In symmetric cryptography, the round functions used as building blocks for iterated block ciphers are obtained as the composition of different layers acting as a sequence of bijective transformations providing global increasing complexity. The study of the conditions on such layers which make the group generated by the round functions of a block cipher a primitive group has been addressed in the past years, both in the case of Substitution Permutation Networks and Feistel Networks, giving to block cipher designers the recipe to avoid the imprimitivity attack, which exploits the invariance of some subspaces during the encryption. In the case of Lai–Massey schemes, where both Substitution Permutation Network and Feistel Network features are combined, the resistance against imprimitivity attacks has been a long-standing open problem. In this paper we consider a generalization of such a scheme and we prove its resistance against the imprimitivity attack. Our solution is obtained as a consequence of a more general result in which the problem of proving the primitivity of a generalized Lai–Massey scheme is reduced to the simpler one of proving the primitivity of the group generated by the round functions of a strictly related Substitution Permutation Network. We prove how this implies a reduction in the computational cost of invariant-subspace search.

On Invariant Subspaces in the Lai–Massey Scheme and a Primitivity Reduction

Riccardo Aragona;Roberto Civino
2021

Abstract

In symmetric cryptography, the round functions used as building blocks for iterated block ciphers are obtained as the composition of different layers acting as a sequence of bijective transformations providing global increasing complexity. The study of the conditions on such layers which make the group generated by the round functions of a block cipher a primitive group has been addressed in the past years, both in the case of Substitution Permutation Networks and Feistel Networks, giving to block cipher designers the recipe to avoid the imprimitivity attack, which exploits the invariance of some subspaces during the encryption. In the case of Lai–Massey schemes, where both Substitution Permutation Network and Feistel Network features are combined, the resistance against imprimitivity attacks has been a long-standing open problem. In this paper we consider a generalization of such a scheme and we prove its resistance against the imprimitivity attack. Our solution is obtained as a consequence of a more general result in which the problem of proving the primitivity of a generalized Lai–Massey scheme is reduced to the simpler one of proving the primitivity of the group generated by the round functions of a strictly related Substitution Permutation Network. We prove how this implies a reduction in the computational cost of invariant-subspace search.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/169132
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