Paper 2018/1193

Quantum Chosen-Ciphertext Attacks against Feistel Ciphers

Gembu Ito, Akinori Hosoyamada, Ryutaroh Matsumoto, Yu Sasaki, and Tetsu Iwata


Seminal results by Luby and Rackoff show that the 3-round Feistel cipher is secure against chosen-plaintext attacks (CPAs), and the 4-round version is secure against chosen-ciphertext attacks (CCAs). However, the security significantly changes when we consider attacks in the quantum setting, where the adversary can make superposition queries. By using Simon's algorithm that detects a secret cycle-period in polynomial-time, Kuwakado and Morii showed that the 3-round version is insecure against quantum CPA by presenting a polynomial-time distinguisher. Since then, Simon's algorithm has been heavily used against various symmetric-key constructions. However, its applications are still not fully explored. In this paper, based on Simon's algorithm, we first formalize a sufficient condition of a quantum distinguisher against block ciphers so that it works even if there are multiple collisions other than the real period. This distinguisher is similar to the one proposed by Santoli and Schaffner, and it does not recover the period. Instead, we focus on the dimension of the space obtained from Simon's quantum circuit. This eliminates the need to evaluate the probability of collisions, which was needed in the work by Kaplan et al. at CRYPTO 2016. Based on this, we continue the investigation of the security of Feistel ciphers in the quantum setting. We show a quantum CCA distinguisher against the 4-round Feistel cipher. This extends the result of Kuwakado and Morii by one round, and follows the intuition of the result by Luby and Rackoff where the CCA setting can extend the number of rounds by one. We also consider more practical cases where the round functions are composed of a public function and XORing the subkeys. We show the results of both distinguishing and key recovery attacks against these constructions.

Available format(s)
Secret-key cryptography
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Minor revision. CT-RSA 2019
Feistel cipherQuantum chosen-ciphertext attacksSimon's algorithm
Contact author(s)
tetsu iwata @ nagoya-u jp
2018-12-18: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Gembu Ito and Akinori Hosoyamada and Ryutaroh Matsumoto and Yu Sasaki and Tetsu Iwata},
      title = {Quantum Chosen-Ciphertext Attacks against Feistel Ciphers},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2018/1193},
      year = {2018},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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