[Resource Topic] 2023/1667: Unleashing the Power of Differential Fault Attacks on QARMAv2

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Unleashing the Power of Differential Fault Attacks on QARMAv2

Authors: Soumya Sahoo, Debasmita Chakraborty, Santanu Sarkar


QARMAv2 represents a family of lightweight block ciphers introduced in
ToSC 2023. This new iteration, QARMAv2, is an evolution of the original QARMA
design, specifically constructed to accommodate more extended tweak values while
simultaneously enhancing security measures. This family of ciphers is available in
two distinct versions, referred to as QARMAv2-b-s, where ‘$b$’ signifies the block
length, with options for both 64-bit and 128-bit blocks, and ‘$c$’ signifies the key
length. In this paper, for the first time, we present differential fault analysis (DFA)
of all the QARMAv2 variants- QARMAv2-64, and QARMAv2-128 by introducing
an approach to utilize the fault propagation patterns at the nibble level, with the
goal of identifying relevant faulty ciphertexts and vulnerable fault positions. This
technique highlights a substantial security risk for the practical implementation of
QARMAv2. By strategically introducing six random nibble faults into the input of
the (r − 1)-th and (r − 2)-th backward rounds within the r-round QARMAv2-64,
our attack achieves a significant reduction in the secret key space, diminishing it
from the expansive 2^{128} to a significantly more smaller set of size 2^{32}. Additionally,
when targeting QARMAv2-128-128, it demands the introduction of six random nibble
faults to effectively reduce the secret key space from 2^{128} to a remarkably reduced
2^{24}. To conclude, we also explore the potential extension of our methods to conduct
DFA on various other iterations and adaptations of the QARMAv2 cryptographic
scheme. To the best of our knowledge, this marks the first instance of a differential
fault attack targeting the QARMAv2 tweakable block cipher family, signifying an
important direction in cryptographic analysis.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2023/1667

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