Impossible differential cryptanalysis of zodiac

Deukjo Hong, Jaechul Sung, Shiho Moriai, Sangjin Lee, Jongin Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we discuss the impossible differential cryptanalysis for the block cipher Zodiac. The main design principles of Zodiac include simplicity and efficiency. However, the diffusion layer in its round function is too simple to offer enough security. The impossible differential cryptanalysis exploits such weakness in Zodiac. Our attack using a 14-round impossible characteristic derives the 128-bit master key of the full 16-round Zodiac faster than the exhaustive search. The efficiency of the attack compared with exhaustive search increases as the key size increases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-43
Number of pages6
JournalIEICE Transactions on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Jan


  • Impossible differential cryptanalysis
  • Zodiac

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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