International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research

CryptoDB

Alexander Russell

Publications

Year
Venue
Title
2021
EUROCRYPT
Dynamic Ad Hoc Clock Synchronization 📺
Clock synchronization allows parties to establish a common notion of global time by leveraging a weaker synchrony assumption, i.e., local clocks with approximately the same speed. Despite intensive investigation of the problem in the fault-tolerant distributed computing literature, existing solutions do not apply to settings where participation is unknown, e.g., the ad hoc model of Beimel et al. [EUROCRYPT 17], or is dynamically shifting over time, e.g., the fluctuating/sleepy/dynamic-availability models of Garay et al. [CRYPTO 17], Pass and Shi [ASIACRYPT 17] and Badertscher et al. CCS 18]. We show how to apply and extend ideas from the blockchain literature to devise synchronizers that work in such dynamic ad hoc settings and tolerate corrupted minorities under the standard assumption that local clocks advance at approximately the same speed. We discuss both the setting of honest-majority hashing power and that of a PKI with honest majority. Our main result is a synchronizer that is directly integrated with a new proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain protocol, Ouroboros Chronos, which we construct and prove secure; to our knowledge, this is the first PoS blockchain protocol to rely only on local clocks, while tolerating worst-case corruption and dynamically fluctuating participation. We believe that this result might be of independent interest.
2020
EUROCRYPT
Efficient simulation of random states and random unitaries 📺
Gorjan Alagic Christian Majenz Alexander Russell
We consider the problem of efficiently simulating random quantum states and random unitary operators, in a manner which is convincing to unbounded adversaries with black-box oracle access. This problem has previously only been considered for restricted adversaries. Against adversaries with an a priori bound on the number of queries, it is well-known that t-designs suffice. Against polynomial-time adversaries, one can use pseudorandom states (PRS) and pseudorandom unitaries (PRU), as defined in a recent work of Ji, Liu, and Song; unfortunately, no provably secure construction is known for PRUs. In our setting, we are concerned with unbounded adversaries. Nonetheless, we are able to give stateful quantum algorithms which simulate the ideal object in both settings of interest. In the case of Haar-random states, our simulator is polynomial-time, has negligible error, and can also simulate verification and reflection through the simulated state. This yields an immediate application to quantum money: a money scheme which is information-theoretically unforgeable and untraceable. In the case of Haar-random unitaries, our simulator takes polynomial space, but simulates both forward and inverse access with zero error. These results can be seen as the first significant steps in developing a theory of lazy sampling for random quantum objects.
2020
EUROCRYPT
Quantum-access-secure message authentication via blind-unforgeability 📺
Formulating and designing authentication of classical messages in the presence of adversaries with quantum query access has been a challenge, as the familiar classical notions of unforgeability do not directly translate into meaningful notions in the quantum setting. A particular difficulty is how to fairly capture the notion of ``predicting an unqueried value'' when the adversary can query in quantum superposition. We propose a natural definition of unforgeability against quantum adversaries called blind unforgeability. This notion defines a function to be predictable if there exists an adversary who can use "partially blinded" oracle access to predict values in the blinded region. We support the proposal with a number of technical results. We begin by establishing that the notion coincides with EUF-CMA in the classical setting and go on to demonstrate that the notion is satisfied by a number of simple guiding examples, such as random functions and quantum-query-secure pseudorandom functions. We then show the suitability of blind unforgeability for supporting canonical constructions and reductions. We prove that the "hash-and-MAC" paradigm and the Lamport one-time digital signature scheme are indeed unforgeable according to the definition. In this setting, we additionally define and study a new variety of quantum-secure hash functions called Bernoulli-preserving. Finally, we demonstrate that blind unforgeability is strictly stronger than a previous definition of Boneh and Zhandry [EUROCRYPT '13, CRYPTO '13] and resolve an open problem concerning this previous definition by constructing an explicit function family which is forgeable yet satisfies the definition.
2020
TCC
Ledger Combiners for Fast Settlement 📺
