Short Concurrent Covert Authenticated Key Exchange (Short cAKE)
Von Ahn, Hopper and Langford introduced the notion of steganographic a.k.a. covert computation, to capture distributed computation where the attackers must not be able to distinguish honest parties from entities emitting random bitstrings. This indistinguishability should hold for the duration of the computation except for what is revealed by the intended outputs of the computed functionality. An important case of covert computation is mutually authenticated key exchange, a.k.a.\ mutual authentication. Mutual authentication is a fundamental primitive often preceding more complex secure protocols used for distributed computation. However, standard authentication implementations are not covert, which allows a network adversary to target or block parties who engage in authentication. Therefore, mutual authentication is one of the premier use cases of covert computation and has numerous real-world applications, e.g., for enabling authentication over steganographic channels in a network controlled by a discriminatory entity. We improve on the state of the art in covert authentication by presenting a protocol that retains covertness and security under concurrent composition, has minimal message complexity, and reduces protocol bandwidth by an order of magnitude compared to previous constructions. To model the security of our scheme we develop a UC model, which captures the standard features of secure mutual authentication but extends them to covertness. We prove our construction secure in this UC model. We also provide a proof-of-concept implementation of our scheme.
Improved Discrete Gaussian and Subgaussian Analysis for Lattice Cryptography 📺
Discrete Gaussian distributions over lattices are central to lattice-based cryptography, and to the computational and mathematical aspects of lattices more broadly. The literature contains a wealth of useful theorems about the behavior of discrete Gaussians under convolutions and related operations. Yet despite their structural similarities, most of these theorems are formally incomparable, and their proofs tend to be monolithic and written nearly “from scratch,” making them unnecessarily hard to verify, understand, and extend. In this work we present a modular framework for analyzing linear operations on discrete Gaussian distributions. The framework abstracts away the particulars of Gaussians, and usually reduces proofs to the choice of appropriate linear transformations and elementary linear algebra. To showcase the approach, we establish several general properties of discrete Gaussians, and show how to obtain all prior convolution theorems (along with some new ones) as straightforward corollaries. As another application, we describe a self-reduction for Learning With Errors (LWE) that uses a fixed number of samples to generate an unlimited number of additional ones (having somewhat larger error). The distinguishing features of our reduction are its simple analysis in our framework, and its exclusive use of discrete Gaussians without any loss in parameters relative to a prior mixed discrete-and-continuous approach. As a contribution of independent interest, for subgaussian random matrices we prove a singular value concentration bound with explicitly stated constants, and we give tighter heuristics for specific distributions that are commonly used for generating lattice trapdoors. These bounds yield improvements in the concrete bit-security estimates for trapdoor lattice cryptosystems.
Building an Efficient Lattice Gadget Toolkit: Subgaussian Sampling and More 📺
Many advanced lattice cryptography applications require efficient algorithms for inverting the so-called “gadget” matrices, which are used to formally describe a digit decomposition problem that produces an output with specific (statistical) properties. The common gadget inversion problems are the classical (often binary) digit decomposition, subgaussian decomposition, Learning with Errors (LWE) decoding, and discrete Gaussian sampling. In this work, we build and implement an efficient lattice gadget toolkit that provides a general treatment of gadget matrices and algorithms for their inversion/sampling. The main contribution of our work is a set of new gadget matrices and algorithms for efficient subgaussian sampling that have a number of major theoretical and practical advantages over previously known algorithms. Another contribution deals with efficient algorithms for LWE decoding and discrete Gaussian sampling in the Residue Number System (RNS) representation.We implement the gadget toolkit in PALISADE and evaluate the performance of our algorithms both in terms of runtime and noise growth. We illustrate the improvements due to our algorithms by implementing a concrete complex application, key-policy attribute-based encryption (KP-ABE), which was previously considered impractical for CPU systems (except for a very small number of attributes). Our runtime improvements for the main bottleneck operation based on subgaussian sampling range from 18x (for 2 attributes) to 289x (for 16 attributes; the maximum number supported by a previous implementation). Our results are applicable to a wide range of other advanced applications in lattice cryptography, such as GSW-based homomorphic encryption schemes, leveled fully homomorphic signatures, other forms of ABE, some program obfuscation constructions, and more.
Homomorphic Encryption for Finite Automata
We describe a somewhat homomorphic GSW-like encryption scheme, natively encrypting matrices rather than just single elements. This scheme offers much better performance than existing homomorphic encryption schemes for evaluating encrypted (nondeterministic) finite automata (NFAs). Differently from GSW, we do not know how to reduce the security of this scheme from LWE, instead we reduce it from a stronger assumption, that can be thought of as an inhomogeneous variant of the NTRU assumption. This assumption (that we term iNTRU) may be useful and interesting in its own right, and we examine a few of its properties. We also examine methods to encode regular expressions as NFAs, and in particular explore a new optimization problem, motivated by our application to encrypted NFA evaluation. In this problem, we seek to minimize the number of states in an NFA for a given expression, subject to the constraint on the ambiguity of the NFA.
Approximate Trapdoors for Lattices and Smaller Hash-and-Sign Signatures
We study a relaxed notion of lattice trapdoor called approximate trapdoor, which is defined to be able to invert Ajtai’s one-way function approximately instead of exactly. The primary motivation of our study is to improve the efficiency of the cryptosystems built from lattice trapdoors, including the hash-and-sign signatures.Our main contribution is to construct an approximate trapdoor by modifying the gadget trapdoor proposed by Micciancio and Peikert [Eurocrypt 2012]. In particular, we show how to use the approximate gadget trapdoor to sample short preimages from a distribution that is simulatable without knowing the trapdoor. The analysis of the distribution uses a theorem (implicitly used in past works) regarding linear transformations of discrete Gaussians on lattices.Our approximate gadget trapdoor can be used together with the existing optimization techniques to improve the concrete performance of the hash-and-sign signature in the random oracle model under (Ring-)LWE and (Ring-)SIS assumptions. Our implementation shows that the sizes of the public-key & signature can be reduced by half from those in schemes built from exact trapdoors.