Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2012/096

The Collision Security of MDC-4

Ewan Fleischmann and Christian Forler and Stefan Lucks and Jakob Wenzel

Abstract: There are four somewhat classical double length block cipher based compression functions known: MDC-2, MDC-4, Abreast-DM, and Tandem-DM. They all have been developed over 20 years ago. In recent years, cryptographic research has put a focus on block cipher based hashing and found collision security results for three of them (MDC-2, Abreast-DM, Tandem-DM). In this paper, we add MDC-4, which is part of the IBM CLiC cryptographic module (FIPS 140-2 Security Policy for IBM CrytoLite in C, October 2003), to that list by showing that - 'instantiated' using an ideal block cipher with 128 bit key/plaintext/ciphertext size - no adversary asking less than $2^{74.76}$ queries can find a collision with probability greater than $1/2$. This is the first result on the collision security of the hash function MDC-4.

The compression function MDC-4 is created by interconnecting two MDC-2 compression functions but only hashing one message block with them instead of two. The developers aim for MDC-4 was to offer a higher security margin, when compared to MEDC-2, but still being fast enough for practical purposes.

The MDC-2 collision security proof of Steinberger (EUROCRYPT 2007) cannot be directly applied to MDC-4 due to the structural differences. Although sharing many commonalities, our proof for MDC-4 is much shorter and we claim that our presentation is also easier to grasp.

Category / Keywords: secret-key cryptography / MDC-4, cryptographic hash function, block-cipher based, proof of security, double length, ideal cipher model

Date: received 24 Feb 2012, last revised 21 Apr 2012

Contact author: christian forler at uni-weimar de

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Version: 20120421:093314 (All versions of this report)

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