Analysis of stream cipher based authenticated encryption schemes

ALMashrafi, Mufeed Juma (2012) Analysis of stream cipher based authenticated encryption schemes. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Authenticated Encryption (AE) is the cryptographic process of providing simultaneous confidentiality and integrity protection to messages. This approach is more efficient than applying a two-step process of providing confidentiality for a message by encrypting the message, and in a separate pass providing integrity protection by generating a Message Authentication Code (MAC). AE using symmetric ciphers can be provided by either stream ciphers with built in authentication mechanisms or block ciphers using appropriate modes of operation.

However, stream ciphers have the potential for higher performance and smaller footprint in hardware and/or software than block ciphers. This property makes stream ciphers suitable for resource constrained environments, where storage and computational power are limited. There have been several recent stream cipher proposals that claim to provide AE. These ciphers can be analysed using existing techniques that consider confidentiality or integrity separately; however currently there is no existing framework for the analysis of AE stream ciphers that analyses these two properties simultaneously. This thesis introduces a novel framework for the analysis of AE using stream cipher algorithms.

This thesis analyzes the mechanisms for providing confidentiality and for providing integrity in AE algorithms using stream ciphers. There is a greater emphasis on the analysis of the integrity mechanisms, as there is little in the public literature on this, in the context of authenticated encryption. The thesis has four main contributions as follows.

The first contribution is the design of a framework that can be used to classify AE stream ciphers based on three characteristics. The first classification applies Bellare and Namprempre's work on the the order in which encryption and authentication processes take place. The second classification is based on the method used for accumulating the input message (either directly or indirectly) into the into the internal states of the cipher to generate a MAC. The third classification is based on whether the sequence that is used to provide encryption and authentication is generated using a single key and initial vector, or two keys and two initial vectors.

The second contribution is the application of an existing algebraic method to analyse the confidentiality algorithms of two AE stream ciphers; namely SSS and ZUC. The algebraic method is based on considering the nonlinear filter (NLF) of these ciphers as a combiner with memory. This method enables us to construct equations for the NLF that relate the (inputs, outputs and memory of the combiner) to the output keystream. We show that both of these ciphers are secure from this type of algebraic attack. We conclude that using a keydependent SBox in the NLF twice, and using two different SBoxes in the NLF of ZUC, prevents this type of algebraic attack.

The third contribution is a new general matrix based model for MAC generation where the input message is injected directly into the internal state. This model describes the accumulation process when the input message is injected directly into the internal state of a nonlinear filter generator. We show that three recently proposed AE stream ciphers can be considered as instances of this model; namely SSS, NLSv2 and SOBER-128. Our model is more general than a previous investigations into direct injection. Possible forgery attacks against this model are investigated. It is shown that using a nonlinear filter in the accumulation process of the input message when either the input message or the initial states of the register is unknown prevents forgery attacks based on collisions.

The last contribution is a new general matrix based model for MAC generation where the input message is injected indirectly into the internal state. This model uses the input message as a controller to accumulate a keystream sequence into an accumulation register. We show that three current AE stream ciphers can be considered as instances of this model; namely ZUC, Grain-128a and Sfinks.

We establish the conditions under which the model is susceptible to forgery and side-channel attacks.

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ID Code: 60916
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Simpson, Leonie, Dawson, Edward, Bartlett, Harry, & Wong, Kenneth Koon-Ho
Keywords: authenticated encryption, stream cipher, symmetric cipher, cryptanalysis, algebraic analysis, system of equations, SSS, ZUC, MACs, Grain-128a, 128-EIA, 128- EEA, multivariate equations, sfinks, SNOW-3G, SOBER-128, NLSv2, UEA2, UIA2, birthday attacks, forgery attacks, algebraic attacks, collision attacks, sidechannel attacks
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Institutes > Information Security Institute
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 24 Jun 2013 03:29
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2015 03:41

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