International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Paul Grubbs


Anonymous, Robust Post-Quantum Public Key Encryption
A core goal of the NIST PQC competition is to produce PKE schemes which, even if attacked with a large-scale quantum computer, maintain the security guarantees needed by applications. The main security focus in the NIST PQC context has been IND-CCA security, but other applications demand that PKE schemes provide 'anonymity' (Bellare et al., ASIACRYPT 2001), and 'robustness' (Abdalla et al., TCC 2010). Examples of such applications include anonymous cryptocurrencies, searchable encryption, and auction protocols. However, almost nothing is known about how to build post-quantum PKE schemes offering these security properties. In particular, the status of the NIST PQC candidates with respect to anonymity and robustness is unknown. This paper initiates a systematic study of anonymity and robustness for post-quantum PKE schemes. Firstly, we identify implicit rejection as a crucial design choice shared by most post-quantum KEMs, show that implicit rejection renders prior results on anonymity and robustness for KEM-DEM PKEs inapplicable, and transfer prior results to the implicit-rejection setting where possible. Secondly, since they are widely used to build post-quantum PKEs, we examine how the Fujisaki-Okamoto (FO) transforms (Fujisaki and Okamoto, Journal of Cryptology 2013) confer robustness and enhance weak anonymity of a base PKE. We then leverage our theoretical results to study the anonymity and robustness of three NIST KEM finalists---Saber, Kyber, and Classic McEliece---and one alternate, FrodoKEM. Overall, our findings for robustness are definitive: we provide positive robustness results for Saber, Kyber, and FrodoKEM, and a negative result for Classic McEliece. Our negative result stems from a striking property of KEM-DEM PKE schemes built with the Classic McEliece KEM: for any message 'm', we can construct a single hybrid ciphertext 'c' which decrypts to the chosen 'm' under any Classic McEliece private key. Our findings for anonymity are more mixed: we identify barriers to proving anonymity for Saber, Kyber, and Classic McEliece. We also found that in the case of Saber and Kyber, these barriers lead to issues with their IND-CCA security claims. We have worked with the Saber and Kyber teams to fix these issues, but they remain unresolved. On the positive side, we were able to prove anonymity for FrodoKEM and a variant of Saber introduced by D'Anvers et al. (AFRICACRYPT 2018). Our analyses of these two schemes also identified technical gaps in their IND-CCA security claims, but we were able to fix them.
Asymmetric Message Franking: Content Moderation for Metadata-Private End-to-End Encryption 📺
Content moderation is crucial for stopping abusive and harassing messages in online platforms. Existing moderation mechanisms, such as message franking, require platform providers to be able to associate user identifiers to encrypted messages. These mechanisms fail in metadata-private messaging systems, such as Signal, where users can hide their identities from platform providers. The key technical challenge preventing moderation is achieving cryptographic accountability while preserving deniability.In this work, we resolve this tension with a new cryptographic primitive: asymmetric message franking (AMF) schemes. We define strong security notions for AMF schemes, including the first formal treatment of deniability in moderation settings. We then construct, analyze, and implement an AMF scheme that is fast enough to use for content moderation of metadata-private messaging.
Fast Message Franking: From Invisible Salamanders to Encryptment 📺
Message franking enables cryptographically verifiable reporting of abusive messages in end-to-end encrypted messaging. Grubbs, Lu, and Ristenpart recently formalized the needed underlying primitive, what they call compactly committing authenticated encryption (AE), and analyze security of a number of approaches. But all known secure schemes are still slow compared to the fastest standard AE schemes. For this reason Facebook Messenger uses AES-GCM for franking of attachments such as images or videos.We show how to break Facebook’s attachment franking scheme: a malicious user can send an objectionable image to a recipient but that recipient cannot report it as abuse. The core problem stems from use of fast but non-committing AE, and so we build the fastest compactly committing AE schemes to date. To do so we introduce a new primitive, called encryptment, which captures the essential properties needed. We prove that, unfortunately, schemes with performance profile similar to AES-GCM won’t work. Instead, we show how to efficiently transform Merkle-Damgärd-style hash functions into secure encryptments, and how to efficiently build compactly committing AE from encryptment. Ultimately our main construction allows franking using just a single computation of SHA-256 or SHA-3. Encryptment proves useful for a variety of other applications, such as remotely keyed AE and concealments, and our results imply the first single-pass schemes in these settings as well.

Program Committees

Eurocrypt 2022
Crypto 2021