## CryptoDB

### Qian Guo

#### Publications

**Year**

**Venue**

**Title**

2023

TCHES

Cache-Timing Attack Against HQC
Abstract

In this paper, we present the first chosen-ciphertext (CC) cache-timing attacks on the reference implementation of HQC. We build a cache-timing based distinguisher for implementing a plaintext-checking (PC) oracle. The PC oracle uses side-channel information to check if a given ciphertext decrypts to a given message. This is done by identifying a vulnerability during the generating process of two vectors in the reference implementation of HQC. We also propose a new method of using PC oracles for chosen-ciphertext side-channel attacks against HQC, which may have independent interest.We show a general proof-of-concept attack, where we use the Flush+Reload technique and also derive, in more detail, a practical attack on an HQC execution on Intel SGX, where the Prime+Probe technique is used. We show the exact path to do key recovery by explaining the detailed steps, using the PC oracle. In both scenarios, the new attack requires 53, 857 traces on average with much fewer PC oracle calls than the timing attack of Guo et al. CHES 2022 on an HQC implementation.

2023

ASIACRYPT

SCA-LDPC: A Code-Based Framework for Key-Recovery Side-Channel Attacks on Post-Quantum Encryption Schemes
Abstract

Whereas theoretical attacks on standardized cryptographic primitives rarely lead to actual practical attacks, the situation is different for side-channel attacks. Improvements in the performance of side-channel attacks are of utmost importance.
In this paper, we propose a framework to be used in key-recovery side-channel attacks on CCA-secure post-quantum encryption schemes. The basic idea is to construct chosen ciphertext queries to a plaintext checking oracle that collects information on a set of secret variables in a single query. Then a large number of such queries is considered, each related to a different set of secret variables, and they are modeled as a low-density parity-check code (LDPC code). Secret variables are finally determined through efficient iterative decoding methods, such as belief propagation, using soft information. The utilization of LDPC codes offers efficient decoding, source coding, and error correction benefits. It has been demonstrated that this approach provides significant improvements compared to previous work by reducing the required number of queries, such as the number of traces in a power attack.
The framework is demonstrated and implemented in two different cases. On one hand, we attack implementations of HQC in a timing attack, lowering the number of required traces considerably compared to attacks in previous work. On the other hand, we describe and implement a full attack on a masked implementation of Kyber using power analysis. Using the ChipWhisperer evaluation platform, our real-world attacks recover the long-term secret key of a first-order masked implementation of \textsf{Kyber-768} ~with an average of only 12 power traces.

2022

TCHES

Don’t Reject This: Key-Recovery Timing Attacks Due to Rejection-Sampling in HQC and BIKE
Abstract

Well before large-scale quantum computers will be available, traditional cryptosystems must be transitioned to post-quantum (PQ) secure schemes. The NIST PQC competition aims to standardize suitable cryptographic schemes. Candidates are evaluated not only on their formal security strengths, but are also judged based on the security with regard to resistance against side-channel attacks. Although round 3 candidates have already been intensively vetted with regard to such attacks, one important attack vector has hitherto been missed: PQ schemes often rely on rejection sampling techniques to obtain pseudorandomness from a specific distribution. In this paper, we reveal that rejection sampling routines that are seeded with secretdependent information and leak timing information result in practical key recovery attacks in the code-based key encapsulation mechanisms HQC and BIKE.Both HQC and BIKE have been selected as alternate candidates in the third round of the NIST competition, which puts them on track for getting standardized separately o the finalists. They have already been specifically hardened with constant-time decoders to avoid side-channel attacks. However, in this paper, we show novel timing vulnerabilities in both schemes: (1) Our secret key recovery attack on HQC requiresonly approx. 866,000 idealized decapsulation timing oracle queries in the 128-bit security setting. It is structurally different from previously identified attacks on the scheme: Previously, exploitable side-channel leakages have been identified in the BCH decoder of a previously submitted HQC version, in the ciphertext check as well as in the pseudorandom function of the Fujisaki-Okamoto transformation. In contrast, our attack uses the fact that the rejection sampling routine invoked during the deterministic re-encryption of the decapsulation leaks secret-dependent timing information, which can be efficiently exploited to recover the secret key when HQC is instantiated with the (now constant-time) BCH decoder, as well as with the RMRS decoder of the current submission. (2) From the timing information of the constant weight word sampler in the BIKE decapsulation, we demonstrate how to distinguish whether the decoding step is successful or not, and how this distinguisher is then used in the framework of the GJS attack to derive the distance spectrum of the secret key, using 5.8 x 107 idealized timing oracle queries. We provide details and analyses of the fully implemented attacks, as well as a discussion on possible countermeasures and their limits.

