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Journal Articles Journal of Cryptology Year : 2018

Making the Impossible Possible

Christina Boura
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Virginie Lallemand
Valentin Suder


This paper introduces new techniques and correct complexity analyses for impossible differential cryptanalysis, a powerful block cipher attack. We show how the key schedule of a cipher impacts an impossible differential attack and we provide a new formula for the time complexity analysis that takes this parameter into account. Further, we show, for the first time, that the technique of multiple differentials can be applied to impossible differential attacks. Then, we demonstrate how this technique can be combined in practice with multiple impossible differentials or with the so-called state-test technique. To support our proposal, we implemented the above techniques on small-scale ciphers and verified their efficiency and accuracy in practice. We apply our techniques to the cryptanalysis of ciphers including AES-128, CRYPTON-128, ARIA-128, CLEFIA-128, Camellia-256 and LBlock. All of our attacks significantly improve previous impossible differential attacks and generally achieve the best memory complexity among all previous attacks against these ciphers.
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Dates and versions

hal-01953916 , version 1 (13-12-2018)



Christina Boura, Virginie Lallemand, Valentin Suder, María Naya-Plasencia. Making the Impossible Possible. Journal of Cryptology, 2018, 31 (1), pp.101-133. ⟨10.1007/s00145-016-9251-7⟩. ⟨hal-01953916⟩
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