The SHA-3 competition for the new cryptographic standard was initiated by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 2007. In the following years, the event grew to one of the top areas currently being researched by the CS and cryptographic communities. The first objective of this thesis is to overview, analyse, and critique the SHA-3 competition. The second one is to perform an in-depth study of the security of two candidate hash functions, the finalist Keccak and the second round candidate Blue Midnight Wish. The study shall primarily focus on zero-sum distinguishers. First we attempt to attack reduced versions of these hash functions and see if any vulnerabilities can be detected. This is followed by attacks on their full versions. In the process, a novel approach is utilized in the search of zero-sum distinguishers by employing SAT solvers. We conclude that while such complex attacks can theoretically uncover undesired properties of the two hash functions presented, such attacks are still far from being fully realized due to current limitations in computing power.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Hashing (Computer science)--Evaluation; Computer algorithms--Evaluation; Cryptography--Research; Computer crimes--Prevention
Department, Program, or Center
Computer Science (GCCIS)
Andreicheva, Liliya, "Security of the SHA-3 candidates Keccak and Blue Midnight Wish: Zero-sum property" (2011). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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