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International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 7, Issue 4, April-2016 ISSN 2229-5518 992 Energizing the Advanced Encryption Stan...

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International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 7, Issue 4, April-2016 ISSN 2229-5518


Energizing the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) for Better Performance Arif Sari1, Behnam Rahnama2, Ibukun Eweoya3 , Zafer Agdelen4 1-4Girne American University, Turkey, [email protected],[email protected] 2Scale DB. Inc. Silicon Valley, USA, [email protected] 3Covenant University, Nigeria, [email protected] Abstract— Security is a never ending challenge. The security researchers must be steps ahead to avoid attacks and threats, thereby keeping businesses running and avoiding calamities. The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is to this rescue after its official acceptance and recommendation by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 2001. However, timing attacks have called for a modification to it to retain its potency and effectiveness. This research boosts the Rijndael by incorporating an invented playfair ciphering into the algorithm using 256 ASCII codes. The concept counters possible leakages from the S-box lookups from the cache. The research introduces mixcolumn in the last round against the standard to make it a constant time algorithm. The encryption and decryption were validated. Previous researches implemented Architectural and operating system modifications, placing all the lookup tables in CPU registers, Parallel Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) implementation , Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) implementation, the Dynamic Cache Flushing Algorithm but none keeps AES assets of good speed and memory conservation; most especially in embedded systems. Index Terms— AES, cryptanalysis, SCA, encryption, decryption, counter mode, security, FPGA, S-boxes. ——————————  ——————————




round, thereby making it a constant time algorithm. The

There is an unending list of cryptographic algorithms that

have proved weak in one or all of authentication, authorization,




validation or sanitization. According to [1], FIPS 140-2 defines a set of algorithms that have been determined to

be strong. Symmetric keys less than 128 bits long are insecure, stream ciphers are discouraged due to subtle

weaknesses. The NIST confirmed the AES excellent for usage in 2001, it is devoid of the above weaknesses [17].

However, it can be strengthened and that led to this research work.

concept counters possible leakages from the S-box lookups,




substitutebyte, shiftrows, mixcolumns) of the AES are still

applicable but it becomes impossible for cryptanalysis discovery of enciphering method; cracking efforts’ success will be beyond human patience as it avoids statistical precision, thereby countering timing attacks. ————————————————

of Management Information Systems,School of Applied Sciences,Girne American University, Cyprus [email protected]@gau.edu.tr • 2ScaleDB Inc. Silicon Valley, USA [email protected] • 3Department of Computer & Information Sciences, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria. [email protected]


The AES is in 128, 192 and 256 bits, we have strengthened further 256bits AES by an enhanced playfair cipher using ASCII implementation. The enhanced AES this paper

Research Questions and Methodology.

presents is versatile and applicable in embedded systems,

The acceptability of AES is high and the efficiency is

operating systems, web based applications, database

superb. However, lately challenges are eminent. Not

applications etc. Hardware solutions require additional

much of attention was dedicated towards this in the past

cost for simulation, control and monitoring equipment

literature hence leading this research to some questions to

therefore the incoming of this research providing

bridge the gap?What is the vulnerability in AES?

software solution presented by playfair ciphering with

What is the loop hole to cache timing attack ?

ASCII codes manipulations.

How can it be controlled? The above questions have led us to a review of literature,

This research demonstrates the introduction of a unique diffusion and confusion in the Rijndael by incorporating playfair ciphering into the algorithm. It is dependent of the key and input, adding mixcolumns into the last

shedding light on parameters that lead to AES vulnerability, exploring the loop holes to the attack and finally how to achieve a constant time algorithm, thereby bringing the cache timing attack to a halt.Using managed

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International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 7, Issue 4, April-2016 ISSN 2229-5518


code (.Net, Java, Php) was suggested by [2] to enhance

information in finance, health, defence, government etc.

security at the development stage of software

must be excellent in integrity, availability and

development for their less susceptibility to overflow

confidentiality. The flow of data as required for any

attacks and memory corruption therefore, php was

security conscious business is expressed in figure 1.

chosen as the implementation language for this work. According to [2], every sensitive information demands confidentiality, thereby avoiding loss, theft and corruption of data or information. The sensitivity of

IJSER Figure 1: Example of a data classification flowchat [2]

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International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 7, Issue 4, April-2016 ISSN 2229-5518



As each of these is of a different level of cryptographic

Key Size and Encryption System

The ability to keep encrypted information secret is based

complexity, it is usual to have different key sizes for the

not on the cryptographic algorithms which are widely

same level of security, depending upon the algorithm

known but on the key. The key must be used with the

used. For example, the security available with a 1024-bit

algorithm to produce an encrypted result or to decrypt

key using asymmetric RSA is considered approximately

previously encrypted information. Decryption with the

equal in security to an 80-bit key in a symmetric

correct key is simple; decryption without the correct key

algorithm [4].

is very difficult and impossible in some cases for all

The following table compares the equivalent security

practical purposes [3].

level for some commonly considered key sizes [5].

