ABSTRACT The Tiny Encryption Algorithm (TEA) is a Feistel block cipher well known for its simple implementation, small memory footprint, and fast execution speed. In two previous studies, genetic algorithms (GAs) were employed to investigate the randomness of TEA output, based on which distinguishers for TEA could be designed. In this study, we used quan-tum-inspired genetic algorithms (QGAs) in the cryptanalysis of TEA. Quantum chromosomes in QGAs have the advan-tage of containing more information than the binary counterpart of the same length in GAs, and therefore generate a more diverse solution pool. We showed that QGAs could discover distinguishers for reduced cycle TEA that are more efficient than those found by classical GAs in two earlier studies. Furthermore, we applied QGAs to break four-cycle and five-cycle TEAs, a considerably harder problem, which the prior GA approach failed to solve.
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