2022

TCHES

A Key-Recovery Side-Channel Attack on Classic McEliece Implementations
Abstract

In this paper, we propose the first key-recovery side-channel attack on Classic McEliece, a KEM finalist in the NIST Post-quantum Cryptography Standardization Project. Our novel idea is to design an attack algorithm where we submit special ciphertexts to the decryption oracle that correspond to cases of single errors. Decoding of such ciphertexts involves only a single entry in a large secret permutation, which is part of the secret key. Through an identified leakage in the additive FFT step used to evaluate the error locator polynomial, a single entry of the secret permutation can be determined. Iterating this for other entries leads to full secret key recovery. The attack is described using power analysis both on the FPGA reference implementation and a software implementation running on an ARM Cortex-M4. We use a machine-learning-based classification algorithm to determine the error locator polynomial from a single trace. The attack is fully implemented and evaluated in the Chipwhisperer framework and is successful in practice. For the smallest parameter set, it is using about 300 traces for partial key recovery and less than 800 traces for full key recovery, in the FPGA case. A similar number of traces are required for a successful attack on the ARM software implementation.

2022

TCHES

Find the Bad Apples: An efficient method for perfect key recovery under imperfect SCA oracles – A case study of Kyber
Abstract

Side-channel resilience is a crucial feature when assessing whether a postquantum cryptographic proposal is sufficiently mature to be deployed. In this paper, we propose a generic and efficient adaptive approach to improve the sample complexity (i.e., the required number of traces) of plaintext-checking (PC) oracle-based sidechannel attacks (SCAs), a major class of key recovery chosen-ciphertext SCAs on lattice-based key encapsulation mechanisms (KEMs). This new approach is preferable when the constructed PC oracle is imperfect, which is common in practice, and its basic idea is to design new detection codes that can determine erroneous positions in the initially recovered secret key. These secret entries are further corrected with a small number of additional traces. This work benefits from the generality of PC oracle and thus is applicable to various schemes and implementations.Our main target is Kyber since it has been selected by NIST as the KEM algorithm for standardization. We instantiated the proposed generic attack on Kyber512 and then conducted extensive computer simulations against Kyber512 and FireSaber. We further mounted an electromagnetic (EM) attack against an optimized implementation of Kyber512 in the pqm4 library running on an STM32F407G board with an ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller. These simulations and real-world experiments demonstrate that the newly proposed attack could greatly improve the state-of-the-art in terms of the required number of traces. For instance, the new attack requires only 41% of the EM traces needed in a majority-voting attack in our experiments, where the raw oracle accuracy is fixed.

2021

TCHES

A Side-Channel Attack on a Masked IND-CCA Secure Saber KEM Implementation
📺
Abstract

In this paper, we present a side-channel attack on a first-order masked implementation of IND-CCA secure Saber KEM. We show how to recover both the session key and the long-term secret key from 24 traces using a deep neural network created at the profiling stage. The proposed message recovery approach learns a higher-order model directly, without explicitly extracting random masks at each execution. This eliminates the need for a fully controllable profiling device which is required in previous attacks on masked implementations of LWE/LWR-based PKEs/KEMs. We also present a new secret key recovery approach based on maps from error-correcting codes that can compensate for some errors in the recovered message. In addition, we discovered a previously unknown leakage point in the primitive for masked logical shifting on arithmetic shares.

2021

ASIACRYPT

Faster Dual Lattice Attacks for Solving LWE -- with applications to CRYSTALS
📺
Abstract

Cryptosystems based on the learning with errors (LWE) problem are assigned a security level that relates to the cost of generic algorithms for solving the LWE problem. This includes at least the so-
called primal and dual lattice attacks. In this paper, we present an improvement of the dual lattice attack using an idea that can be traced back to work by Bleichenbacher. We present an improved distinguisher that in combination with a guessing step shows a reduction in the overall complexity for the dual attack on all schemes. Our second contribution is a new two-step lattice reduction strategy that allows the new dual lattice attack to exploit two recent techniques in lattice reduction algorithms, i.e., the "dimensions for free" trick and the trick of producing many short vectors in one sieving. Since the incompatibility of these two tricks was believed to be the main reason that dual attacks are less interesting, our new reduction strategy allows more efficient dual approaches than primal attacks, for important cryptographic parameter sets.
We apply the proposed attacks on CRYSTALS-Kyber and CRYSTALS-Dilithium, two of the finalists in the NIST post-quantum cryptography project and present new lower complexity numbers, both classically and quantumly in the core-SVP model. Most importantly, for the proposed security parameters, our new dual attack with refined lattice reduction strategy greatly improves the state-of-the-art primal attack in the classical gate-count metric, i.e., the classical Random Access Machine (RAM) model, indicating that some parameters are really on the edge for their claimed security level. Specifically, the improvement factor can be as large as 15 bits for Kyber1024 with an extrapolation model (Albrecht et al. at Eurocrypt 2019). Also, we show that Kyber768 could be solved with classical gate complexity below its claimed security level. Last, we apply the new attack to the proposed parameters in a draft version of Homomorphic Encryption Standard (see https://homomorphicencryption.org) and obtain significant gains. For instance, we could solve a parameter set aiming for 192-bit security in $2^{187.0}$ operations in the classical RAM model. Note that these parameters are deployed in well-known Fully Homomorphic Encryption libraries.

