International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Hila Dahari


That’s not my signature! Fail-stop signatures for a post-quantum world
The Snowden's revelations kick-started a community-wide effort to develop cryptographic tools against mass surveillance. In this work, we propose to add another primitive to that toolbox: Fail-Stop Signatures (FSS) [EC'89]. FSS are digital signatures enhanced with a forgery-detection mechanism that can protect a computationally bounded signer from more powerful attackers. Despite the fascinating concept, research in this area stalled after the '90s. However, the ongoing transition to post-quantum cryptography, with its hiccups due to the novelty of underlying assumptions, has become the perfect use case for FSS. This paper aims to reboot research on FSS with practical use in mind: Our framework for FSS includes ``fine-grained'' security definitions (that assume a powerful, but bounded adversary e.g: can break 128-bit of security, but not 256-bit). As an application, we show new FSS constructions for the post-quantum setting. We show that FSS are equivalent to standard, provably secure digital signatures that do not require rewinding or programming random oracles, and that this implies lattice-based FSS. Our main construction is an FSS version of SPHINCS, which required building FSS versions of all its building blocks: WOTS, XMSS, and FORS. In the process, we identify and provide generic solutions for two fundamental issues arising when deriving a large number of private keys from a single seed, and when building FSS for Hash-and-Sign-based signatures.
Towards Accountability in CRS Generation 📺
It is well known that several cryptographic primitives cannot be achieved without a common reference string (CRS). Those include, for instance, non-interactive zero-knowledge for NP, or malicious secure computation in fewer than four rounds. The security of those primitives heavily rely upon on the assumption that the trusted authority, who generates the CRS, does not misuse the randomness used in the CRS generation. However, we argue that there is no such thing as an unconditionally trusted authority and every authority must be held accountable for any trust to be well-founded. Indeed, a malicious authority can, for instance, recover private inputs of honest parties given transcripts of the protocols executed with respect to the CRS it has generated. While eliminating trust in the trusted authority may not be entirely feasible, can we at least move towards achieving some notion of accountability? We propose a new notion in which, if the CRS authority releases the private inputs of protocol executions to others, we can then provide a publicly-verifiable proof that certifies that the authority misbehaved. We study the feasibility of this notion in the context of non-interactive zero knowledge and two-round secure two-party computation.