International Association for Cryptologic Research

IACR News Central

Get an update on changes of the IACR web-page here. For questions, contact newsletter (at) You can also receive updates via:

To receive your credentials via mail again, please click here.

You can also access the full news archive.

Further sources to find out about changes are CryptoDB, ePrint RSS, ePrint Web, Event calender (iCal).

09:17 [Pub][ePrint] Provable Virus Detection: Using the Uncertainty Principle to Protect Against Malware, by Richard J. Lipton and Rafail Ostrovsky and Vassilis Zikas

  Protecting software from malware injection is the holy grail of modern computer security. Despite intensive efforts by the scientific and engineering community, the number of successful attacks continues to increase.

We have a breakthrough novel approach to provably detect malware injection. The key idea is to use the very insertion of the malware itself to allow for the systems to detect it. This is, in our opinion, close in spirit to the famous Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. The attackers, no matter how clever, no matter when or how they insert their malware, change the state of the system they are attacking. This fundamental idea is a game changer. And our system does not rely on heuristics; instead, our scheme enjoys the unique property that it is proved secure in a formal and precise mathematical sense and with minimal and realistic CPU modification achieves strong provable security guarantees. Thus, we anticipate our system and formal mathematical security treatment to open new directions in software protection.

09:17 [Pub][ePrint] Towards Provably-Secure Remote Memory Attestation, by Alexandra Boldyreva and Taesoo Kim and Richard Lipton and Bogdan Warinschi

  We initiate the study of provably secure remote memory attestation. We present two protocols offering various efficiency and security trade-offs that detect the presence of injected malicious code in remotely- stored heap memory. While our solutions offer protection only against a specific class of attacks, our novel formal security definitions are general enough to cover a wide range of attacks and settings, and should be useful for further research on the subject.

19:30 [Job][New] PhD student, Université Paris 7, France

  Industry-funded PhD student at the crossroads of security and cryptography with an emphasis on efficient implementations and protocol design, notably for payment applications. Ideally, the successful applicant will have solid programming and maths skills and a creative mindset.

09:17 [Pub][ePrint] Linear Cryptanalysis of Reduced-Round SIMECK Variants, by Nasour Bagheri

  SIMECK is a family of 3 lightweight block ciphers designed by Yang et al. They

follow the framework used by Beaulieu et al. from the United States National Security Agency

(NSA) to design SIMON and SPECK. A cipher in this family with K-bit key and N-bit block is

called SIMECKN=K.We show that the security of this block cipher against linear cryptanalysis

is not as good as its predecessors SIMON. More precisely, while the best known linear attack

for SIMON32/64, using algorithm 1 of Matsui, covers 13 rounds we present a linear attack in

this senario which covers 14 rounds of SIMECK32/64. Similarly, using algorithm 1 of Matsui,

we present attacks on 19 and 22 rounds of SIMECK48/96 and SIMECK64/128 respectively,

compare them with known attacks on 16 and 19 rounds SIMON48/96 and SIMON64/128

respectively. In addition, we use algorithm 2 of Matsui to attack 18, 23 and 27 rounds of

SIMECK32/64, SIMECK48/96 and SIMECK64/128 respectively, compare them with known

attacks on 18, 19 and 21 rounds SIMON32/64, SIMON48/96 and SIMON64/128 respectively.

09:17 [Pub][ePrint] Towards Secure Cryptographic Software Implementation Against Side-Channel Power Analysis Attacks, by Pei Luo and Liwei Zhang and Yunsi Fei and A. Adam Ding

  Side-channel attacks have been a real threat against many critical embedded systems that rely on cryptographic algorithms as their security engine. A commonly used algorithmic countermeasure, random masking, incurs large execution delay and resource overhead. The other countermeasure, operation shuffling or permutation, can mitigate side-channel leakage effectively with minimal overhead. In this paper, we target utilizing the independence among operations in cryptographic algorithms and randomizing their execution order. We design a tool to automatically detect such independence between statements at the source code level and devise an algorithm for automatic operation shuffling. We test our algorithm on the new SHA3 standard, Keccak. Results show that the tool has effectively implemented operation-shuffling to reduce the side-channel leakage significantly, and therefore can guide automatic secure cryptographic software implementations against differential power analysis attacks.

09:17 [Pub][ePrint] Efficient Asynchronous Accumulators for Distributed PKI, by Leonid Reyzin and Sophia Yakoubov

  Cryptographic accumulators are a tool for compact set representation and secure set membership proofs. When an element is added to a set by means of an accumulator, a membership witness is generated. This witness can later be used to prove the membership of the element. Typically, the membership witness has to be synchronized with the accumulator value, and to be updated every time another element is added to the accumulator. In this work we propose an accumulator that, unlike any prior scheme, does not require strict synchronization.

In our construction a membership witness needs to be updated only a logarithmic number times in the number of subsequent element additions. Thus, an out-of-date witness can be easily made current. Vice versa, a verifier with an out-of-date accumulator value can still verify a current membership witness. These properties make our accumulator construction uniquely suited for use in distributed applications, such as blockchain-based public key infrastructures.

