis, all distinguishers with practical complexities are verified experimentally.

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