Advances in Cryptology – CRYPTO 2012

Volume 7417 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 14-30

Tweakable Blockciphers with Beyond Birthday-Bound Security

  • Will LandeckerAffiliated withDept. of Computer Science, Portland State University Email author 
  • , Thomas ShrimptonAffiliated withDept. of Computer Science, Portland State University
  • , R. Seth TerashimaAffiliated withDept. of Computer Science, Portland State University


Liskov, Rivest and Wagner formalized the tweakable blockcipher (TBC) primitive at CRYPTO’02. The typical recipe for instantiating a TBC is to start with a blockcipher, and then build up a construction that admits a tweak. Almost all such constructions enjoy provable security only to the birthday bound, and the one that does achieve security beyond the birthday bound (due to Minematsu) severely restricts the tweak size and requires per-invocation blockcipher rekeying.

This paper gives the first TBC construction that simultaneously allows for arbitrarily “wide” tweaks, does not rekey, and delivers provable security beyond the birthday bound. Our construction is built from a blockcipher and an \(\epsilon \text{-AXU }_2\) hash function.

As an application of the TBC primitive, LRW suggest the TBC-MAC construction (similar to CBC-MAC but chaining through the tweak), but leave open the question of its security. We close this question, both for TBC-MAC as a PRF and a MAC. Along the way, we find a nonce-based variant of TBC-MAC that has a tight reduction to the security of the underlying TBC, and also displays graceful security degradation when nonces are misused. This result is interesting on its own, but it also serves as an application of our new TBC construction, ultimately giving a variable input-length PRF with beyond birthday-bound security.