Zero-correlation attacks on tweakable block ciphers with linear tweakey expansion

Ralph Ankele, Christoph Dobraunig, Jian Guo, Eran Lambooij, Gregor Leander, Yosuke Todo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The design and analysis of dedicated tweakable block ciphers is a quite recent and very active research field that provides an ongoing stream of new insights. For instance, results of Kranz, Leander, and Wiemer from FSE 2017 show that the addition of a tweak using a linear tweak schedule does not introduce new linear characteristics. In this paper, we consider – to the best of our knowledge – for the first time the effect of the tweak on zero-correlation linear cryptanalysis for ciphers that have a linear tweak schedule. It turns out that the tweak can often be used to get zero-correlation linear hulls covering more rounds compared to just searching zero-correlation linear hulls on the data-path of a cipher. Moreover, this also implies the existence of integral distinguishers on the same number of rounds. We have applied our technique on round reduced versions of QARMA, MANTIS, and SkINNy. As a result, we can present – to the best of our knowledge – the best attack (with respect to number of rounds) on a round-reduced variant of QARMA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-235
Number of pages44
JournalIACR Transactions on Symmetric Cryptology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2019


  • Integral cryptanalysis
  • Mantis
  • Qarma
  • Skinny
  • Symmetric-key cryptography
  • Tweakable block ciphers
  • Zero-correlation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics

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