Paper 2016/743

Investigating Cube Attacks on the Authenticated Encryption Stream Cipher ACORN

Md Iftekhar Salam, Harry Bartlett, Ed Dawson, Josef Pieprzyk, Leonie Simpson, and Kenneth Koon-Ho Wong


The cube attack is an algebraic attack that allows an adversary to extract low degree polynomial equations from the targeted cryptographic primitive. This work applies the cube attack to a reduced round version of ACORN, a candidate cipher design in the CAESAR cryptographic competition. The cube attack on 477 initialization rounds of ACORN can recover the 128 bit key with a total attack complexity of about $2^{35}$. We have also shown that linear equations relating the initial state of the full version of ACORN can be be easily generated which can lead to state recovery attack with an attack complexity of about $2^{72.8}$.

Available format(s)
Secret-key cryptography
Publication info
Preprint. MINOR revision.
CAESARAuthenticated EncryptionCube AttackACORNAEADConfidentiality
Contact author(s)
m salam @ qut edu au
2016-08-02: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Md Iftekhar Salam and Harry Bartlett and Ed Dawson and Josef Pieprzyk and Leonie Simpson and Kenneth Koon-Ho Wong},
      title = {Investigating Cube Attacks on the Authenticated Encryption Stream Cipher ACORN},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2016/743},
      year = {2016},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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