Design and Analysis of Next Generation Authenticated Encryption Algorithms is a research project supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).
Authenticated encryption (AE) describes an important class of cryptographic algorithms with many applications in information security. It provides both confidentiality and authentication of data to two parties communicating via an insecure channel. This is essential for many applications such as SSL/TLS, IPSEC, SSH or harddisk encryption. While these two goals can be achieved by generic two-pass constructions, they are expensive to compute and error-prone to users. This has been demonstrated by a number of attacks. Furthermore, different devices, applications and users have requirements and constraints that can only be met by dedicated AE designs. This motivates the upcoming CAESAR competition that aims to select a portfolio of authenticated ciphers with many advantages over current solutions. This project investigates in detail the foundations and security aspects of modern authenticated ciphers. The first goal of the project is to analyze established authenticated ciphers and assess their security margin. This will result in better and more adequate requirements for design principles of authenticated ciphers. The second goal is to design new optimized authenticated cipher. The third goal is to extend our analysis to the ciphers submitted to the CAESAR competition, including our own submission Ascon.
The project will contribute to state-of-the-art research in the design and analysis of authenticated encryption algorithms. This will help to ensure that algorithms selected in the portfolio of CAESAR have been thoroughly investigated before being used in practice.