Paper 2008/464

Vortex: A New Family of One Way Hash Functions based on Rijndael Rounds and Carry-less Multiplication

Michael Kounavis and Shay Gueron


We present Vortex a new family of one way hash functions that can produce message digests of 224, 256, 384 and 512 bits. The main idea behind the design of these hash functions is that we use well known algorithms that can support very fast diffusion in a small number of steps. We also balance the cryptographic strength that comes from iterating block cipher rounds with SBox substitution and diffusion (like Whirlpool) against the need to have a lightweight implementation with as small number of rounds as possible. We use a variable number of Rijndael rounds with a stronger key schedule. Our goal is not to protect a secret symmetric key but to support perfect mixing of the bits of the input into the hash value. Rijndael rounds are followed by our variant of Galois Field multiplication. This achieves cross-mixing between 128-bit or 256-bit sets. Our hash function uses the Enveloped Merkle-Damgard construction to support properties such as collision resistance, first and second pre-image resistance, pseudorandom oracle preservation and pseudorandom function preservation. We provide analytical results that demonstrate that the number of queries required for finding a collision with probability greater or equal to 0.5 in an ideal block cipher approximation of Vortex 256 is at least 1.18x2^122.55 if the attacker uses randomly selected message words. We also provide experimental results that indicate that the compression function of Vortex is not inferior to that of the SHA family regarding its capability to preserve the pseudorandom oracle property. We list a number of well known attacks and discuss how the Vortex design addresses them. The main strength of the Vortex design is that this hash function can demonstrate an expected performance of 2.2-2.5 cycles per byte in future processors with instruction set support for Rijndael rounds and carry-less multiplication. We provide arguments why we believe this is a trend in the industry. We also discuss how optimized assembly code can be written that demonstrates such performance.

Available format(s)
Cryptographic protocols
Publication info
Preprint. MINOR revision.Submission to the NIST competition; Earlier version published at ISC 2008.
Contact author(s)
michael_kounavis @ hotmail com
2021-02-16: revised
2008-11-10: received
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Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Michael Kounavis and Shay Gueron},
      title = {Vortex: A New Family of One Way Hash Functions based on Rijndael Rounds and Carry-less Multiplication},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2008/464},
      year = {2008},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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