SLIM: A Lightweight Block Cipher for Internet of Health Things

Bassam Aboushosha, Rabie A. Ramadan*, Ashutosh Dhar Dwivedi, Ayman El-Sayed, Mohamed M. Dessouky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Nowadays, there is a strong demand for increasing the protection of resource-constrained devices such as Radio frequency identification (RFID) systems. Current cryptographic algorithms are sufficient for high-resource desktop computers. RFID systems are commonly used in high-security applications
such as access control systems, transaction banking systems, and payment systems. The attacker attempts to mislead RFIDs for unauthorized access to services without payment or to circumvent security mechanisms by detecting a secret password. The biggest challenge in RFID systems is how to ensure successful protection against such infringements. Lightweight cryptography can provide security assurance for protecting RFID systems. This article presents a new ultra-lightweight cryptography algorithm for RFID systems called SLIM. SLIM is a 32-bit block cipher based on the Feistel structure since block ciphers are the most used cryptographic and provide very tight protection for IoT devices. The key challenge in designing a lightweight block cipher is to cope with performance, cost, and security. SLIM, like all symmetric block cipher, uses the same key for encryption and decryption. The proposed algorithm has an excellent performance in both hardware and software environments, with a limited implementation area, an acceptable cost/security for RFID systems, and an energy-efficient behaviour. SLIM has demonstrated high immunity against the most effective linear and differential cryptanalysis attacks and has a sufficient margin of defence against these attacks.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Access
Pages (from-to)203747 - 203757
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • RFID
  • Block ciphers
  • Lightweight cryptography
  • Feistel ciphers
  • Cryptanalysis


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