## CryptoDB

### Michael Walter

#### Publications

**Year**

**Venue**

**Title**

2022

EUROCRYPT

CoCoA: Concurrent Continuous Group Key Agreement
📺
Abstract

Messaging platforms like Signal are widely deployed and provide strong security in an asynchronous setting. It is a challenging problem to construct a protocol with similar security guarantees that can \emph{efficiently} scale to large groups. A major bottleneck are the frequent key rotations users need to perform to achieve post compromise forward security.
In current proposals -- most notably in TreeKEM (which is part of the IETF's Messaging Layer Security (MLS) protocol draft) -- for users in a group of size $n$ to rotate their keys, they must each craft a message of size $\log(n)$ to be broadcast to the group using an (untrusted) delivery server.
In larger groups, having users sequentially rotate their keys requires too much bandwidth (or takes too long), so variants allowing any $T \leq n$ users to simultaneously rotate their keys in just $2$ communication rounds have been suggested (e.g.\ ``Propose and Commit" by MLS). Unfortunately, $2$-round concurrent updates are either damaging or expensive (or both); i.e.\ they either result in future operations being more costly (e.g.\ via ``blanking'' or ``tainting'') or are costly themselves requiring $\Omega(T)$ communication for each user [Bienstock et al., TCC'20].
In this paper we propose CoCoA; a new scheme that allows for $T$ concurrent updates that are neither damaging nor costly. That is, they add no cost to future operations yet they only require $\Omega(\log^2(n))$ communication per user. To circumvent the [Bienstock et al.] lower bound, CoCoA increases the number of rounds needed to complete all updates from $2$ up to (at most) $\log(n)$; though typically fewer rounds are needed.
The key insight of our protocol is the following: in the (non-concurrent version of) TreeKEM, a delivery server which gets $T$ concurrent update requests will approve one and reject the remaining $T-1$. In contrast, our server attempts to apply all of them. If more than one user requests to rotate the same key during a round, the server arbitrarily picks a winner. Surprisingly, we prove that regardless of how the server chooses the winners, all previously compromised users will recover after at most $\log(n)$ such update rounds.
To keep the communication complexity low, CoCoA is a server-aided CGKA. That is, the delivery server no longer blindly forwards packets, but instead actively computes individualized packets tailored to each user. As the server is untrusted, this change requires us to develop new mechanisms ensuring robustness of the protocol.

2021

PKC

The Convergence of Slide-type Reductions
📺
Abstract

In this work, we apply the dynamical systems analysis of Hanrot et al. (CRYPTO'11) to a class of lattice block reduction algorithms that includes (natural variants of) slide reduction and block-Rankin reduction. This implies sharper bounds on the polynomial running times (in the query model) for these algorithms and opens the door to faster practical variants of slide reduction. We give heuristic arguments showing that such variants can indeed speed up slide reduction significantly in practice. This is confirmed by experimental evidence, which also shows that our variants are competitive with state-of-the-art reduction algorithms.

2021

TCC

The Cost of Adaptivity in Security Games on Graphs
📺
Abstract

The security of cryptographic primitives and protocols against adversaries that are allowed to make adaptive choices (e.g., which parties to corrupt or which queries to make) is notoriously difficult to establish. A broad theoretical framework was introduced by Jafargholi et al. [Crypto'17] for this purpose. In this paper we initiate the study of lower bounds on loss in adaptive security for certain cryptographic protocols considered in the framework. We prove lower bounds that almost match the upper bounds (proven using the framework) for proxy re-encryption, prefix-constrained PRFs and generalized selective decryption, a security game that captures the security of certain group messaging and broadcast encryption schemes. Those primitives have in common that their security game involves an underlying graph that can be adaptively built by the adversary.
Some of our lower bounds only apply to a restricted class of black-box reductions which we term "oblivious" (the existing upper bounds are of this restricted type), some apply to the broader but still restricted class of non-rewinding reductions, while our lower bound for proxy re-encryption applies to all black-box reductions. The fact that some of our lower bounds seem to crucially rely on obliviousness or at least a non-rewinding reduction hints to the exciting possibility that the existing upper bounds can be improved by using more sophisticated reductions.
Our main conceptual contribution is a two-player multi-stage game called the Builder-Pebbler Game. We can translate bounds on the winning probabilities for various instantiations of this game into cryptographic lower bounds for the above mentioned primitives using oracle separation techniques.

