Generic Universal Forgery Attack on Iterative Hash-Based MACs
In this article, we study the security of iterative hash-based MACs, such as HMAC or NMAC, with regards to universal forgery attacks. Leveraging recent advances in the analysis of functional graphs built from the iteration of HMAC or NMAC, we exhibit the very first generic universal forgery attack against hash-based MACs. In particular, our work implies that the universal forgery resistance of an n-bit output HMAC construction is not 2 n queries as long believed by the community. The techniques we introduce extend the previous functional graphs-based attacks that only took in account the cycle structure or the collision probability: we show that one can extract much more meaningful secret information by also analyzing the distance of a node from the cycle of its component in the functional graph.
KeywordsHMAC NMAC hash function universal forgery
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