How to Improve Rebound Attacks

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Abstract

Rebound attacks are a state-of-the-art analysis method for hash functions. These cryptanalysis methods are based on a well chosen differential path and have been applied to several hash functions from the SHA-3 competition, providing the best known analysis in these cases. In this paper we study rebound attacks in detail and find for a large number of cases that the complexities of existing attacks can be improved.

This is done by identifying problems that optimally adapt to the cryptanalytic situation, and by using better algorithms to find solutions for the differential path. Our improvements affect one particular operation that appears in most rebound attacks and which is often the bottleneck of the attacks. This operation, which varies depending on the attack, can be roughly described as merging large lists. As a result, we introduce new general purpose algorithms for enabling further rebound analysis to be as performant as possible. We illustrate our new algorithms on real hash functions.