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AVALANCHE EFFECT IN THE FAMILY OF BLOCK CIPHERS “SD-(n,k)” - page 4 / 29

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Introduction

Term first used by Horst Feistel

The avalanche effect refers to a desirable property of cryptographic algorithms, typically block-ciphers and hash functions. The avalanche effect is evident if, when an input is changed slightly (for example, flipping a single bit) the output changes significantly.

Constructing a cipher to exhibit a substantial avalanche effect is one of the primary design goals. If a block cipher does not exhibit the avalanche effect to a significant degree, then it has poor randomization, and thus a cryptanalyst can make predictions about the input, being given only the output. This may be sufficient to partially or completely break the algorithm.

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