23 January 2009

Cryptanalysis prize

Inspired by Dan Bernstein's CubeHash prizes, we offer a prize for the most interesting Keccak cryptanalysis. The results must be publicly available on an URL that is sent to keccak -at- noekeon -dot- org before February 23, 2009 at 12:00 GMT+1. We reserve the right to extend this deadline in the absence of interesting results. Otherwise, the winner will be announced during the Rump session of the first SHA-3 candidate conference in Leuven.

Who wins the prize will be decided by consensus in the Keccak team. Similar to Dan Bernstein, we will use a system of points. Some hints:

  • Innovative ideas get more points than incremental results or applying standard techniques;
  • For attacks with innovations that are comparable, the earlier ones get more points;
  • Cryptanalysis or attack techniques applicable to a wider range of valid parameters r, c get more points (see the specifications for the definition of valid parameters);
    • Larger Keccak-f width gets more points;
    • Larger capacity gets more points;
  • Attacks on reduced-round versions are allowed but more rounds get more points.

We wanted to offer a prize which has a cultural dimension and is likely to appeal to the typical cryptanalyst. This forced us to the choice we have made. The prize is a case with 24 bottles of 33cl Trappist beers from all 6 recognized Trappist breweries in Belgium. It includes bottles of Westmalle Dubbel, Westmalle Tripel, Chimay bleue, Chimay rouge, Chimay blanche, Rochefort 8, Rochefort 10, Orval, Achel Blond, Achel Bruin and probably the most hard to get beer in the world: the mythical Westvleteren 12°.

In case there is a winner by the first SHA-3 candidate conference and she/he/they are present, we'll bring the case to Leuven and hand it over there. Otherwise, we'll do our best to bring the case and the winners together. Once the winner is known there is no hurry as the expiry dates on most of the bottles are years from now.