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Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2014 06:08:04 +0400
From: Solar Designer <>
Subject: Re: [PHC] FMA (Re: [PHC] Initial (non-proof-read) NeolKDF paper)


> On Tue, Feb 4, 2014 at 9:22 AM, Bill Cox <> wrote:
> > How pissed will the PHC be if I keep re-submitting improved version?

Not very, if you re-submit not too often.

> > Can I blame you :-)


> > It's already passed some of the harder dieharder tests, so it looks
> > like it will be good enough.  For coding this up for SIMD, I'm
> > thinking of doing an 4-way memory interleaved version so that all the
> > data in the 1st loop lines up nicely as 128-bit memory accesses.  Is
> > this the right approach for making use of SIMD?

Possibly, but there's more (potentially crucial) detail to it.  I'll
post another message on my experiments with adding tunable SIMD and
instruction level parallelism to BlockMix.

On Tue, Feb 04, 2014 at 09:42:54AM -0500, Bill Cox wrote:
> There is a problem.  With the multiply-accumulate format for the hash
> function, I can do the whole loop starting with value == 0 ahead of
> time, before knowing value's initial value (poor choice of variable
> name!), and when the initial value is known, I just add it.  So, an
> attacker can start working on the value in the next block as soon as
> the previous value has been computed, defeating the
> multiplication-time hardness.
> I need value to feed back through both a multiply and an add to defeat this.

You're right.  I guess you should mostly disregard my earlier comment
about being friendlier to FMA instructions.  This could be a
nice-to-have, but it's not something you'd trade anything important for.

In my highly experimental code, I have the FMA applied to S-box lookup
results (we need rapidly randomly-accessed L1 cache fitting S-boxes in
order to be no weaker than bcrypt), so it's not susceptible to the
attack you describe, at least not directly (it might be with degenerate
S-boxes or if there's a cycle).  When the FMA is all you have there, the
way you use it affects security more.


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