The Lane hash function

What is Lane?

The LANE compression function
The Lane compression function

Lane is a cryptographic hash function that has been entered as a candidate in the NIST SHA-3 competition by the COSIC research group of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. The aims of Lane are to be secure, easy to understand, elegant and flexible in implementation. It reuses components from the AES block cipher. Lane can take advantage of the parallelism offered by modern high-performance CPUs, but also scales down to embedded systems. Another advantages of Lane is the fact that its design is supported by a clear design rationale and a comprehensive security analysis.

Lane was designed by Sebastiaan Indesteege. Important contributions to the design and the security analysis were made by Elena Andreeva, Christophe De Cannière, Orr Dunkelman, Emilia Käsper, Svetla Nikova, Bart Preneel and Elmar Tischhauser, all from the COSIC research group of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.

More information on Lane is available here.

The SHA-3 competition

The American National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has initiated a public competition, the SHA-3 competition, to develop a new cryptographic hash algorithm. This is an algorithm that maps a message of variable length into a short, fixed-length digest, such that certain security properties, like collision resistance and preimage resistance, are achieved.

The motivation for this initiative are the recent cryptanalytic results questioning the security of popular cryptographic hash functions like MD5 and SHA-1. Cryptographic hash functions are used in many important applications such as digital signatures, tamper detection and the derivation of cryptographic keys.

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