Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2011/586

TweLEX: A Tweaked Version of the LEX Stream Cipher

Mainack Mondal and Avik Chakraborti and Nilanjan Datta and Debdeep Mukhopadhyay

Abstract: \texttt{LEX} is a stream cipher proposed by Alex Biryukov. It was selected to phase $3$ of the eSTREAM competition. \texttt{LEX} is based on the Advanced Encryption Standard {\texttt{AES}) block cipher and uses a methodology called {\em Leak Extraction}, proposed by Biryukov himself. However Dunkelman and Keller show that a key recovery attack exists against \texttt{LEX}. Their attack requires $2^{36.3}$ bytes of keystream produced by the same key and works with a time complexity of $2^{112}$ operations. In this work we explored \texttt{LEX} further and have shown that under the assumption of a related key model we can obtain $24$ secret state bytes with a time complexity of $2^{96}$ and a data complexity of $2^{54.3}$. Subsequently, we introduce a tweaked version of \texttt{LEX}, called \texttt{TweLEX}, which is shown to resist all known attacks against \texttt{LEX}. Though the throughput of \texttt{TweLEX} is half of \texttt{LEX}, it is still $1.25$ times faster than \texttt{AES}, the underlying block cipher. This work attempts to revive the principle of {\em leak extraction} as a simple and elegant method to design stream ciphers.

Category / Keywords: secret-key cryptography / Leak Extraction, Differential cryptanalysis, Tweak, Advanced Encryption Standard

Date: received 28 Oct 2011

Contact author: mainack mondal at gmail com

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20111102:205314 (All versions of this report)

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