Practical attack on NLM-MAC scheme

Mohammad Ali Orumiehchiha*, Josef Pieprzyk, Ron Steinfeld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The NLM stream cipher designed by Hoon Jae Lee, Sang Min Sung, Hyeong Rag Kim is a strengthened version of the LM summation generator that combines linear and non-linear feedback shift registers. In recent works, the NLM cipher has been used for message authentication in lightweight communication over wireless sensor networks and for RFID authentication protocols. The work analyses the security of the NLM stream cipher and the NLM-MAC scheme that is built on the top of the NLM cipher. We first show that the NLM cipher suffers from two major weaknesses that lead to key recovery and forgery attacks. We prove the internal state of the NLM cipher can be recovered with time complexity about nlog7 ×2, where the total length of internal state is 2·.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-550
Number of pages4
JournalInformation Processing Letters
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


  • Cryptography
  • NLM stream cipher
  • MAC function
  • Cryptanalysis
  • Key recovery attack
  • Forgery attack


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