The key size that should be used in a particular application of cryptography depends on two things: the key size, the cryptographic algorithm in use.

Table Error! No text of specified style in document.: Key Size Security Level Comparison [5] Comparison [5] Symmetric scheme

RSA(n in bits)

DLP (p in bits)

DLP (q in bits)

ECC (n in bits)
























(key size in bits) 56 80 112 128 192 256



achieve these requirements is to signcrypt the message.

Losing and Compromising of Private Key

Signcryption, first proposed by Zhang in 1997 [8] as a

Considering a public key infrastructure (PKI), there is a high possibility of infringement of private keys. To avert key compromise consequences, there is a revocation of certificates linked to compromised keys. Despite the fact that the concerned certificates are still valid by expiry date specifications, they are confirmed irrelevant to

and public key encryption simultaneously, at lower computational costs and communication overheads than the signature - then- encryption approach [9].


dependants. The relying parties get informed about

Information Confidentiality

Information means a set of data in an understandable

derailed certificates and consequently rendered invalid. Reasons accompany the Certificate Revocation List (CRL) or Online Certificate Status Protocol. Discretion comes







Confidentiality refers to the protection of a set of data or information

into place about transactions done close to the arrival of






confidentiality and privacy are the foremost concerns in

the revocation alert [6] [7].


cryptographic primitive that performs digital signature

Information Confidentiality [10]. In the present age of

Confidentiality, Authentication, Integrity and Non – Repudiation These are the important requirements for many cryptographic applications. A traditional approach to

networking (most significantly the internet), in a specific network, a certain piece of information is literally available



the network.


Information Confidentiality becomes a serious issue, as

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International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 7, Issue 4, April-2016 ISSN 2229-5518


taking any chance may result in information being leaked

cryptography and can be used for non-repudiation and

to unauthorized parties [11].

user authentication; if the receiver can obtain the session key encrypted with the sender's private key, then only this sender could have sent the message.


Integrity Data integrity refers to the preservation of originality of information, simply preventing intentional compromise of data content. Integrity ensures that data hasn't been modified. Integrity is obviously extremely critical for any kind of transaction. Adulterated accounting or monetary documents can terminate businesses if not detected timely.

Figure 2 is a three in one encryption called a hybrid cryptographic scheme; it possesses a secure transmission implementing digital signature and digital envelope.

Hash algorithms are typically used to provide for integrity of information. A hash function is like the conventional fingerprinting, there is uniqueness in the item of information originality confirmation. If the data is modified, even a single bit changed, the fingerprint or hash is different, and the modification detected


Authentication and Non Repudiation Authentication is an irrevocable capturing and consequently tallying of a personality or personalities in attempt to ensure there is no deviation from claimed identity. Identity cards, door locks and keys are for authentication purposes to gain entry. Network logins, passwords, access tokens, biometrics, watermarks and digital signatures are networking authentication measures.


Non repudiation refers to the inability of a person to deny the origin of a signature, document, and receipt of a message or document. An action taken cannot be revoked

Figure 2:

Sample Application of the Three

Cryptographic Techniques for Secure Communication [10].

A digital envelope is a product of enciphered information

and session key. The session key is randomly generated. The recepient’s public key being enciphered by the sender in the session key. The recepient’s secret key gives the session’s secret key and the product is a digital envelope.


Digital Signature

by a fraudulent personality and thereby causing a breach


of security. This is observed in the verification and trust

The digital signature describes an asymmetric encryption

of signatures. Things pretended to be done under duress

process to warranty the authenticity and integrity of

or boss instigation in official fraud then become legal

electronic data and to check a user's identity. In most

issues in the court. Digital certificates are often based on

cases it conforms to a handwritten signature or may be

the X.509V3 standard, and a Public Key Infrastructure

compared with a means of clearly proving one's identity

(PKI) is employed.

(identity card). The legal effect of a digital signature in Germany is regulated by the Digital Signature Act [12].

