Breaking HALFLOOP-24


Conference / Medium


Marcus Dansarie Lukas Stennes Gregor Leander Patrick Derbez

Research Hub

Research Hub A: Kryptographie der Zukunft

Research Challenges

RC 1: Cryptography against Mass Surveillance


HALFLOOP-24 is a tweakable block cipher that is used to protect automatic link establishment messages in high frequency radio, a technology commonly used by government agencies and industries that need highly robust long-distance communications. We present the first public cryptanalysis of HALFLOOP-24 and show that HALFLOOP-24, despite its key size of 128 bits, is far from providing 128 bit security. More precisely, we give attacks for ciphertext-only, known-plaintext, chosen-plaintext and chosen-ciphertext scenarios. In terms of their complexities, most of them can be considered practical. However, in the real world, the amount of available data is too low for our attacks to work. Our strongest attack, a boomerang key-recovery, finds the first round key with less than 210 encryption and decryption queries. In conclusion, we strongly advise against using HALFLOOP-24.


Cryptographic Protocols
Symmetric Cryptography