09:17 [Pub][ePrint] Consolidating masking schemes, by Oscar Reparaz and Begül Bilgin and Svetla Nikova and Benedikt Gierlichs and Ingrid Verbauwhede

  In this paper we investigate relations between several masking schemes. We show that the Ishai--Sahai--Wagner private circuits construction is closely related to Threshold Implementations and the Trichina gate. The implications of this observation are manifold. We point out a higher-order weakness in higher-order Threshold Implementations, suggest a mitigation and provide new sharings that use a lower number of input shares.

09:17 [Pub][ePrint] Output-Compressing Randomized Encodings and Applications, by Huijia Lin and Rafael Pass and Karn Seth and Sidharth Telang

  We consider randomized encodings (RE) that enable encoding a Turing machine Pi and input x into its ``randomized encoding\'\' \\hat{Pi}(x) in sublinear, or even polylogarithmic, time in the running-time of Pi(x), independent of its output length. We refer to the former as sublinear RE and the latter as compact RE. For such efficient RE, the standard simulation-based notion of security is impossible, and we thus consider a weaker (distributional) indistinguishability-based notion of security: Roughly speaking, we require indistinguishability of \\hat{Pi}_0(x_0) and \\hat{Pi}_0(x_1) as long as Pi_0,x_0 and Pi_1,x_1 are sampled from some distributions such that Pi_0(x_0),Time(Pi_0(x_0)) and Pi_1(x_1),Time(Pi_1(x_1)) are indistinguishable.

We first observe that compact RE is equivalent to a variant of the notion of indistinguishability obfuscation (iO)---which we refer to as puncturable iO---for the class of Turing machines without inputs. For the case of circuits, puncturable iO and iO are equivalent (and this fact is implicitly used in the powerful ``punctured program\'\' paradigm by Sahai and Waters [SW13]).

We next show the following:

- Impossibility in the Plain Model: Assuming the existence of subexponentially secure one-way functions, subexponentially-secure sublinear RE does not exists. (If additionally assuming subexponentially-secure iO for circuits we can also rule out polynomially-secure sublinear RE.) As a consequence, we rule out also puncturable iO for Turing machines (even those without inputs).

- Feasibility in the CRS model and Applications to iO for circuits: Subexponentially-secure sublinear RE in the CRS model and one-way functions imply iO for circuits through a simple construction generalizing GGM\'s PRF construction. Additionally, any compact (even with sublinear compactness) functional encryption essentially directly yields a sublinear RE in the CRS model, and as such we get an alternative, modular, and simpler proof of the results of [AJ15,BV15] showing that subexponentially-secure sublinearly compact FE implies iO.

- Applications to iO for Unbounded-input Turing machines: Subexponentially-secure compact RE for natural restricted classes of distributions over programs and inputs (which are not ruled out by our impossibility result, and for which we can give candidate constructions) imply iO for unbounded-input Turing machines. This yields the first construction of iO for unbounded-input Turing machines that does not rely on (public-coin) differing-input obfuscation.

15:17 [Pub][ePrint] A Brief Comparison of Simon and Simeck, by Stefan Kölbl and Arnab Roy

  Simeck is a new lightweight block cipher design based on

combining the Simon and Speck block cipher. While the design allows a

smaller and more efficient hardware implementation, its security margins are not well understood. The lack of design rationals of its predecessors further leaves some uncertainty on the security of Simeck.

In this work we give a short analysis of the impact of the design changes by comparing the lower bounds for differential and linear characteristics with Simon. We also give a comparison of the effort of finding those bounds, which surprisingly is significant less for Simeck while covering a larger number of rounds.

Furthermore, we provide new differentials for Simeck which can cover

more rounds compared to previous results on Simon. Based on this we

mount key recovery attacks on 19/26/33 rounds of Simeck32/48/64,

which also give insights on the reduced key guessing effort due to the

different set of rotation constants.

15:17 [Pub][ePrint] Reconciling User Privacy and Implicit Authentication for Mobile Devices, by Siamak F. Shahandashti and Reihaneh Safavi-Naini and Nashad Ahmed Safa

  In an implicit authentication system, a user profile is used as an additional factor to strengthen the authentication of mobile users. The profile consists of features that are constructed using the history of user actions on her mobile device over time. The profile is stored on the server and is used to authenticate an access request originated from the device at a later time. An access request will include a vector of recent measurements of the features on the device, that will be subsequently matched against the features stored at the server, to accept or reject the request. The features however include private information such as user location or web sites that have been visited. We propose a privacy-preserving implicit authentication system that achieves implicit authentication without revealing information about the usage profiles of the users to the server. We propose an architecture, give a formal security model and a construction with provable security in two settings where: (i) the device follows the protocol, and (ii) the device is captured and behaves maliciously.

15:17 [Pub][ePrint] Choosing Parameters for NTRUEncrypt, by Jeff Hoffstein and Jill Pipher and John M. Schanck and Joseph H. Silverman and William Whyte and Zhenfei Zhang

  We describe a methods for generating parameter sets and calculating security estimates for NTRUEncrypt. Analyses are provided for the standardized product-form parameter sets from IEEE 1363.1-2008 and for the NTRU Challenge parameter sets.