Paper 2017/789

Low-communication parallel quantum multi-target preimage search

Gustavo Banegas and Daniel J. Bernstein


The most important pre-quantum threat to AES-128 is the 1994 van Oorschot--Wiener "parallel rho method", a low-communication parallel pre-quantum multi-target preimage-search algorithm. This algorithm uses a mesh of p small processors, each running for approximately 2^128/pt fast steps, to find one of t independent AES keys k_1,...,k_t, given the ciphertexts AES_{k_1}(0),...,AES_{k_t}(0) for a shared plaintext 0. NIST has claimed a high post-quantum security level for AES-128, starting from the following rationale: "Grover's algorithm requires a long-running serial computation, which is difficult to implement in practice. In a realistic attack, one has to run many smaller instances of the algorithm in parallel, which makes the quantum speedup less dramatic." NIST has also stated that resistance to multi-key attacks is desirable; but, in a realistic parallel setting, a straightforward multi-key application of Grover's algorithm costs more than targeting one key at a time. This paper introduces a different quantum algorithm for multi-target preimage search. This algorithm shows, in the same realistic parallel setting, that quantum preimage search benefits asymptotically from having multiple targets. The new algorithm requires a revision of NIST's AES-128, AES-192, and AES-256 security claims.

Available format(s)
Secret-key cryptography
Publication info
Published elsewhere. SAC 2017, to appear
quantum cryptanalysismulti-target preimagesparallel rho methodGrover's algorithm
Contact author(s)
authorcontact-groverrho @ box cr yp to
2017-08-21: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Gustavo Banegas and Daniel J.  Bernstein},
      title = {Low-communication parallel quantum multi-target preimage search},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2017/789},
      year = {2017},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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