Paper 2022/519

HARPOCRATES: An Approach Towards Efficient Encryption of Data-at-rest

Md Rasid Ali, Debranjan Pal, Abhijit Das, and Dipanwita Roychowdhury


This paper proposes a new block cipher called HARPOCRATES, which is different from traditional SPN, Feistel, or ARX designs. The new design structure that we use is called the substitution convolution network. The novelty of the approach lies in that the substitution function does not use fixed S-boxes. Instead, it uses a key-driven lookup table storing a permutation of all 8-bit values. If the lookup table is sufficiently randomly shuffled, the round sub-operations achieve good confusion and diffusion to the cipher. While designing the cipher, the security, cost, and performances are balanced, keeping the requirements of encryption of data-at-rest in mind. The round sub-operations are massively parallelizable and designed such that a single active bit may make the entire state (an 8 × 16 binary matrix) active in one round. We analyze the security of the cipher against linear, differential, and impossible differential cryptanalysis. The cipher’s resistance against many other attacks like algebraic attacks, structural attacks, and weak keys are also shown. We implemented the cipher in software and hardware; found that the software implementation of the cipher results in better throughput than many well-known ciphers. Although HARPOCRATES is appropriate for the encryption of data-at-rest, it is also well-suited in data-in-transit environments.

Available format(s)
Secret-key cryptography
Publication info
Preprint. Minor revision.
block cipherssecret-key cryptographyapplications
Contact author(s)
rasid crl @ gmail com
2022-05-02: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Md Rasid Ali and Debranjan Pal and Abhijit Das and Dipanwita Roychowdhury},
      title = {HARPOCRATES: An Approach Towards Efficient Encryption of Data-at-rest},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2022/519},
      year = {2022},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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