Using SAT solvers to finding short cycles in cryptographic algorithms

Władysław Dudzic, Krzysztof Kanciak


A desirable property of iterated cryptographic algorithms, such as stream ciphers or pseudo-random generators, is the lack of short cycles. Many of the previously mentioned algorithms are based on the use of linear feedback shift registers (LFSR) and nonlinear feedback shift registers (NLFSR) and their combination. It is currently known how to construct LFSR to generate a bit sequence with a maximum period, but there is no such knowledge in the case of NLFSR. The latter would be useful in cryptography application (to have a few taps and relatively low algebraic degree). In this article, we propose a simple method based on the generation of algebraic equations to describe iterated cryptographic algorithms and find their solutions using an SAT solver to exclude short cycles in algorithms such as stream ciphers or nonlinear feedback shift register (NLFSR). Thanks to the use of AIG graphs, it is also possible to fully automate our algorithm, and the results of its operation are comparable to the results obtained by manual generation of equations. We present also the results of experiments in which we successfully found short cycles in the NLFSRs used in KSG, Grain-80, Grain-128 and Grain-128a stream ciphers and also in stream ciphers Bivium and Trivium (without constants used in the initialization step).

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

International Journal of Electronics and Telecommunications
is a periodical of Electronics and Telecommunications Committee
of Polish Academy of Sciences

eISSN: 2300-1933