Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2020/1414

New Insights On Differential And Linear Bounds Using Mixed Integer Linear Programming (Full Version)

Anubhab Baksi

Abstract: Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) is a very common method of modelling differential and linear bounds for ciphers, as it automates the process of finding the best differential trail or linear approximation. The Convex Hull (CH) modelling, introduced by Sun et al. (Eprint 2013/Asiacrypt 2014), is a popular method in this regard, which can convert the conditions corresponding to a small (4-bit) SBox to MILP constraints efficiently. In our work, we study this modelling with CH in more depth and observe a previously unreported problem associated with it.

Our analysis shows, there are SBoxes for which the CH modelling can yield incorrect modelling. As such, using the CH modelling may lead to incorrect differential or linear bounds. This arises from the observation that although the CH is generated for a certain set of points, there can be points outside this set which also satisfy all the inequalities of the CH. As apparently no variant of the CH modelling can circumvent this problem, we propose a new modelling for differential and linear bounds. Our modelling makes use of every points of interest individually. This modelling works for an arbitrary SBox, and is able to find the exact bound.

Additionally, we also explore the possibility of using redundant constraints, such that the run time for an MILP solver can be reduced while keeping the optimal result unchanged. For this purpose, we revisit the CH modelling and use the CH constraints as redundant constraints (on top of our usual constraints, which ensure the aforementioned problem does not occur). In fact, we choose two heuristics from the convex hull modelling. The first uses all the inequalities of a convex hull, while second uses a reduced number of inequalities. Apart from that, we also propose to use the solutions for the smaller rounds as another heuristic to find the optimal bound for a higher round.

With our experiments on round-reduced GIFT-128, we show it is possible to reduce the run time a few folds using a suitable choice of redundant constraints. Further, we observe the necessity to consider separate heuristics for the differential and linear cases. We also present the optimal linear bounds for 11- and 12-rounds of GIFT-128, extending from the best-known result of 10-rounds.

Category / Keywords: secret-key cryptography / differential cryptanalysis, linear cryptanalysis, milp, heuristic

Original Publication (with minor differences): International Conference on Information Technology and Communications Security (SecITC) - 2020

Date: received 13 Nov 2020, last revised 10 Dec 2020

Contact author: anubhab001 at e ntu edu sg

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20201210:182639 (All versions of this report)

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