2021

TCC

Grafting Key Trees: Efficient Key Management for Overlapping Groups
📺
Abstract

Key trees are often the best solution in terms of transmission cost and storage requirements for managing keys in a setting where a group needs to share a secret key, while being able to efficiently rotate the key material of users (in order to recover from a potential compromise, or to add or remove users). Applications include multicast encryption protocols like LKH (Logical Key Hierarchies) or group messaging like the current IETF proposal TreeKEM.
A key tree is a (typically balanced) binary tree, where each node is identified with a key: leaf nodes hold users’ secret keys while the root is the shared group key. For a group of size N, each user just holds log(N) keys (the keys on the path from its leaf to the root) and its entire key material can be rotated by broadcasting 2log(N) ciphertexts (encrypting each fresh key on the path under the keys of its parents). In this work we consider the natural setting where we have many groups with partially overlapping sets of users, and ask if we can find solutions where the cost of rotating a key is better than in the trivial
one where we have a separate key tree for each group.
We show that in an asymptotic setting (where the number m of groups is fixed while the number N of users grows) there exist more general key graphs whose cost converges to the cost of a single group, thus saving a factor linear in the number of groups over the trivial solution.
As our asymptotic “solution” converges very slowly and performs poorly on concrete examples, we propose an algorithm that uses a natural heuristic to compute a key graph for any given group structure. Our algorithm combines two greedy algorithms, and is thus very efficient: it first converts the group
structure into a “lattice graph”, which then is turned into a key graph by repeatedly applying the algorithm for constructing a Huffman code.
To better understand how far our proposal is from an optimal solution, we prove lower bounds on the update cost of continuous group-key agreement and multicast encryption in a symbolic model admitting (asymmetric) encryption, pseudorandom generators, and secret sharing as building blocks.

2020

PKC

Improved Discrete Gaussian and Subgaussian Analysis for Lattice Cryptography
📺
Abstract

Discrete Gaussian distributions over lattices are central to lattice-based cryptography, and to the computational and mathematical aspects of lattices more broadly. The literature contains a wealth of useful theorems about the behavior of discrete Gaussians under convolutions and related operations. Yet despite their structural similarities, most of these theorems are formally incomparable, and their proofs tend to be monolithic and written nearly “from scratch,” making them unnecessarily hard to verify, understand, and extend. In this work we present a modular framework for analyzing linear operations on discrete Gaussian distributions. The framework abstracts away the particulars of Gaussians, and usually reduces proofs to the choice of appropriate linear transformations and elementary linear algebra. To showcase the approach, we establish several general properties of discrete Gaussians, and show how to obtain all prior convolution theorems (along with some new ones) as straightforward corollaries. As another application, we describe a self-reduction for Learning With Errors (LWE) that uses a fixed number of samples to generate an unlimited number of additional ones (having somewhat larger error). The distinguishing features of our reduction are its simple analysis in our framework, and its exclusive use of discrete Gaussians without any loss in parameters relative to a prior mixed discrete-and-continuous approach. As a contribution of independent interest, for subgaussian random matrices we prove a singular value concentration bound with explicitly stated constants, and we give tighter heuristics for specific distributions that are commonly used for generating lattice trapdoors. These bounds yield improvements in the concrete bit-security estimates for trapdoor lattice cryptosystems.

2019

EUROCRYPT

Reversible Proofs of Sequential Work
📺
Abstract

Proofs of sequential work (PoSW) are proof systems where a prover, upon receiving a statement
$$\chi $$
and a time parameter T computes a proof
$$\phi (\chi ,T)$$
which is efficiently and publicly verifiable. The proof can be computed in T sequential steps, but not much less, even by a malicious party having large parallelism. A PoSW thus serves as a proof that T units of time have passed since
$$\chi $$
was received.PoSW were introduced by Mahmoody, Moran and Vadhan [MMV11], a simple and practical construction was only recently proposed by Cohen and Pietrzak [CP18].In this work we construct a new simple PoSW in the random permutation model which is almost as simple and efficient as [CP18] but conceptually very different. Whereas the structure underlying [CP18] is a hash tree, our construction is based on skip lists and has the interesting property that computing the PoSW is a reversible computation.The fact that the construction is reversible can potentially be used for new applications like constructing proofs of replication. We also show how to “embed” the sloth function of Lenstra and Weselowski [LW17] into our PoSW to get a PoSW where one additionally can verify correctness of the output much more efficiently than recomputing it (though recent constructions of “verifiable delay functions” subsume most of the applications this construction was aiming at).

#### Program Committees

- Crypto 2020

#### Coauthors

- Hamza Abusalah (1)
- Joël Alwen (2)
- Benedikt Auerbach (2)
- Mirza Ahad Baig (1)
- Nicholas Genise (1)
- Chethan Kamath (2)
- Karen Klein (4)
- Daniele Micciancio (4)
- Miguel Cueto Noval (2)
- Guillermo Pascual-Perez (2)
- Chris Peikert (1)
- Krzysztof Pietrzak (4)