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Resistance of Ascon Family against Conditional Cube Attacks in Nonce-Misuse Setting



Donghoon Chang, Deukjo Hong, Jinkeon Kang, Meltem Sonmez Turan


Ascon family is one of the finalists of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) lightweight cryptography standardization process. The family includes three Authenticated Encryption with Associated Data (AEAD) schemes: \ascon-128 (primary), \ascon-128a, and \ascon-80pq. In this paper, we study the resistance of the Ascon family against conditional cube attacks in nonce-misuse setting, and present new state and key recovery attacks. Our attack recovers the full state information and the secret key of \ascon-128a using 7-round Ascon-permutation for the encryption phase, with $2^117}$ data and $2^116.2}$ time. This is the best known attack result for Ascon-128a as far as we know. We also show that the partial state information of Ascon-128 can be recovered with $2^44.8}$ data. Finally, by assuming that the full state information of Ascon-80pq was recovered by Baudrin et al.'s attack, we show that the 160-bit secret key of Ascon-80pq can be recovered with $2^128}$ time. Although our attacks do not invalidate designers' claim, those allow us to understand the security of Ascon in nonce-misuse setting.
Cryptology ePrint Archive


Ascon, Conditional cube attack, Cryptanalysis, Lightweight cryptography, State recovery, Key recovery


Chang, D. , Hong, D. , Kang, J. and Sonmez Turan, M. (2022), Resistance of Ascon Family against Conditional Cube Attacks in Nonce-Misuse Setting, Cryptology ePrint Archive, [online],, (Accessed June 23, 2024)


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Created October 25, 2022, Updated December 14, 2022