The c-differential behavior of the inverse function under the EA-equivalence


While the classical differential uniformity (c = 1) is invariant under the CCZ-equivalence, the newly defined (Ellingsen et al., IEEE Trans. Inf. Theory 66(9), 5781–5789, 2020) concept of c-differential uniformity (cDU), as was observed in Hasan et al. (2020), is not invariant under EA or CCZ-equivalence, for c≠ 1. In this paper, we find an intriguing behavior of the inverse function, namely, that adding some appropriate linearized monomials increases the c-differential uniformity significantly, for some c. For example, adding the linearized monomial \(x^{2^{d}}\) to \(x^{2^{n}-2}\), where d is the largest nontrivial divisor of n, increases the mentioned c-differential uniformity from 2 or 3 (for c≠ 0,1) to ≥ 2d + 2, which in the case of the inverse function (as used in the AES) on \({\mathbb {F}}_{2^{8}}\) is a significant value of 18. We consider the case of perturbations via more general linearized polynomials and give bounds for the cDU based upon character sums. We further provide some computational results on other known Sboxes.

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The authors would like to express their sincere appreciation for the reviewers’ careful reading, beneficial comments and suggestions, and to the editors for the prompt handling of our paper.

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Correspondence to Pantelimon Stănică.

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Stănică, P., Geary, A. The c-differential behavior of the inverse function under the EA-equivalence. Cryptogr. Commun. (2021).

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  • Boolean and p-ary functions
  • c-differentials
  • Differential uniformity
  • Perfect and almost perfect c-nonlinearity
  • Perturbations
  • Characters

Mathematics Subject Classification (2010)

  • 06E30
  • 11T06
  • 94A60
  • 94C10