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Preprint / Version 4

Băhēm: Provably Secure Symmetric Cipher




secret-key cryptography, cryptanalysis, one-way functions


This paper proposes Băhēm; a symmetric cipher that, when given a random-looking key k, a true random number generator (TRNG) and a cleartext message m to encrypt, no cryptanalysis can degrade its security below min[H(m), H(k)] bits of entropy, even under Grover's algorithm or even if it turned out that P = NP.

Aside from the cost of memory access and input/output processing, Băhēm is also is highly parallelise-able, and requires only three additions and one bit-wise XOR operation in order to encrypt or decrypt.

Its early prototype, Alyal, achieved similar run-time speeds to OpenSSL's ChaCha20; slightly faster decryption, while slightly slower encryption when the TRNG was prepared in a file in advance. Future versions, with better TRNG optimisations, should be able to enable the prototype to have faster run-time for both, encryption and decryption, alike. Either way, Alyal is highly practical, specially when considering its strong security guarantee. Further speed gain is possible when Alyal utilises Băhēm's high parallelism.


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2022-04-14 — Updated on 2022-04-30