Cryptanalysis of Two Recent Ultra-Lightweight Authentication Protocols

Mohammad Reza Servati, Masoumeh Safkhani, Saqib Ali, Mazhar Hussain Malik, Omed Hassan Ahmed, Mehdi Hosseinzadeh*, Amir H. Mosavi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is a critical part of many Internet of Things (IoT) systems, including Medical IoT (MIoT) for instance. On the other hand, the IoT devices’ numerous limitations (such as memory space, computing capability, and battery capacity) make it difficult to implement cost- and energy-efficient security solutions. As a result, several researchers attempted to address this problem, and several RFID-based security mechanisms for the MIoT and other constrained environments were proposed. In this vein, Wang et al. and Shariq et al. recently proposed CRUSAP and ESRAS ultra-lightweight authentication schemes. They demonstrated, both formally and informally, that their schemes meet the required security properties for RFID systems. In their proposed protocols, they have used a very lightweight operation called (Formula presented.) and (Formula presented.), respectively. However, in this paper, we show that those functions are not secure enough to provide the desired security. We show that (Formula presented.) is linear and reversible, and it is easy to obtain the secret values used in its calculation. Then, by exploiting the vulnerability of the (Formula presented.) function, we demonstrated that CRUSAP is vulnerable to secret disclosure attacks. The proposed attack has a success probability of "1" and is as simple as a CRUSAP protocol run. Other security attacks are obviously possible by obtaining the secret values of the tag and reader. In addition, we present a de-synchronization attack on the CRUSAP protocol. Furthermore, we provide a thorough examination of ESRAS and its (Formula presented.) function. We first present a de-synchronization attack that works for any desired (Formula presented.) function, including Shariq et al.’s proposed (Formula presented.) function. We also show that (Formula presented.) does not provide the desired confusion and diffusion that is claimed by the designers. Finally, we conduct a secret disclosure attack against ESRAS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4611
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Cro(·) function
  • medical wireless sensor network
  • Rank(·) function
  • secret disclosure attack
  • ultra-lightweight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Mathematics(all)
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

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