Communications in Cryptology IACR CiC
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  1. Subhadeep Banik, Andrea Caforio, Serge Vaudenay
    Published 2024-04-09 PDFPDF

    The LowMC family of block ciphers was proposed by Albrecht et al. in Eurocrypt 2015, specifically targeting adoption in FHE and MPC applications due to its low multiplicative complexity. The construction operates a 3-bit quadratic S-box as the sole non-linear transformation in the algorithm. In contrast, both the linear layer and round key generation are achieved through multiplications of full rank matrices over GF(2). The cipher is instantiable using a diverse set of default configurations, some of which have partial non-linear layers i.e., in which the S-boxes are not applied over the entire internal state of the cipher.

    The significance of cryptanalysing LowMC was elevated by its inclusion into the NIST PQC digital signature scheme PICNIC in which a successful key recovery using a single plaintext/ciphertext pair is akin to retrieving the secret signing key. The current state-of-the-art attack in this setting is due to Dinur at Eurocrypt 2021, in which a novel way of enumerating roots of a Boolean system of equation is morphed into a key-recovery procedure that undercuts an ordinary exhaustive search in terms of time complexity for the variants of the cipher up to five rounds.

    In this work, we demonstrate that this technique can efficiently be enriched with a specific linearization strategy that reduces the algebraic degree of the non-linear layer as put forward by Banik et al. at IACR ToSC 2020(4). This amalgamation yields new attacks on certain instances of LowMC up to seven rounds.

  2. Charles Bouillaguet, Julia Sauvage
    Published 2024-04-09 PDFPDF

    Biscuit is a recent multivariate signature scheme based on the MPC-in-the-Head paradigm. It has been submitted to the NIST competition for additional signature schemes. Signatures are derived from a zero-knowledge proof of knowledge of the solution of a structured polynomial system. This extra structure enables efficient proofs and compact signatures. This short note demonstrates that it also makes these polynomial systems easier to solve than random ones. As a consequence, the original parameters of Biscuit failed to meet the required security levels and had to be upgraded.