The Hybrid Cryptography There are several encryption schemes and each of them is

Forging digital signature is difficult unlike manual

specially steadfast for some unique application(s). Hash


functions are inclined to data integrity. Secret key

cryptographically based, effectiveness is achieved by a

encryption is excellent for privacy and confidentiality.

carefully planned and executed encryption. There is a

In hybrid encryption, the sender can generate a session key on a per-message basis to encrypt the message; the receiver needs the same session key to decrypt the message.











hash value computation, encryption and decryption to give the exact hash value to the recipient hence, a confirmation of no alteration of information on transit.


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Cryptographic Techniques

International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 7, Issue 4, April-2016 ISSN 2229-5518


The basic building blocks of cryptographic applications

Because the index for these AES tables is the XOR of a

and protocols are the cryptographic algorithms. This

plaintext byte and a key byte, the indices themselves

section summarizes most of the important encryption

must remain secret. However, a spy process running on

algorithms including hash functions, stream ciphers, and

the same system can observe the variable timing of the

other basic cryptographic algorithms. RSA (Rivest,

AES encryption due to cache behaviour, narrowing down

Shamir and Adleman) is probably the most widely used

the possible values for the key [19].

public key cryptosystem; it uses large prime numbers to construct the key pairs. The Data Encryption Algorithm (DEA) has a 64-bit block size and uses a 56-bit key during execution (8 parity bits are stripped off from the full 64bit key). The DEA is a symmetric cryptosystem, specifically a 16-round Feistel cipher. Digital Signature algorithm, elliptic curve cryptosystems, RC2 and RC4, RC5 and RC6 (Rivest’s cipher or Ron’s code.) Secure hash algorithm and message digest algorithms are some of the cryptographic techniques of high relevance [13].

4 Advanced Analysis



According to[20] [21], the AES encryption itself takes only 11 cycles, but the complete program with loading the data and key, AES encryption, and returning the result back to the software routine takes a total of 704 cycles. AESRijndael













encryption. Nevertheless, its performance is very good and seems likely to remain so since it uses only efficient and commonly available instructions. The surprising growth of the internet and the fiery growth in computer networks have increased the dependence of both organizations and individuals on the

The standard comprises three block ciphers, AES -128,

information stored and disseminated by these systems.

AES-192, and AES 256, adopted from a larger collection

However, at the same time it also brought about a

originally published as Rijndael. Each of these ciphers has

plethora of new issues and concerns, the utmost among

a 128-bit block size, with key sizes of 128, 192, and 256

them being the need to protect data and resources from

bits respectively. The AES ciphers have been analyzed

disclosure, guarantying the authenticity of data and

extensively and are now used worldwide as was the case

messages, also protecting systems from network based

of the Data Encryption Standard[14]. The Counter mode

attacks [13].


can be used by the wireless body area networks (BNs) to encrypt data [10].

The amount of computational energy consumed by cryptographic algorithms on a given microprocessor is

The Rijndael cipher was developed by two Belgian

proportional to the number of clocks needed by the

cryptographers Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijmen and

processor to compute the cryptographic algorithm. There

substituted by them to the AES selection process [15]. The

have been some studies about the energy efficiency of

AES is a standard block cipher. It encrypts and decrypts

encryption algorithms for wireless devices [22].

data with a secret key and not two as found in DES, using substitution





SubBytes, ShiftRows, MixColumns and AddRoundkey over many rounds (10 for a 128-bit key). A common optimization technique on 32-bit processors is to precompute series of tables on the basis of the combination of these primitives. AES encryption then becomes a series of table lookups and XOR operations [16].




A certificate is a data structure that includes an entity's name along with any information that is to be bound to that name. The entire certificate is signed by a Certificate Authority (CA). In order to be effective, the CA's public key must be well known (or be available through some secure mechanism) and the CA must be widely trusted.

Both in encryption and decryption process, the state array is modified at each round by a round function that defines four different byte-oriented transformations [17], [18]. SubBytes transformation, ShiftRows transformation, MixColumns, AddRoundKey, these four are expatiated at the implementation stage of this thesis.

5 Digital Management

The use of certificates is complicated by the possibility that information in the certificate will change. In order to enhance security, entities periodically change their public keys. In addition, people may change their names, jobs, or job titles. If a certificate contains attributes that are no longer

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International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 7, Issue 4, April-2016 ISSN 2229-5518

valid, then the certificate should no longer be considered



MixColumns - A mixing operation

valid. As a general rule, entities change their public keys

which operates on the columns of the state, combining

on a regular schedule. In order to support this in a clean

the four bytes in each column.

manner, most certificates include expiration dates. The


expiration date represents the time after which the CA that created the certificate is no longer willing to claim that the information contained in the certificate is valid.


