[Resource Topic] 2019/078: Testing the Randomness of Cryptographic Function Mappings

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Testing the Randomness of Cryptographic Function Mappings

Authors: Alan Kaminsky


A cryptographic function with a fixed-length output, such as a block cipher, hash function, or message authentication code (MAC), should behave as a random mapping. The mapping’s randomness can be evaluated with statistical tests. Statistical test suites typically used to evaluate cryptographic functions, such as the NIST test suite, are not well-suited for testing fixed-output-length cryptographic functions. Also, these test suites employ a frequentist approach, making it difficult to obtain an overall evaluation of the mapping’s randomness. This paper describes CryptoStat, a test suite that overcomes the aforementioned deficiencies. CryptoStat is specifically designed to test the mappings of fixed-output-length cryptographic functions, and CryptoStat employs a Bayesian approach that quite naturally yields an overall evaluation of the mappings’ randomness. Results of applying CryptoStat to reduced-round and full-round versions of the AES block ciphers and the SHA-1 and SHA-2 hash functions are reported; the results are analyzed to determine the algorithms’ randomness margins.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2019/078

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