Affiliation: The University of Texas at Austin
Key confirmation and adaptive corruptions in the protocol security logic
Cryptographic security for key exchange and secure session establishment protocols is often defined in the so called ``adaptive corruptions'' model. Even if the adversary corrupts one of the participants in the middle of the protocol execution and obtains the victim's secrets such as the private signing key, the victim must be able to detect this and abort the protocol. This is usually achieved by adding a key confirmation message to the protocol. Conventional symbolic methods for protocol analysis assume unforgeability of digital signatures, and thus cannot be used to reason about security in the adaptive corruptions model. We present a symbolic protocol logic for reasoning about authentication and key confirmation in key exchange protocols. The logic is cryptographically sound: a symbolic proof of authentication and secrecy implies that the protocol is secure in the adaptive corruptions model. We illustrate our method by formally proving security of an authenticated Diffie-Hellman protocol with key confirmation.
On the Limits of Point Function Obfuscation
We study the problem of circuit obfuscation, ie, transforming the circuit in a way that hides everything except its input-output behavior. Barak et al. showed that a universal obfuscator that obfuscates every circuit class cannot exist, leaving open the possibility of special-purpose obfuscators. Known positive results for obfuscation are limited to point functions (boolean functions that return 1 on exactly one input) and simple extensions thereof in the random oracle model, ie, assuming black-box access to a true random function. It was also shown by Wee how to instantiate random oracles so as to achieve a slightly weaker form of point function obfuscation. Two natural questions arise: (i) what circuits have obfuscators whose security can be reduced in a black-box way to point function obfuscation? and (ii) for what circuits obfuscatable in the random oracle model can we instantiate the random oracles to build obfuscators in the plain model? We give partial answers to these questions: there is a circuit in AC^0 which can be obfuscated in the random oracle model, but not secure when random oracles are instantiated with Wee's construction. More generally, we present evidence for the impossibility of a black-box reduction of the obfuscatability of this circuit to point function obfuscation. Conversely, this result shows that to instantiate random oracles in general obfuscators, one needs to utilize properties of the instantiation that are not satisfied by point function obfuscators.
Security Analysis of Voice-over-IP Protocols
The transmission of voice communications as datagram packets over IP networks, commonly known as Voice-over-IP (VoIP) telephony, is rapidly gaining wide acceptance. With private phone conversations being conducted on insecure public networks, security of VoIP communications is increasingly important. We present a structured security analysis of the VoIP protocol stack, which consists of signaling (SIP), session description (SDP), key establishment (SDES, MIKEY, and ZRTP) and secure media transport (SRTP) protocols. Using a combination of manual and tool-supported formal analysis, we uncover several design flaws and attacks, most of which are caused by subtle inconsistencies between the assumptions that protocols at different layers of the VoIP stack make about each other. The most serious attack is a replay attack on SDES, which causes SRTP to repeat the keystream used for media encryption, thus completely breaking transport-layer security. We also demonstrate a man-in-the-middle attack on ZRTP, which allows the attacker to convince the communicating parties that they have lost their shared secret. If they are using VoIP devices without displays and thus cannot execute the ``human authentication'' procedure, they are forced to communicate insecurely, or not communicate at all, i.e., this becomes a denial of service attack. Finally, we show that the key derivation process used in MIKEY cannot be used to prove security of the derived key in the standard cryptographic model for secure key exchange.
Towards computationally sound symbolic analysis of key exchange protocols
We present a cryptographically sound formal method for proving correctness of key exchange protocols. Our main tool is a fragment of a symbolic protocol logic. We demonstrate that proofs of key agreement and key secrecy in this logic imply simulatability in Shoup's secure multi-party framework for key exchange. As part of the logic, we present cryptographically sound abstractions of CMA-secure digital signatures and a restricted form of Diffie-Hellman exponentiation, which is a technical result of independent interest. We illustrate our method by constructing a proof of security for a simple authenticated Diffie-Hellman protocol.