Blockchain protocols based on variations of the longest-chain rule—whether following the proof-of-work paradigm or one of its alternatives—suffer from a fundamental latency barrier. This arises from the need to collect a sufficient number of blocks on top of a transaction-bearing block to guarantee the transaction’s stability while limiting the rate at which blocks can be created in order to prevent security-threatening forks. Our main result is a black-box security-amplifying combiner based on parallel composition of m blockchains that achieves \Theta(m)-fold security amplification for conflict-free transactions or, equivalently, \Theta(m)-fold reduction in latency. Our construction breaks the latency barrier to achieve, for the first time, a ledger based purely on Nakamoto longest-chain consensus guaranteeing worst-case constant-time settlement for conflict-free transactions: settlement can be accelerated to a constant multiple of block propagation time with negligible error. Operationally, our construction shows how to view any family of blockchains as a unified, virtual ledger without requiring any coordination among the chains or any new protocol metadata. Users of the system have the option to inject a transaction into a single constituent blockchain or---if they desire accelerated settlement---all of the constituent blockchains. Our presentation and proofs introduce a new formalism for reasoning about blockchains, the dynamic ledger, and articulate our constructions as transformations of dynamic ledgers that amplify security. We also illustrate the versatility of this formalism by presenting robust-combiner constructions for blockchains that can protect against complete adversarial control of a minority of a family of blockchains.
2019
PKC
Let a Non-barking Watchdog Bite: Cliptographic Signatures with an Offline Watchdog
We study how to construct secure digital signature schemes in the presence of kleptographic attacks. Our work utilizes an offline watchdog to clip the power of subversions via only one-time black-box testing of the implementation. Previous results essentially rely on an online watchdog which requires the collection of all communicating transcripts (or active re-randomization of messages).We first give a simple but generic construction, without random oracles, in the partial-subversion model in which key generation and signing algorithms can be subverted. Then, we give the first digital signature scheme in the complete-subversion model in which all cryptographic algorithms can be subverted. This construction is based on the full-domain hash. Along the way, we enhance the recent result of Russell et al.  (CRYPTO 2018) about correcting a subverted random oracle.
2018
EUROCRYPT
2018
CRYPTO
Correcting Subverted Random Oracles 📺
The random oracle methodology has proven to be a powerful tool for designing and reasoning about cryptographic schemes, and can often act as an effective bridge between theory and practice. In this paper, we focus on the basic problem of correcting faulty—or adversarially corrupted—random oracles, so that they can be confidently applied for such cryptographic purposes.We prove that a simple construction can transform a “subverted” random oracle—which disagrees with the original one at a negligible fraction of inputs—into a construction that is indifferentiable from a random function. Our results permit future designers of cryptographic primitives in typical kleptographic settings (i.e., with adversaries who may subvert the implementation of cryptographic algorithms but undetectable via blackbox testing) to use random oracles as a trusted black box, in spite of not trusting the implementation. Our analysis relies on a general rejection re-sampling lemma which is a tool of possible independent interest.
2017
EUROCRYPT
2017
CRYPTO
2016
ASIACRYPT
2015
EPRINT
2015
EPRINT
2014
JOFC
2011
CRYPTO
2002
EUROCRYPT
2001
EPRINT
Efficient Encryption for Rich Message Spaces Under General Assumptions
Alexander Russell Hong Wang
We present a new family of public-key encryption schemes which combine modest computational demands with provable security guarantees under only general assumptions. The schemes may be realized with any one-way trapdoor permutation, and provide a notion of security corresponding to semantic security under the condition that the message space has sufficient entropy. Furthermore, these schemes can be implemented with very few applications of the underlying one-way permutation: schemes which provide security for message spaces in $\{0,1\}^n$ with minimum entropy $n - \ell$ can be realized with $\ell + w(k)\log k$ applications of the underlying one-way trapdoor permutation. Here $k$ is the security parameter and $w(k)$ is any function which tends to infinity. In comparison, extant systems offering full semantic security require roughly $n$ applications of the underlying one-way trapdoor permutation. Finally, we give a simplified proof of a fundamental ``elision lemma'' of Goldwasser and Micali.
2001
JOFC
1995
JOFC
1992
CRYPTO