Paper 2021/1640

New Differential Cryptanalysis Results for the Lightweight Block Cipher BORON

Je Sen Teh, Li Jing Tham, Norziana Jamil, and Wun-She Yap


BORON is a 64-bit lightweight block cipher based on the substitution-permutation network that supports an 80-bit (BORON-80) and 128-bit (BORON-128) secret key. In this paper, we revisit the use of differential cryptanalysis on BORON in the single-key model. Using an SAT/SMT approach, we look for differentials that consist of multiple differential characteristics with the same input and output differences. Each characteristic that conforms to a given differential improves its overall probability. We also implemented the same search using Matsui's algorithm for verification and performance comparison purposes. We identified high-probability differentials which were then used in key recovery attacks against BORON-80/128. We first show that the previous differential cryptanalysis attack against 9-round of BORON was at most an 8.5 round attack due to the omission of the final block XOR layer. Then, we used 8-round differentials with a probability of $2^{-58.156}$ and $2^{-62.415}$ in key recovery attacks against 9 and 10 rounds of BORON-80 and BORON-128 with time/data/memory complexities of {$2^{63.63}/2^{62}/2^{55}$ and $2^{100.28}/2^{64}/2^{71}$} respectively. Our key recovery framework provides a more accurate estimate of the attack complexity as compared to previous work. The attacks proposed in this paper are the best differential attacks against BORON-80/128 in the single-key model to date.

Note: Paper has been published in the Journal of Information Security and Applications.

Available format(s)
Secret-key cryptography
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Journal of Information Security and Applications
BORONcryptanalysisdifferential cryptanalysisbranch-and-boundSAT solverSMT solver
Contact author(s)
jesen_teh @ usm my
2022-02-27: revised
2021-12-17: received
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Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Je Sen Teh and Li Jing Tham and Norziana Jamil and Wun-She Yap},
      title = {New Differential Cryptanalysis Results for the Lightweight Block Cipher BORON},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2021/1640},
      year = {2021},
      doi = {10.1016/j.jisa.2022.103129},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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