Boomerang Distinguishers on MD4-Based Hash Functions: First Practical Results on Full 5-Pass HAVAL Compression Function


IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E96-A   No.1   pp.131-140
Publication Date: 2013/01/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1337
Print ISSN: 0916-8508
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Cryptography and Information Security)
Category: Hash Functions
boomerang attack,  4-sum distinguisher,  hash,  HAVAL,  message-words permutation,  

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In this paper, we study a boomerang attack approach on MD4-based hash functions, and present a practical 4-sum distinguisher against the compression function of the full 5-pass HAVAL. Our approach is based on the previous work by Kim et al., which proposed the boomerang distinguisher on the encryption mode of MD4, MD5, and HAVAL in the related-key setting. Firstly, we prove that the differential path for 5-pass HAVAL used in the previous boomerang distinguisher contains a critical flaw and thus the attack cannot work. We then search for new differential paths. Finally, by using the new paths, we mount the distinguisher on the compression function of the full 5-pass HAVAL which generates a 4-sum quartet with a complexity of approximately 211 compression function computations. As far as we know, this is the first result on the full compression function of 5-pass HAVAL that can be computed in practice. We also point out that the 4-sum distinguisher can also be constructed for other MD4-based hash functions such as MD5, 3-pass HAVAL, and 4-pass HAVAL. Our attacks are implemented on a PC and we present a generated 4-sum quartet for each attack target.