Section: Research Program

Symmetric Key Cryptanalysis

Symmetric key cryptographic primitives play a very important role in secure communications. For example, block ciphers and stream ciphers are used to protect the privacy of cellular phone users from eavesdroppers, while MACs (message authentication codes) ensure that active attackers cannot interfere with cellular communication without being detected.

Since there is no method of formally proving that a complex modern symmetric key cipher is secure, there is no choice but to consider it secure if there are no known attacks against it. Thus, a symmetric key cipher should undergo an extensive cryptanalytic effort to evaluate its resistance against both well-known and new types of attacks. The goal of cryptanalytic is thus to ensure that only the strongest symmetric key cryptographic primitives are deployed and used in practice.

The team contributes to this field by proposing new cryptanalytic techniques and applying them to both new and existing secret key primitives, helping to understand their security.