Generic Models for Group Actions
We define the Generic Group Action Model (GGAM), an adaptation of the Generic Group Model to the setting of group actions (such as CSIDH). Compared to a previously proposed definition by Montgomery and Zhandry (ASIACRYPT~'22), our GGAM more accurately abstracts the security properties of group actions. We are able to prove information-theoretic lower bounds in the GGAM for the discrete logarithm assumption, as well as for non-standard assumptions recently introduced in the setting of threshold and identification schemes on group actions. Unfortunately, in a natural quantum version of the GGAM, the discrete logarithm assumption does not hold. To this end we also introduce the weaker Quantum Algebraic Group Action Model (QAGAM), where every set element (in superposition) output by an adversary is required to have an explicit representation relative to known elements. In contrast to the Quantum Generic Group Action Model, in the QAGAM we are able to analyze the hardness of group action assumptions: We prove (among other things) the equivalence between the discrete logarithm assumption and non-standard assumptions recently introduced in the setting of QROM security for Password-Authenticated Key Exchange, Non-Interactive Key Exchange, and Public-Key Encryption.
Limits in the Provable Security of ECDSA Signatures
Digital Signatures are ubiquitous in modern computing. One of the most widely used digital signature schemes is ECDSA due to its use in TLS, various Blockchains such as Bitcoin and Etherum, and many other applications. Yet the formal analysis of ECDSA is comparatively sparse. In particular, all known security results for ECDSA rely on some idealized model such as the generic group model or the programmable (bijective) random oracle model. In this work, we study the question whether these strong idealized models are necessary for proving the security of ECDSA. Specifically, we focus on the programmability of ECDSA's ``conversion function'' which maps an elliptic curve point into its $x$-coordinate modulo the group order. Unfortunately, our main results are negative. We establish, by means of a meta reductions, that an algebraic security reduction for ECDSA can only exist if the security reduction is allowed to program the conversion function. As a consequence, a meaningful security proof for ECDSA is unlikely to exist without strong idealization.
Group Action Key Encapsulation and Non-Interactive Key Exchange in the QROM 📺
In the context of quantum-resistant cryptography, cryptographic group actions offer an abstraction of isogeny-based cryptography in the Commutative Supersingular Isogeny Diffie-Hellman (CSIDH) setting. In this work, we revisit the security of two previously proposed natural protocols: the Group Action Hashed ElGamal key encapsulation mechanism (GA-HEG KEM) and the Group Action Hashed Diffie-Hellman non-interactive key-exchange (GA-HDH NIKE) protocol. The latter protocol has already been considered to be used in practical protocols such as Post-Quantum WireGuard (S&P '21) and OPTLS (CCS '20). We prove that active security of the two protocols in the Quantum Random Oracle Model (QROM) inherently relies on very strong variants of the Group Action Strong CDH problem, where the adversary is given arbitrary quantum access to a DDH oracle. That is, quantum accessible Strong CDH assumptions are not only sufficient but also necessary to prove active security of the GA-HEG KEM and the GA-HDH NIKE protocols. Furthermore, we propose variants of the protocols with QROM security from the classical Strong CDH assumption, i.e., CDH with classical access to the DDH oracle. Our first variant uses key confirmation and can therefore only be applied in the KEM setting. Our second but considerably less efficient variant is based on the twinning technique by Cash et al. (EUROCRYPT '08) and in particular yields the first actively secure isogeny-based NIKE with QROM security from the standard CDH assumption.
On the Impossibility of Purely Algebraic Signatures 📺
The existence of one-way functions implies secure digital sig- natures, but not public-key encryption (at least in a black-box setting). Somewhat surprisingly, though, efficient public-key encryption schemes appear to be much easier to construct from concrete algebraic assumptions (such as the factoring of Diffie-Hellman-like assumptions) than efficient digital signature schemes. In this work, we provide one reason for this apparent difficulty to construct efficient signature schemes. Specifically, we prove that a wide range of algebraic signature schemes (in which verification essentially checks a number of linear equations over a group) fall to conceptually surprisingly simple linear algebra attacks. In fact, we prove that in an algebraic signature scheme, sufficiently many signatures can be linearly combined to a signature of a fresh message. We present attacks both in known-order and hidden-order groups (although in hidden-order settings, we have to restrict our definition of algebraic signatures a little). More explicitly, we show: – the insecurity of all algebraic signature schemes in Maurer’s generic group model, as long as the signature schemes do not rely on other cryptographic assumptions, such as hash functions. – the insecurity of a natural class of signatures in hidden-order groups, where verification consists of linear equations over group elements. We believe that this highlights the crucial role of public verifiability in digital signature schemes. Namely, while public-key encryption schemes do not require any publicly verifiable structure on ciphertexts, it is exactly this structure on signatures that invites attacks like ours and makes it hard to construct efficient signatures.