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A practical comparison between algebraic and statistical attacks on the lightweight cipher SIMON
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Division of Computing Science.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In the summer of 2013 NSA released a new family of lightweight block ciphers called SIMON. However they did not publish any assessment of the security of SIMON. Since then only a few papers on this topic have been released and none of them have included an algebraic analysis. Moreover only one paper described a practical implementation of the attack. This master thesis aims to implement a practical attack, both algebraic and differential, on SIMON. In doing so we are able to make a comparison between the two different attack methods. The algebraic attack was executed with SAT-solver CryptoMiniSat2 and could break 7 rounds. The differential attack was implemented in three steps. First we created a difference distribution table (DDT) and then we identified a differential by a search algorithm for the DDT. In the last step we designed a key recovery attack to recover the last round key. The attack could break 13 rounds for a 9 round differential. With a simple expansion on the key recovery attack it has the potential to break even more rounds for the same 9 round differential. This indicate that algebraic cryptanalysis might not be such a strong tool since it could only break 7 rounds. Furthermore, if a generic algebraic attack does not work on SIMON it has little or no chance of being successful on a more complex cipher. In other words this algebraic attack may serve as a benchmark for the efficiency of generic algebraic attacks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
UPTEC F, ISSN 1401-5757 ; 15071
National Category
Mathematical Analysis
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-271540OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-271540DiVA: diva2:892307
External cooperation
Educational program
Master Programme in Engineering Physics
Available from: 2016-01-12 Created: 2016-01-09 Last updated: 2016-01-18Bibliographically approved

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