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Future Directions in Symmetric Cryptography

Funding: University of Luxembourg
Start Date: Oct. 1, 2017
End Date: Sept. 30, 2019


Symmetric cryptographic primitives (e.g. block ciphers, hash functions) form an indispensible part of modern security protocols, most notably TLS and IPSec, where they are used for bulk encryption and the verification of message integrity. The emergence of novel application domains for symmetric cryptosystems, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) or digital currencies, has introduced very specific requirements that were not anticipated in the past. FDISC explores new research directions for the design, analysis and implementation of symmetric primitives with the goal of facilitating their deployment in the afore-mentioned new application domains. The research carried out in the FDISC project consists of two Work Packages (WPs), each involving two tasks. The goal of the first WP is to design and implement a lightweight ARXbased block cipher with provable security guarantees against certain forms of both classical cryptanalysis and side-channel attacks. Thereafter, the second WP aims at designing a provably memory-hard Proof-of-Work (PoW) scheme for digital currencies and developing new approaches for client puzzles suitable for mobile devices.