A Statistical Saturation Attack against the Block Cipher PRESENT
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In this paper, we present a statistical saturation attack that combines previously introduced cryptanalysis techniques against block ciphers. As the name suggests, the attack is statistical and can be seen as a particular example of partitioning cryptanalysis. It extracts information about the key by observing non-uniform distributions in the ciphertexts. It can also be seen as a dual to saturation (aka square, integral) attacks in the sense that it exploits the diffusion properties in block ciphers and a combination of active and passive multisets of bits in the plaintexts. The attack is chosen-plaintext in its basic version but can be easily extended to a known-plaintext scenario. As an illustration, it is applied to the block cipher PRESENT proposed by Bogdanov et al. at CHES 2007. We provide theoretical arguments to predict the attack efficiency and show that it improves previous (linear, differential) cryptanalysis results. We also provide experimental evidence that we can break up to 15 rounds of PRESENT with 235.6 plaintext-ciphertext pairs. Eventually, we discuss the attack specificities and possible countermeasures. Although dedicated to PRESENT, it is an open question to determine if this technique improves the best known cryptanalysis for other ciphers.
KeywordsBlock Cipher Advance Encryption Standard Theoretical Distribution Linear Cryptanalysis Linear Attack
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