International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Alexander Koch


ConTra Corona: Contact Tracing against the Coronavirus by Bridging the Centralized–Decentralized Divide for Stronger Privacy
Contact tracing is among the most important interventions to mitigate the spread of any pandemic usually in the form of manual contact tracing. Smartphone-facilitated digital contact tracing may help to increase tracing capabilities and extend the coverage to those contacts one does not know in person. Most implemented protocols use local Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communication to detect contagion-relevant proximity, together with cryptographic protections, as necessary to improve the privacy of the users of such a system. However, current decentralized protocols, including DP3T, do not sufficiently protect infected users from having their status revealed to their contacts, which raises fear of stigmatization. We alleviate this by proposing a new and practical solution with stronger privacy guarantees against active adversaries. It is based on the upload-what-you-observed paradigm, includes a separation of duties on the server side, and a mechanism to ensure that users cannot deduce which encounter caused a warning with high time resolution. Finally, we present a simulation-based security notion of digital contact tracing in the real–ideal setting, and prove the security of our protocol in this framework.
Card-Based Cryptography Meets Formal Verification
Card-based cryptography provides simple and practicable protocols for performing secure multi-party computation (MPC) with just a deck of cards. For the sake of simplicity, this is often done using cards with only two symbols, e.g., and . Within this paper, we target the setting where all cards carry distinct symbols, catering for use-cases with commonly available standard decks and a weaker indistinguishability assumption. As of yet, the literature provides for only three protocols and no proofs for non-trivial lower bounds on the number of cards. As such complex proofs (handling very large combinatorial state spaces) tend to be involved and error-prone, we propose using formal verification for finding protocols and proving lower bounds. In this paper, we employ the technique of software bounded model checking (SBMC), which reduces the problem to a bounded state space, which is automatically searched exhaustively using a SAT solver as a backend.Our contribution is twofold: (a) We identify two protocols for converting between different bit encodings with overlapping bases, and then show them to be card-minimal. This completes the picture of tight lower bounds on the number of cards with respect to runtime behavior and shuffle properties of conversion protocols. For computing , we show that there is no protocol with finite runtime using four cards with distinguishable symbols and fixed output encoding, and give a four-card protocol with an expected finite runtime using only random cuts. (b) We provide a general translation of proofs for lower bounds to a bounded model checking framework for automatically finding card- and length-minimal protocols and to give additional confidence in lower bounds. We apply this to validate our method and, as an example, confirm our new protocol to have a shortest run for protocols using this number of cards.