Information-Combining Differential Fault Attacks on DEFAULT

Marcel Nageler, Christoph Erwin Dobraunig, Maria Eichlseder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


Differential fault analysis (DFA) is a very powerful attack vector for implementations of symmetric cryptography. Most countermeasures are applied at the implementation level. At ASIACRYPT 2021, Baksi et al. proposed a design strategy that aims to provide inherent cipher level resistance against DFA by using S-boxes with linear structures. They argue that in their instantiation, the block cipher DEFAULT, a DFA adversary can learn at most 64 of the 128 key bits, so the remaining brute-force complexity of 2 64 is impractical. In this paper, we show that a DFA adversary can combine information across rounds to recover the full key, invalidating their security claim. In particular, we observe that such ciphers exhibit large classes of equivalent keys that can be represented efficiently in normalized form using linear equations. We exploit this in combination with the specifics of DEFAULT’s strong key schedule to recover the key using less than 100 faulty computation and negligible time complexity. Moreover, we show that even an idealized version of DEFAULT with independent round keys is vulnerable to our information-combining attacks based on normalized keys.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Cryptology – EUROCRYPT 2022 - 41st Annual International Conference on the Theory and Applications of Cryptographic Techniques, 2022, Proceedings
EditorsOrr Dunkelman, Stefan Dziembowski
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-07082-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-07081-5
Publication statusPublished - May 2022
Event41st Annual International Conference on the Theory and Applications of Cryptographic Techniques: EUROCRYPT 2022 - Trondheim, Norway
Duration: 30 May 20223 Jun 2022

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume13277 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference41st Annual International Conference on the Theory and Applications of Cryptographic Techniques
Abbreviated titleEUROCRYPT 2022
Internet address


  • Differential Fault Attacks (DFA)
  • Cryptanalysis
  • Linear structures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

Fields of Expertise

  • Information, Communication & Computing


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