Software Implementation Performances of Block Ciphers: A Systematic Literature Review

Zorba B. B., ALKAR A. Z., AYDOS M., Kolukisa-Tarhan A.

7th International Workshop on Big Data and Information Security, IWBIS 2022, Depok, Indonesia, 1 - 03 October 2022, pp.65-74 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/iwbis56557.2022.9924700
  • City: Depok
  • Country: Indonesia
  • Page Numbers: pp.65-74
  • Keywords: Block Ciphers, Performance Analysis, Software Implementations, Symmetric-Key Cryptography, Systematic Literature Review
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022 IEEE.One of the important milestones of information security, block ciphers, are symmetric-key encryption algorithms that encrypt fixed-length inputs. The main purpose of this research is to analyze software implementations of block ciphers using the research method of the systematic literature review (SLR) proposed in software engineering and analyze them based on their implementation performances. During this process, a total of 39 block ciphers were extracted from 36 papers. The primary studies were reviewed considering the block cipher structures, while the implementation performances were classified according to the encryption throughput and memory utilization. The review results showed that the performance may depend on the clock frequency where low clock frequency might cause a bottleneck in some implementations even though the algorithm was designed using fast mathematical operations. Moreover, it is observed that Feistel structures mostly resulted in average and consistent implementation performances, whereas the block ciphers having Substitution and Permutation Layer (SPN) structure had a wide range of implementation performance results. As another result of this study, memory efficiency is shown as inversely proportional to the throughput in many software implementations. Additionally, some block ciphers having a high-performance software implementation might be able to replace the hardware implementations due to the convenience of the software platforms in many applications.