Unlike the regularly scheduled change of public keys, name and job changes cannot always be predicted far enough in advance to set the expiration dates on certificates correctly (certificates are frequently valid for a year or longer) [6], [7]. Of even more concern, a user's private key may be compromised. A private key is considered to be compromised whenever it is in the possession of someone other than the key's owner (or someone trusted by the key's owner). Once a user's private key has been compromised, any certificate


Final Round (no MixColumns) 1.






Motivated by the work in [23], [24], [25], evaluation of a block cipher computational complexity and energy consumption is a function of basic operations required to achieve a comit and not a rollback of the planned algorithm.

containing the corresponding public key should be

Many iterations and operations are involved in the


encryption and decryption process depending on the size of the cipher key where each round performs some


In order for CAs to invalidate (i.e., revoke) certificates before they expire, CAs must have some mechanism for distributing certificate status information. The two most

common mechanisms for disseminating this information

to relying parties are certificate revocation lists (CRLs) and on-line certificate status protocols (OCSP).

specific functions. The scramling and unscrambling of 128 bit cipher key entails 10 different rounds for an absolute process execution [26]. For encryption or decryption, each round (called the round function) of AES (except the last round) consists of four stages [27]. Figure 3 explores AES128 algorithm

The keys in use are critical to the cryptographic security process, keeping it from intruders and bringing in some

concepts to ascertain its authenticity enhances the reliability of the encryption method in use.

6 Description of AES Algorithm and Modifications 1.

KeyExpansion- Rijndael's key schedule to get

round 2.

keys Initial

from Round

the Implements




combining each state byte with the round key employing XOR. 3.

Rounds 1.

used here for a non linear substitution of bytes 2.

Figure 3: AES -128 Flow Diagram [13].

SubBytes - The code generated s-box is


ShiftRows - All rows except the first are

shifted cyclically a certain number of steps as a transposition for enhanced diffusion.


The veteran security capability and topmost efficiency of AES make it suitable in solving security problems in the accounting information systems in storage, information exchange, security subsystem and also the birth of fresh comprehensive

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International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 7, Issue 4, April-2016 ISSN 2229-5518

According to [28], the security threats in the accounting system are reliably resolved by AES algorithm.



Security Strength of AES

The 128 bits key length is the least key size, implying constantly

2128 brute force attempts. Performing exhaustive search in

therefore image encryption is paramount for memory

this huge key space is considered infeasible. Thus the

preservation and pixels security in transmission over

brute-force attack against AES with current and projected

networks. There is a proposed scheme which combines

technology is considered impractical.






Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT), Embedded ZeroTree Wavelet algorithm (EZT) and the AES to effect security of stream(AES) and reduce total amount of data by compression (DWT and EZT).

AES uses s-box substitution table which is generated by determining the multiplicative inverse for a given number in Galois finite field and has the capability to resist the linear and differential cryptanalysis. According

Despite NIST’s hype of the AES, according to latest

to [26], a hacker can easily attack a variable time AES

researches in [9], for the state of the art embedded

algorithm and can crack the encrypted data and

systems and real time systems, software AES cipher

eventually key through a cache timing attack.

capability speed encryption


effectiveness has a be






computational requirements. However, the AES version that is more speed compliant uses table lookups and are susceptible to software cache-based side channel attacks, leaking the secret encryption key [9]. To bridge the gap several Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) extensions have

been proposed to provide a speed up for software AES programs, most notably the recent introduction of six However,









desirable than general-purpose ones for microprocessors

[9]. As the performance of microprocessors improves, the

performance of software AES encryption and decryption also improves.

method and claimed that there is a possibility of existence of a cracking algorithm that will be able to extract the AES 256 bits key from any random plaintext- ciphertext pairs [32], [18]. However, he enjoyed his freedom of opinion as no cracking algorithm was provided for a


between software and hardware AES implementations,


Recently Warren D. Smith has defined an analytical

proof. Obviously, AES algorithm doesn’t have any mathematical property that can be exploited by an attacker to reduce the effective key length and to gain success against AES.

The FPGA implementation of AES encryption and decryption uses VHDL for hardware description, Xilinx – Project Navigator, ISE 8.2i suite for software while simulation tools in ModelSim SE PLUS 5.7g are employed for the simulation [33].

