CubeHash is a cryptographic hash function submitted to the NIST hash function competition by . CubeHash has a 128 byte state, uses , and is . Message blocks are into the initial bits of a 128-byte state, which then goes through an r-round transformation between blocks. The initial NIST proposal (“Cubehash8/1”) required about 200 cycles per byte. After clarifications from NIST, the author changed the proposal to Cubehash16/32, which “is approximately 16 times faster than CubeHash8/1, easily catching up to both SHA-256 and SHA-512 on the reference platform” while still maintaining a “comfortable security margin”.

CubeHash advanced to the second round of the competition, but was not chosen as one of the 5 finalists. Bernstein has since tuned the parameters further.


How it works

This description refers to the latest specification, and not the NIST submission.

CubeHash has 5 parameters, a certain instance is denoted by CubeHashi+r/b+fh.

  • i is the number of initial rounds
  • r is the number of rounds per block
  • b is the block size in bytes, defined for {1, 2, 3, … 128}
  • f is the number of final rounds
  • h is the size of the hash output in bits, defined for {8, 16, 24, 32, … 512}

In the original NIST submission, i and f was fixed to 10r. The obsolete notation CubeHashr/bh indicates i and f being implicitly 10r.

The internal state is defined as a five-dimensional array of words (four-byte integers), 0-1 in both dimensions. The words are referred to with their coordinates [00000] to [11111]. The words are treated as little-endian.

The internal state is initialized by setting the first three words ([00000], [00001], [00010]) to h/8, b, and r respectively, all other words to zero. The state is then run through i rounds, and the initialization stage is complete. The state is now the Initialization Vector (IV). The IV can be saved and reused for a given combination of h, b, r.

The message is padded and split to b-byte blocks. The padding appends a 1 bit, followed by as many 0 bits as necessary to make a complete block.

Each block is inputed to by into the first b bytes of the state, and then performing r rounds of transformation.

Finally, 1 is XORed to the state word [11111], and then f rounds of transformation are performed.

The output hash is now contained in the first h/8 bytes of this final state.

Round Function

CubeHash round function consists of the following ten steps:

  1. Add x[0jklm] into x[1jklm] modulo 2, for each (j,k,l,m).
  2. Rotate x[0jklm] upwards by 7 bits, for each (j,k,l,m).
  3. Swap x[00klm] with x[01klm], for each (k,l,m).
  4. Xor x[1jklm] into x[0jklm], for each (j,k,l,m).
  5. Swap x[1jk0m] with x[1jk1m], for each (j,k,m).
  6. Add x[0jklm] into x[1jklm] modulo 2, for each (j,k,l,m).
  7. Rotate x[0jklm] upwards by 11 bits, for each (j,k,l,m).
  8. Swap x[0j0lm] with x[0j1lm], for each (j,l,m).
  9. Xor x[1jklm] into x[0jklm], for each (j,k,l,m).
  10. Swap x[1jkl0] with x[1jkl1], for each (j,k,l).

Example Hashes

This example uses CubeHash80+8/1+80-512. The initialization vector is the same for all 80+8/1+f-512 hashes, and is as follows:

 5df39869c73009fb108994600f1626e6f37c07360c0d8bb53d19cf57b8e74133  5b8034a3eff9892014c4ff315038ef2a391812fe52a440e9a293527d12ca4570  6e0958933470bf814aa4909adb3ec39384e9c314d0db874af21d45bcacb31252  1ce5ab6a3bf6f05de88abbdd0fcfd3fafb8225d546242eada52540095c3da221  

Hashing the message “Hello” (hex: 0x48, 0x65, 0x6c, 0x6c, 0x6f) uses 6 message blocks. There are 5 blocks from the message, and since this is a byte-aligned input, there is 1 block for padding. The 512 bit hash value is:

 7ce309a25e2e1603ca0fc369267b4d43f0b1b744ac45d6213ca08e7567566444 8e2f62fdbf7bbd637ce40fc293286d75b9d09e8dda31bd029113e02ecccfd39b 

A small change in the message, such as flipping a single bit, will wildly change the hash output, due to the . Hashing the message “hello” (which only differs from “Hello” in 1 bit position) gives the following hash value:

 01ee7f4eb0e0ebfdb8bf77460f64993faf13afce01b55b0d3d2a63690d25010f 7127109455a7c143ef12254183e762b15575e0fcc49c79a0471a970ba8a66638 

Parameter Changes

CubeHash allows for many different parameters to be used to determine the hash output. It is up to the user to decide which parameters they wish to use. Here are several example hashes of different messages, using different parameters. The messages are all in ASCII.

