Elastic Block Ciphers: Method, Security and Instantiations

Cook, Debra L.; Yung, Moti; Keromytis, Angelos D.

We introduce the concept of an elastic block cipher which refers to stretching the supported block size of a block cipher to any length up to twice the original block size while incurring a computational workload that is proportional to the block size. Our method uses the round function of an existing block cipher as a black box and inserts it into a substitution- permutation network. Our method is designed to enable us to form a reduction between the elastic and the original versions of the cipher. Using this reduction, we prove that the elastic version of a cipher is secure against key-recovery attacks if the original cipher is secure against such attacks. We note that while reduction-based proofs of security are a cornerstone of cryptographic analysis, they are typical when complete components are used as sub-components in a larger design. We are not aware of the use of such techniques in the case of concrete block cipher designs. We demonstrate the general applicability of the elastic block cipher method by constructing examples from existing block ciphers: AES, Camellia, MISTY1, and RC6. We compare the performance of the elastic versions to that of the original versions and evaluate the elastic versions using statistical tests measuring the randomness of the ciphertext. We also use our examples to demonstrate the concept of a generic key schedule for block ciphers.



Also Published In

International Journal of Information Security

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Academic Units
Computer Science
Published Here
June 23, 2011