It is no news anymore that wireless channels are vulnerable to security attacks, so is WBAN though still fresh in its researches vulnerable to eavesdropping, data

7 Suggested Remedy to AES Cache Timing Attack

modification, impersonation, replaying and denial of

A key is chosen by the user, the program converts the key


to their ASCII codes. A one dimensional array stores the








introduced in [29]. Patients’ private biomedical data deserves privacy thereby data encryption, data integrity, authentication, freshness protection and denial of service (DoS) detection are WBAN security services and AES can be part of the hybrid security mechanism used for the encryption. The AES code size (single key requirement as a symmetric key algorithm), processing time and power or energy consumption qualifies it for the task. The existing






Network (WSN) generality do not suit WBAN due to resource restrictions and application types [30] [31].

ASCII values of the key and later they are the first in a two dimensional array of 16 by 16. Filling up the 256 uniquely and key dependent generated array, no ASCII value of the key member is repeated. The elements to be encrypted are treated in pairs, when the pair is on the same row, a left shift is done once and the last on the row falls back on the first. A pair on the same column entails a downward shift and the last on the column falls back on the first on the column. The pair on different row and different column is replaced by diagonal ASCII values for the encryption. The actual 128bits block length and 256bits key length data or information undergo the AES encryption and

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International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 7, Issue 4, April-2016 ISSN 2229-5518


then playfair encrypted after the substitution and

configuration of the computer in use is a factor in the


execution speed in microseconds. The screenshot below is





mixcolumn and subsequently decryption. Finally, there

the output of the validation.

are 14 rounds of playfair insertion into an equivalent rounds of Rijndael, mixcolumns is included in the last round in this research. This averts the cache timing attack as variables arrive at the cache at a constant time and tapping




differences attackers

from is






countering the vulnerability of AES to cache timing attacks which is the focus of the work. The hardware

Figure 4: A screenshot of the output

Playfair is the best known multiple-letter cipher. Playfair

Plaintext letters that fall on the same row matrix are each

is based on a 5 x 5 matrix of letters constructed based on a

replaced by the right, with the first element of the row

keyword that is chosen by a user. Lord Peter Wimsey

circularly following the last. The plaintext letters that fall

provides an example [13].

on the same column are replaced by the one directly below them or the one at the beginning of the column in

The traditional playfair cipher consists of 26 characters

case of a letter in the last row. In a case where both

(upper case) of the alphabetical series, the author

conditions are not satisfied, the diagonal of letters are

modified playfair cipher to contain 256 characters in the

used to replace the plaintext. Repetition of characters are

16 x 16 array thereby allowing the contents of the ASCII

neglected, hence daddy is treated as day, neglecting the


table to be saved in the array for encryption thus

middle ds. Figure 5 gives an expression of the above. 100,

providing a wider range of character and symbols for better encryption of text.

97, 121 are ASCII codes for d, a and y respectively.

Encryption in playfair is done based on substitution.

Playfair encrypts the contents of the array two elements at a time.


The hardware development along this path using the developed software could be a worthy investment to ascertain its speed on embedded systems by FPGA,VDHL or ASIC. The key length could be increased beyond 256bits in the future as nobody knows what tomorrow holds hence the conjecture.

Conflict of Interest The author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this manuscript. Figure 5: Modified playfair using daddy as the key

[1] Simpson et al. (2008), Fundamental Practices for Secure

Conclusion and Future Work

Software Development, A Guide to

The playfair cipher was a powerful tool during World


War II but nearing extinction. This work turns the traditional playfair of 26characters substitution into 256 ASCII codes substitution and permutation. The author incorporates this into the AES encryption and modified





the Most Effective Secure Today,



pdf [2] Mano P. (2012), The Ten Best Practices for Secure Software Development,




that by introducing mixcolumn into the last round of



Technology, New York: Prentice Hall. IJSER © 2016 http://www.ijser.org

Amoroso, E.(1994) Fundamentals of Computer Security

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Housley, R., Ford, W, Polk, W. and Solo, D. (1998) Internet x.509 Public Key Infrastructure Certificate and CRL Pole. IETF X.509 PKI (PKIX) Working group, (draft).


Myers, M., Ankney, R., Malpani, A., Galperin, S. and Adams, C. (2007). X.509 Internet Public key Infrastructure Online Certificates.


Nuckolls, G. (2005). Verified Query Results from Hybrid authentication Trees. Processing of Database Security, 84-98.


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