Unbalanced Feistel Networks and Block Cipher Design

B. Schneier and J. Kelsey

Fast Software Encryption, Third International Workshop Proceedings (February 1996), Springer-Verlag, 1996, pp. 121-144.

ABSTRACT: We examine a generalization of the concept of Feistel networks, which we call Unbalanced Feistel Networks (UFNs). Like conventional Feistel networks, UFNs consist of a series of rounds in which one part of the block operates on the rest of the block. However, in a UFN the two parts need not be of equal size. Removing this limitation on Feistel networks has interesting implications for designing ciphers secure against linear and differential attacks. We describe UFNs and a terminology for discussing their properties, present and analyze some UFN constructions, and make some initial observations about their security.

[full text - postscript] [full text - PDF (Acrobat)]

Photo of Bruce Schneier by Per Ervland.

Schneier on Security is a personal website. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Resilient Systems, Inc..