Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2007/207

On an Improved Correlation Analysis of Stream Ciphers Using Muti-Output Boolean Functions and the Related Generalized Notion of Nonlinearity

Claude Carlet, Khoongming Khoo, Chu-Wee Lim, Chuan-Wen Loe

Abstract: We investigate the security of $n$-bit to $m$-bit vectorial Boolean functions in stream ciphers. Such stream ciphers have higher throughput than those using single-bit output Boolean functions. However, as shown by Zhang and Chan at Crypto 2000, linear approximations based on composing the vector output with any Boolean functions have higher bias than those based on the usual correlation attack. In this paper, we introduce a new approach for analyzing vector Boolean functions called generalized correlation analysis. It is based on approximate equations which are linear in the input $x$ but of free degree in the output $z=F(x)$. The complexity for computing the generalized nonlinearity for this new attack is reduced from $2^{2^m \times n+n}$ to $2^{2n}$. Based on experimental results, we show that the new generalized correlation attack gives linear approximation with much higher bias than the Zhang-Chan and usual correlation attack. We confirm this with a theoretical upper bound for generalized nonlinearity, which is much lower than for the unrestricted nonlinearity (for Zhang-Chan's attack) and {\em a fortiori} for usual nonlinearity. We also prove a lower bound for generalized nonlinearity which allows us to construct vector Boolean functions with high generalized nonlinearity from bent and almost bent functions. We derive the generalized nonlinearity of some known secondary constructions for secure vector Boolean functions. Finally, we prove that if a vector Boolean function has high nonlinearity or even a high unrestricted nonlinearity, it cannot ensure that it will have high generalized nonlinearity.

Category / Keywords: secret-key cryptography / Vectorial Boolean Functions, Unrestricted Nonlinearity, Generalized Nonlinearity

Date: received 4 Jun 2007, last revised 20 Apr 2008

Contact author: kkhoongm at dso org sg

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Version: 20080420:115821 (All versions of this report)

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