A Formal Security Analysis of the Signal Messaging Protocol
The Signal protocol is a cryptographic messaging protocol that provides end-to-end encryption for instant messaging in WhatsApp, Wire, and Facebook Messenger among many others, serving well over 1 billion active users. Signal includes several uncommon security properties (such as “future secrecy” or “post-compromise security”), enabled by a technique called ratcheting in which session keys are updated with every message sent. We conduct a formal security analysis of Signal’s initial extended triple Diffie–Hellman (X3DH) key agreement and Double Ratchet protocols as a multi-stage authenticated key exchange protocol. We extract from the implementation a formal description of the abstract protocol and define a security model which can capture the “ratcheting” key update structure as a multi-stage model where there can be a “tree” of stages, rather than just a sequence. We then prove the security of Signal’s key exchange core in our model, demonstrating several standard security properties. We have found no major flaws in the design and hope that our presentation and results can serve as a foundation for other analyses of this widely adopted protocol.
Highly Efficient Key Exchange Protocols with Optimal Tightness 📺
In this paper we give nearly-tight reductions for modern implicitly authenticated Diffie-Hellman protocols in the style of the Signal and Noise protocols, which are extremely simple and efficient. Unlike previous approaches, the combination of nearly-tight proofs and efficient protocols enables the first real-world instantiations for which the parameters can be chosen in a theoretically sound manner.Our reductions have only a linear loss in the number of users, implying that our protocols are more efficient than the state of the art when instantiated with theoretically sound parameters. We also prove that our security proofs are optimal: a linear loss in the number of users is unavoidable for our protocols for a large and natural class of reductions.