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Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2015 18:40:42 +0530
From: Donghoon Chang <>
To: "" <>
Subject: Re: [PHC] PHC status report

Even I don't think that the PHC panel's 9-candidate selecting process is
similar to the five final-round candidates selection procedure of the SHA-3
project as follows, because there was no kind of elegance concept even when
the five final-round candidates of SHA-3 were selected. I will tell you
more about that based on facts in scientific ways.

Among the14 second-round candidates of SHA-3, in cases of 8 candidates
except BLAKE, ECHO, Grostl, JH, Keccak, and Skein, non-randomnesses of
their underlying primitives were found, which is also provided in the SHA-3
zoo. In case of ECHO, it was very slow compared to other algorithms, which
was provided in eBASH and the second round report of SHA-3 project. Though
ECHO was not extremely slow like SWIFFTX, according to the criteria of
performance comparison, ECHO was not selected. Therefore, only due to
security and performance concern, which is scientifically measurable, it is
clear that the five finalists were selected. But, this is not the opinion
of NIST, but my personal opinion based on facts in the SHA-3 zoo,
eBASH, etc.

I hope that everything might be clear to the PHC panel.

- Donghoon

2015-02-12 18:24 GMT+05:30 Donghoon Chang <>:

> Dear Samuel,
> Let me try to explain how NIST chose 14 candidates from 51 in scientific
> ways. (At that time, I was not involved in NIST.)  But, it is clear why 14
> was chosen based on scientific facts, not based on any kind of elegance
> concept.
> Among 51, 34 candidates except MD6, SWIFFTX, SANDstorm, and the 14 second
> candidates had security issues which were clearly described in SHA-3 zoo (
> Here, security issue
> means that there was found a non-randomness or collision, or etc. of
> underlying primitive(s) (such as permutation or block cipher or a function)
> of each of the 34 candidates. If there is any non-randomness property of
> the underlying primitives, it is hard to justify the entire hash
> construction. For example, SHA-256 is based on Merkle-Damgard (MD) domain
> extension. MD construction guarantees that if its compression function is
> collision resistant, then SHA-256 hash function is collision resistant.
> However, if the underlying compression function is not collision resistant,
> it would be difficult to guarantee the collision resistance of the hash
> function. Can you imagine that we would have used SHA-2 without any worry
> if the compression function of SHA-2 were not collision resistant? So, for
> the structural soundness of SHA-256 hash function, it is necessary to show
> that its compression function seems to be collision resistant. Likewise,
> since the hash function may be used in many applications such as a
> pseudorandom number generator, the desirable requirement on the underlying
> primitive is that there is no non-randomness property. In that sense, the
> 34 candidates failed to justify the structural soundness of each algorithm
> since they're found non-randomness of their underlying primitive as shown
> in the SHA-3 zoo.
> In case of MD6, its designers withdrew it before 14 were chosen for the
> second round candidates. (This was publicly known.)
> In case of SWIFFTX, its performance was extremely slow compared to any
> other candidates so no one would use it.
> In case of SANDstorm, its design is very complicated in a way that it is
> very hard to evaluate its security. A fact is that there was no single
> paper analyzing it.
> In case of the remaining 14 candidates, there was no any security issue on
> their underlying primitives and performance-wise there was no extremely
> slowness.
> It is reasonable to say that the 14 candidates were chosen based on the
> scientifically measurable evidences regarding security and performance,
> which were provided in SHA-3 zoo, eBASH, academic papers etc..
> Therefore, I don't think that the PHC panel's 9-candidate selecting
> process is similar to the 14 2-round candidates selection procedure of the
> SHA-3 project.
> - Donghoon
> 2015-02-12 8:05 GMT+05:30 Samuel Neves <>:
>> On 11-02-2015 21:24, Donghoon Chang wrote:
>> > In other words, NIST's report is like this.
>> >
>> > "We could not choose X algorithm though X has many good features with
>> > plentiful paragraphs."
>> >
>> > But, I found that this kind of effort in the PHC is missing. Instead of
>> > saying encouraging words or describing good points of each algorithm,
>> the
>> > report says like this,
>> >
>> > "We could not choose X algorithm because X has some negative aspects
>> with
>> > very few words."
>> That is indeed how the later stage SHA-3 reports are done. However, I
>> went back and looked at the SHA-3 Round 1 report
>> [1], which would be the rough analogous to the phase we are in right now.
>> There is no comment on the 37 rejected
>> candidates beyond some initial generalities about criteria (which, as you
>> pointed out, were mainly security and
>> performance). I am quite confident each of these rejections are fully
>> justified, but the report is definitely not where
>> one will find them. Similarly, Phase 1 of the eSTREAM competition yielded
>> no formal report at all (that I can find; I
>> only found [2]), simply a selection.
>> [1]
>> [2]
>> Best regards,
>> Samuel Neves

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