(One) failure is not an option: Bootstrapping the search for failures in lattice-based encryption schemes 📺
Lattice-based encryption schemes are often subject to the possibility of decryption failures, in which valid encryptions are decrypted incorrectly. Such failures, in large number, leak information about the secret key, enabling an attack strategy alternative to pure lattice reduction. Extending the "failure boosting" technique of D'Anvers et al. in PKC 2019, we propose an approach that we call "directional failure boosting" that uses previously found "failing ciphertexts" to accelerate the search for new ones. We analyse in detail the case where the lattice is defined over polynomial ring modules quotiented by <X^N + 1> and demonstrate it on a simple Mod-LWE-based scheme parametrized à la Kyber768/Saber. We show that, using our technique, for a given secret key (single-target setting), the cost of searching for additional failing ciphertexts after one or more have already been found, can be sped up dramatically. We thus demonstrate that, in this single-target model, these schemes should be designed so that it is hard to even obtain one decryption failure. Besides, in a wider security model where there are many target secret keys (multi-target setting), our attack greatly improves over the state of the art.
Decryption Failure Attacks on IND-CCA Secure Lattice-Based Schemes
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.