Paper 2023/1379

GLEVIAN and VIGORNIAN: Robust beyond-birthday AEAD modes

Peter Campbell, National Cyber Security Centre

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is the government organisation responsible for mitigating cyber security risks to the UK. Our work securing UK public- and private-sector networks involves (amongst many other security measures) research into cryptographic design, primarily to protect data requiring long-term security or data for which we have a particularly low tolerance of risk to its transmission and storage. Our algorithms prioritise robustness over other important considerations, such as performance, more highly than other designs. We present GLEVIAN and VIGORNIAN: two AEAD modes with proofs of beyond-birthday security, security against nonce misuse, and against the release of unverified plaintext – both of the latter in strong notions of these security properties. We discuss our hierarchy of requirements for AEAD modes, and the rationale for the design choices made. GLEVIAN and VIGORNIAN demonstrate we can achieve significantly improved robustness over GCM for use cases where some performance degradation is acceptable. We are not aware of other designs offering exactly the security properties of GLEVIAN and VIGORNIAN, and are publishing our designs to support the research that will inform the recently announced effort by NIST to standardise new modes of operation. We believe our work could be of interest to those with use cases similar to ours, and we offer suggestions for future research that might build on the work in this paper.

Note: Minor updates and corrections

Available format(s)
Secret-key cryptography
Publication info
authenticated encryptionblock ciphermode of operationrequirementsrobustness
Contact author(s)
Peter C @ ncsc gov uk
2023-09-20: revised
2023-09-14: received
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Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Peter Campbell},
      title = {GLEVIAN and VIGORNIAN: Robust beyond-birthday AEAD modes},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2023/1379},
      year = {2023},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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