 message: "" (the zero-length string) CubeHash160+16/32+160-512: 4a1d00bbcfcb5a9562fb981e7f7db3350fe2658639d948b9d57452c22328bb32  f468b072208450bad5ee178271408be0b16e5633ac8a1e3cf9864cfbfc8e043a  CubeHash80+8/1+80-512: 90bc3f2948f7374065a811f1e47a208a53b1a2f3be1c0072759ed49c9c6c7f28  f26eb30d5b0658c563077d599da23f97df0c2c0ac6cce734ffe87b2e76ff7294  CubeHash10+1/1+10-512: 3f917707df9acd9b94244681b3812880e267d204f1fdf795d398799b584fa8f1  f4a0b2dbd52fd1c4b6c5e020dc7a96192397dd1bce9b6d16484049f85bb71f2f  CubeHash160+16/32+160-256: 44c6de3ac6c73c391bf0906cb7482600ec06b216c7c54a2a8688a6a42676577d  CubeHash80+8/1+80-256: 38d1e8a22d7baac6fd5262d83de89cacf784a02caa866335299987722aeabc59  CubeHash10+1/1+10-256: 80f72e07d04ddadb44a78823e0af2ea9f72ef3bf366fd773aa1fa33fc030e5cb 
 message: "Hello" CubeHash160+16/32+160-512: dcc0503aae279a3c8c95fa1181d37c418783204e2e3048a081392fd61bace883  a1f7c4c96b16b4060c42104f1ce45a622f1a9abaeb994beb107fed53a78f588c  CubeHash80+8/1+80-512: 7ce309a25e2e1603ca0fc369267b4d43f0b1b744ac45d6213ca08e7567566444  8e2f62fdbf7bbd637ce40fc293286d75b9d09e8dda31bd029113e02ecccfd39b  CubeHash10+1/1+10-512: 13cf99c1a71e40b135f5535bee02e151eb4897e4de410b9cb6d7179c677074eb  6ef1ae9a9e685ef2d2807509541f484d39559525179d53838eda95eb3f6a401d  CubeHash160+16/32+160-256: e712139e3b892f2f5fe52d0f30d78a0cb16b51b217da0e4acb103dd0856f2db0  CubeHash80+8/1+80-256: 692638db57760867326f851bd2376533f37b640bd47a0ddc607a9456b692f70f  CubeHash10+1/1+10-256: f63041a946aa98bd47f3175e6009dcb2ccf597b2718617ba46d56f27ffe35d49 
 message: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" CubeHash160+16/32+160-512: bdba44a28cd16b774bdf3c9511def1a2baf39d4ef98b92c27cf5e37beb8990b7  cdb6575dae1a548330780810618b8a5c351c1368904db7ebdf8857d596083a86  CubeHash80+8/1+80-512: ca942b088ed9103726af1fa87b4deb59e50cf3b5c6dcfbcebf5bba22fb39a6be  9936c87bfdd7c52fc5e71700993958fa4e7b5e6e2a3672122475c40f9ec816ba  CubeHash10+1/1+10-512: eb7f5f80706e8668c61186c3c710ce57f9094fbfa1dbdc7554842cdbb4d10ce4  2fce72736d10b152f6216f23fc648bce810a7af4d58e571ec1b852fa514a0a8e  CubeHash160+16/32+160-256: 5151e251e348cbbfee46538651c06b138b10eeb71cf6ea6054d7ca5fec82eb79  CubeHash80+8/1+80-256: 94e0c958d85cdfaf554919980f0f50b945b88ad08413e0762d6ff0219aff3e55  CubeHash10+1/1+10-256: 217a4876f2b24cec489c9171f85d53395cc979156ea0254938c4c2c59dfdf8a4 

The Initialization Vectors for the four variants shown are all different as well. For example, the Initialization Vector for CubeHash80+8/1+80-512 can be seen above, and the IV for CubeHash80+8/1+80-256 is:

 830b2bd5273d616fd785876a4a500218a5388963eeb702fb47547842459f8d89 8727a1c8ba40bd48cef47fe82543c2735c033052ae9fcd632d4541bde6b6cb0d cb8a9cdf579f5b67b2ae00968180af6e51ebdf0ca597cd2bf91f981f7ab29a62 01ad72d946e6c075c6d1337e0a293d6f90c438ac38be153f32aa288ffc5eca8a 


The strength of this function increases as b decreases towards 1, and as r increases. So CubeHash 8/1-512 is stronger (more secure) than CubeHash 1/1-512, and CubeHash 1/1-512 is stronger than CubeHash 1/2-512. The weakest possible version of this algorithm is CubeHash 1/128-h. However, there is a security versus time tradeoff. A more secure version will take longer to compute a hash value than a weakened version.


See Also on BitcoinWiki