Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2012/415

Revisiting Key Schedule's Diffusion In Relation With Round Function's Diffusion

Jialin Huang and Xuejia Lai

Abstract: We study the weakness of key schedules from an observation: many existing attacks use the fact that the key schedules poorly distribute key bits in the diffusion path of round function. This reminds us of the importance of the diffusion's relation between key schedule and round function. We present new cryptanalysis results by exploring such diffusion relation and propose a new criterion for necessary key schedule diffusion. We discuss potential attacks and summarize the causes for key schedules without satisfying this criterion. One major cause is that overlapping between the diffusion of key schedule and round function leads to information leakage of key bits. Finally, a measure to estimate our criterion for recursive key schedules is presented. Today designing key schedule still lacks practical and necessary principles. For a practical key schedule with limited diffusion, our work adds more insight to its requirements and helps to maximize the security level.

Category / Keywords: secret-key cryptography / key schedule, meet-in-the-middle, block cipher, SHACAL-2, XTEA

Date: received 25 Jul 2012, last revised 12 Feb 2016

Contact author: jlhuang cn at gmail com

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Version: 20160212:234244 (All versions of this report)

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