Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2019/1370

A Subset Fault Analysis of ASCON

Priyanka Joshi and Bodhisatwa Mazumdar

Abstract: ASCON is an authenticated encryption, selected as the first choice for a lightweight use case in the CAESAR competition in February 2019. In this work, we investigate vulnerabilities of ASCON against fault analysis. We observe that the use of 128-bit random nonce makes it resistant against many cryptanalysis techniques like differential, linear, etc. and their variants. However, XORing the key just before releasing the tag T (a public value) creates a trivial attack path. Also, the S-Box demonstrates a non-random behavior towards subset cryptanalysis. We observe that if the 3rd bit of the S-box input is set to zero, then XoR of the last two output bits is zero, with a probability of $0.625$, i.e., this characteristic is present in 10 out of 16 cases. Our subset fault analysis(SSFA) attack uses this property to retrieve the 128-bit secret key. The SSFA attack can uniquely retrieve the key of full-round ASCON with the complexity of $2^{64}$.

Category / Keywords: secret-key cryptography / Authenticated encryptions, ASCON, subset cryptanalysis, fault analysis, bit-set/reset faults

Date: received 27 Nov 2019

Contact author: phd1801201001 at iiti ac in

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20191128:080713 (All versions of this report)

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