[Resource Topic] 2003/020: Attacks based on Conditional Correlations against the Nonlinear Filter Generator

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Attacks based on Conditional Correlations against the Nonlinear Filter Generator

Authors: Bernhard Löhlein


In this paper we extend the conditional correlation attack ([LCPP96])
against the nonlinear filter generator (NLFG) by introducing
new conditions and generalisations and present two known-plaintext attacks, called hybrid correlation attack and concentration attack.
The NLFG is a well known LFSR-based keystream generator which could be used as a basic building block in a synchronous stream cipher system.
Both new attacks use methods from the conditional correlation attack and additional
from fast correlation attacks to derive the unknown initial
state of the LFSR of the NLFG.
The basic principle of iteratively cumulating and updating conditional
correlations for the NLFG was proposed in [Loh01]
and for general combiners with memory in [GBM02].
With the hybrid correlation attack it is possible to successfully attack the NLFG
by applying a fast correlation attack, even if
the filter function f of the NLFG is highly nonlinear, e.g. the normalised
nonlinearity p_{e,f} is \ge 0.45.
The concentration attack
maps all computed conditional correlations to D-B unknown LFSR bits,
where D \ge k and 1 \le B \le k are parameters which can be chosen
by the attacker, and k is the length of the LFSR of the NLFG.
Even with low values of conditional correlations, it is possible to
mount the hybrid correlation attack and the concentration attack successfully.
This is not the case for the originally version of the conditional correlation attack ([LCPP96])
in a time lower than a full search over all possible initial states.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2003/020

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