On the security of the RC5 encryption algorithm by Kaliski B.S.

By Kaliski B.S.

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Extra resources for On the security of the RC5 encryption algorithm

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The results to date, building on one another to apply advanced forms of di erential and linear attack, have been very encouraging. We observe that RC5 with 12 rounds and 64-bit block size give roughly the same security as DES against these attacks 244 chosen plaintext pairs for RC5 as opposed to 243 known plaintexts for DES. The extra speed of RC5 allows one to use extra rounds, thereby providing an additional margin of safety. Based on the known results, we conclude that RC5 with 16 rounds and 64-bit block size can provide good security against existing analytical attacks.

As we pointed out earlier, the heavy use of data-dependent rotations is one distinguished features of RC5, and hence it is important to know how this feature a ects the cipher statistically. More speci cally, we performed the following test. In 100 million  223  trials with random plaintext and keys, we checked whether a pair of plaintexts di ering in a single bit lead to some di erent intermediate rotation amounts. For RC5-32 r 64-bit block size, r rounds, let Nr s denote the total number of such pairs in 100 million trials when bit s of the plaintext is ipped.

We try to analyze the strength and weakness of each new version compared to RC5. We name the modi ed versions in a certain way just for ease of reference. RC5XOR: Ri = Li,1  Ri,1  Ri,1  Si RC5XOR is less secure than RC5 against both di erential and linear cryptanalysis. In particular, the change of + to  increases the probability of a half-round characteristic by a factor of about 2t if the Hamming weight of the characteristic is t. Nevertheless, existing results 3 showed that RC5XOR serves as a good starting point for one to analyze RC5 since it preserves the basic structure of RC5 while only requiring a smaller number of plaintexts to mount the same attack.

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