2020

JOFC

Solving LPN Using Covering Codes
Abstract

We present a new algorithm for solving the LPN problem. The algorithm has a similar form as some previous methods, but includes a new key step that makes use of approximations of random words to a nearest codeword in a linear code. It outperforms previous methods for many parameter choices. In particular, we can now solve the $$(512,\frac{1}{8})$$ ( 512 , 1 8 ) LPN instance with complexity less than $$2^{80}$$ 2 80 operations in expectation, indicating that cryptographic schemes like HB variants and LPN-C should increase their parameter size for 80-bit security.

2020

CRYPTO

A key-recovery timing attack on post-quantum primitives using the Fujisaki-Okamoto transformation and its application on FrodoKEM
📺
Abstract

In the implementation of post-quantum primitives, it is well known that all computations that handle secret information need to be implemented to run in constant time. Using the Fujisaki-Okamoto transformation or any of its different variants, a CPA-secure primitive can be converted into an IND-CCA secure KEM. In this paper we show that although the transformation does not handle secret information apart from calls to the CPA-secure primitive, it has to be implemented in constant time. Namely, if the ciphertext comparison step in the transformation is leaking side-channel information, we can launch a key-recovery attack.
Several proposed schemes in round 2 of the NIST post-quantum standardization project are susceptible to the proposed attack and we develop and show the details of the attack on one of them, being FrodoKEM. It is implemented on the reference implementation of FrodoKEM, which is claimed to be secure against all timing attacks. In the experiments, the attack code is able to extract the secret key for all security levels using about $2^{30}$ decapsulation calls.

2020

TCHES

Modeling Soft Analytical Side-Channel Attacks from a Coding Theory Viewpoint
📺
Abstract

One important open question in side-channel analysis is to find out whether all the leakage samples in an implementation can be exploited by an adversary, as suggested by masking security proofs. For attacks exploiting a divide-and-conquer strategy, the answer is negative: only the leakages corresponding to the first/last rounds of a block cipher can be exploited. Soft Analytical Side-Channel Attacks (SASCA) have been introduced as a powerful solution to mitigate this limitation. They represent the target implementation and its leakages as a code (similar to a Low Density Parity Check code) that is decoded thanks to belief propagation. Previous works have shown the low data complexities that SASCA can reach in practice. In this paper, we revisit these attacks by modeling them with a variation of the Random Probing Model used in masking security proofs, that we denote as the Local Random Probing Model (LRPM). Our study establishes interesting connections between this model and the erasure channel used in coding theory, leading to the following benefits. First, the LRPM allows bounding the security of concrete implementations against SASCA in a fast and intuitive manner. We use it in order to confirm that the leakage of any operation in a block cipher can be exploited, although the leakages of external operations dominate in known-plaintext/ciphertext attack scenarios. Second, we show that the LRPM is a tool of choice for the (nearly worst-case) analysis of masked implementations in the noisy leakage model, taking advantage of all the operations performed, and leading to new tradeoffs between their amount of randomness and physical noise level. Third, we show that it can considerably speed up the evaluation of other countermeasures such as shuffling.

2020

ASIACRYPT

A New Decryption Failure Attack against HQC
📺
Abstract

HQC is an IND-CCA2 KEM running for standardization in NIST's post-quantum cryptography project and has advanced to the second round. It is a code-based scheme in the class of public key encryptions, with given sets of parameters spanning NIST security strength 1, 3 and 5, corresponding to 128, 192 and 256 bits of classic security.
In this paper we present an attack recovering the secret key of an HQC instance named hqc-256-1. The attack requires a single precomputation performed once and then never again. The online attack on an HQC instance then submits about $2^{64}$ special ciphertexts for decryption (obtained from the precomputation) and a phase of analysis studies the subset of ciphertexts that are not correctly decrypted. In this phase, the secret key of the HQC instance is determined.
The overall complexity is estimated to be \(2^{246}\) if the attacker balances the costs of precomputation and post-processing, thereby claiming a successful attack on hqc-256-1 in the NIST setting. If we allow the precomputation cost to be $2^{254}$, which is below exhaustive key search on a 256 bit secret key,
the computational complexity of the later parts can be no more than $2^{64}$. This is a setting relevant to practical security since the large precomputation needs to be done only once.
Also, we note that the complexity of the precomputation can be lower if the online attack is allowed to submit more than $2^{64}$ ciphertexts for decryption.

