Paper 2015/040

Automated Dynamic Cube Attack on Block Ciphers: Cryptanalysis of SIMON and KATAN

Zahra Ahmadian, Shahram Rasoolzadeh, Mahmoud Salmasizadeh, and Mohammad Reza Aref


A few work has ever been performed in cryptanalysis of block ciphers using cube attacks. This paper presents a new framework for an efficient key recovery attack on block ciphers based on cube technique. In this method, a cube tester is positioned at the middle of the cipher which is extended in two directions over the maximum possible upper and lower rounds, given that some subkey bits are guessed. It is shown that an automated algorithm for this dynamic cube attack on block ciphers can be realized. Furthermore, we show its effectiveness on two lightweight block ciphers KATAN and SIMON. Our results shows that this method can break 117 and 152 out of 254 rounds of KATAN-32 in non-full-codebook and full-codebook attack scenarios, respectively. In the case of SIMON32/64, we succeed to cryptanalyse 16 and 18 out of 32 rounds, by the same scenarios. Both results show that although this method does not outperform all the existing attacks on these two ciphers, it can absolutely compete with the well-established and mature methods of cryptanalysis of block ciphers, such as linear, differential and meet in the middle attack families.

Available format(s)
Secret-key cryptography
Publication info
Preprint. MINOR revision.
block cipherscryptanalysiscube attackSIMONKATAN
Contact author(s)
zahraahmadian @ yahoo com
2016-09-10: last of 5 revisions
2015-01-17: received
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Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Zahra Ahmadian and Shahram Rasoolzadeh and Mahmoud Salmasizadeh and Mohammad Reza Aref},
      title = {Automated Dynamic Cube Attack on Block Ciphers: Cryptanalysis of SIMON and KATAN},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2015/040},
      year = {2015},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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