Paper 2010/063

Differential Fault Analysis on SMS4 Using a Single Fault

Ruilin Li, Bing Sun, Chao Li, and Jianxiong You


Differential Fault Analysis (DFA) attack is a powerful cryptanalytic technique that could be used to retrieve the secret key by exploiting computational errors in the encryption (decryption) procedure. In the present paper, we propose a new DFA attack on SMS4 using a single fault. We show that if a random byte fault is induced into either the second, third, or fourth word register at the input of the $28$-th round, the 128-bit master key could be recovered with an exhaustive search of $22.11$ bits on average. The proposed attack makes use of the characteristic of the cipher's structure, the speciality of the diffusion layer, and the differential property of the S-box. Furthermore, it can be tailored to any block cipher employing a similar structure and an SPN-style round function as that of SMS4.

Note: Some typos are corrected.

Available format(s)
Secret-key cryptography
Publication info
Published elsewhere. An extended abstract of this paper appears in "Information Processing Letters"
fault attacksdifferential fault analysisblock cipherSMS4
Contact author(s)
securitylrl @ gmail com
2010-12-10: last of 4 revisions
2010-02-08: received
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Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Ruilin Li and Bing Sun and Chao Li and Jianxiong You},
      title = {Differential Fault Analysis on SMS4 Using a Single Fault},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2010/063},
      year = {2010},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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