Multidimensional zero-correlation attacks on lightweight block cipher HIGHT: Improved cryptanalysis of an ISO standard

Long Wen, Meiqin Wang, Andrey Bogdanov, Huaifeng Chen

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HIGHT is a block cipher designed in Korea with the involvement of Korea Information Security Agency. It was proposed at CHES 2006 for usage in lightweight applications such as sensor networks and RFID tags. Lately, it has been adopted as ISO standard. Though there is a great deal of cryptanalytic results on HIGHT, its security evaluation against the recent zero-correlation linear attacks is still lacking. At the same time, the Feistel-type structure of HIGHT suggests that it might be susceptible to this type of cryptanalysis. In this paper, we aim to bridge this gap.

We identify zero-correlation linear approximations over 16 rounds of HIGHT. Based upon those, we attack 27-round HIGHT (round 4 to round 30) with improved time complexity and practical memory requirements. This attack of ours is the best result on HIGHT to date in the classical single-key setting. We also provide the first attack on 26-round HIGHT (round 4 to round 29) with the full whitening key.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation Processing Letters
Pages (from-to)322–330
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

©2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license.


  • Cryptography
  • Analysis of algorithms
  • Block cipher
  • Zero-correlation linear cryptanalysis

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