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A mathematical theory for the design and analysis of symmetric cryptographic primitives.

In an ideal world, all security mechanisms would be based on strong mathematical foundations that allow to prove their properties. Historically, mainly asymmetric cryptology has benefited from such strong mathematical foundations. While well-developed theories to design and to analyse asymmetric primitives exist, this is much less the case for symmetric primitives. Only unconnected fragments of theories exist, and the security of the designs used in practice can not be proven formally. Yet virtually all cryptographic applications use one or more symmetric primitives, sometimes in combination with asymmetric ones. The objectives of this project are threefold. Firstly, we aim to enhance the state of provable security for symmetric cryptology by establishing links with the fundamental problems studied in mature mathematical subfields like coding theory and probability theory, and by defining better security models. Secondly, new cryptanalytic attack strategies will be studied, and it will be investigated how designs can be made for which resistance against these attacks can be proven. Finally, we will focus on the fundamental limits encountered when designing lightweight cryptographic primitives, i.e., primitives suitable for resource constrained environments such as RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) tags.
Date:1 Oct 2010  →  30 Sep 2011
Keywords:Symmetric cryptography, Lightweight cryptography, Provable security
Disciplines:Other engineering and technology