2019

PKC

Decryption Failure Attacks on IND-CCA Secure Lattice-Based Schemes
Abstract

In this paper we investigate the impact of decryption failures on the chosen-ciphertext security of lattice-based primitives. We discuss a generic framework for secret key recovery based on decryption failures and present an attack on the NIST Post-Quantum Proposal ss-ntru-pke. Our framework is split in three parts: First, we use a technique to increase the failure rate of lattice-based schemes called failure boosting. Based on this technique we investigate the minimal effort for an adversary to obtain a failure in three cases: when he has access to a quantum computer, when he mounts a multi-target attack or when he can only perform a limited number of oracle queries. Secondly, we examine the amount of information that an adversary can derive from failing ciphertexts. Finally, these techniques are combined in an overall analysis of the security of lattice based schemes under a decryption failure attack. We show that an attacker could significantly reduce the security of lattice based schemes that have a relatively high failure rate. However, for most of the NIST Post-Quantum Proposals, the number of required oracle queries is above practical limits. Furthermore, a new generic weak-key (multi-target) model on lattice-based schemes, which can be viewed as a variant of the previous framework, is proposed. This model further takes into consideration the weak-key phenomenon that a small fraction of keys can have much larger decoding error probability for ciphertexts with certain key-related properties. We apply this model and present an attack in detail on the NIST Post-Quantum Proposal – ss-ntru-pke – with complexity below the claimed security level.

2019

ASIACRYPT

A Novel CCA Attack Using Decryption Errors Against LAC
Abstract

Cryptosystems based on Learning with Errors or related problems are central topics in recent cryptographic research. One main witness to this is the NIST Post-Quantum Cryptography Standardization effort. Many submitted proposals rely on problems related to Learning with Errors. Such schemes often include the possibility of decryption errors with some very small probability. Some of them have a somewhat larger error probability in each coordinate, but use an error correcting code to get rid of errors. In this paper we propose and discuss an attack for secret key recovery based on generating decryption errors, for schemes using error correcting codes. In particular we show an attack on the scheme LAC, a proposal to the NIST Post-Quantum Cryptography Standardization that has advanced to round 2.In a standard setting with CCA security, the attack first consists of a precomputation of special messages and their corresponding error vectors. This set of messages are submitted for decryption and a few decryption errors are observed. In a statistical analysis step, these vectors causing the decryption errors are processed and the result reveals the secret key. The attack only works for a fraction of the secret keys. To be specific, regarding LAC256, the version for achieving the 256-bit classical security level, we recover one key among approximately $$2^{64}$$ public keys with complexity $$2^{79}$$, if the precomputation cost of $$2^{162}$$ is excluded. We also show the possibility to attack a more probable key (say with probability $$2^{-16}$$). This attack is verified via extensive simulation.We further apply this attack to LAC256-v2, a new version of LAC256 in round 2 of the NIST PQ-project and obtain a multi-target attack with slightly increased precomputation complexity (from $$2^{162}$$ to $$2^{171}$$). One can also explain this attack in the single-key setting as an attack with precomputation complexity of $$2^{171}$$ and success probability of $$2^{-64}$$.

#### Coauthors

- Olivier Bronchain (1)
- Chi Cheng (1)
- Chitchanok Chuengsatiansup (1)
- Jan-Pieter D’Anvers (1)
- Elena Dubrova (1)
- Vincent Grosso (1)
- Qian Guo (17)
- Clemens Hlauschek (1)
- Senyang Huang (1)
- Tao Jiang (1)
- Thomas Johansson (15)
- Andreas Johansson (1)
- Norman Lahr (1)
- Carl Löndahl (2)
- Erik Mårtensson (1)
- Denis Nabokov (1)
- Kalle Ngo (1)
- Alexander Nilsson (4)
- Robin Leander Schröder (1)
- Muyan Shen (1)
- Rui Qi Sim (1)
- François-Xavier Standaert (1)
- Paul Stankovski (3)
- Ingrid Verbauwhede (1)
- Frederik Vercauteren (1)
- Jing Yang (1)
- Xiaohan Zhang (1)