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Impossible differential cryptanalysis of the lightweight block ciphers TEA, XTEA and HIGHT. (English) Zbl 1304.94039

Mitrokotsa, Aikaterini (ed.) et al., Progress in cryptology – AFRICACRYPT 2012. 5th international conference on cryptology in Africa, Ifrane, Morocco, July 10–12, 2012. Proceedings. Berlin: Springer (ISBN 978-3-642-31409-4/pbk). Lecture Notes in Computer Science 7374, 117-137 (2012).
Summary: TEA, XTEA and HIGHT are lightweight block ciphers with 64-bit block sizes and 128-bit keys. The round functions of the three ciphers are based on the simple operations XOR, modular addition and shift/rotation. TEA and XTEA are Feistel ciphers with 64 rounds designed by Needham and Wheeler, where XTEA is a successor of TEA, which was proposed by the same authors as an enhanced version of TEA. HIGHT, which is designed by Hong et al., is a generalized Feistel cipher with 32 rounds. These block ciphers are simple and easy to implement but their diffusion is slow, which allows us to find some impossible properties.
This paper proposes a method to identify the impossible differentials for TEA and XTEA by using the weak diffusion, where the impossible differential comes from a bit contradiction. Our method finds a 14-round impossible differential of XTEA and a 13-round impossible differential of TEA, which result in impossible differential attacks on 23-round XTEA and 17-round TEA, respectively. These attacks significantly improve the previous impossible differential attacks on 14-round XTEA and 11-round TEA given by Moon et al. from FSE 2002. For HIGHT, we improve the 26-round impossible differential attack proposed by Özen et al.; an impossible differential attack on 27-round HIGHT that is slightly faster than the exhaustive search is also given.
For the entire collection see [Zbl 1241.94006].

MSC:

94A60 Cryptography

Software:

XTEA ; TEA
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