The aim of the IACR Ph.D. database is twofold. On the first hand, we want to offer an overview of Ph.D. already completed
in the domain of cryptology. Where possible, this should also include a subject classification, an abstract, and
access to the full text.
On the second hand, it deals with Ph.D. subjects
currently under investigation. This way, we provide a timely
map of contemporary research in cryptology.
All entries or changes need to be approved by an editor. You can contact them via phds (at) iacr.org.
Christian Cachin (#126)
Topic of his/her doctorate.
Entropy Measures and Unconditional Security in Cryptography
Year of completion
One of the most important properties of a cryptographic system is a proof of
its security. In the present work, information-theoretic methods are used for
proving the security of unconditionally secure cryptosystems. The security of
such systems does not depend on unproven intractability assumptions.
A survey of entropy measures and their applications in cryptography is
presented. A new information measure, smooth entropy, is introduced to
quantify the number of almost uniform random bits that can be extracted from a
source by probabilistic algorithms. Smooth entropy unifies previous work on
privacy amplification in cryptography and on entropy smoothing in theoretical
computer science. It enables a systematic investigation of the spoiling
knowledge proof technique to obtain lower bounds on smooth entropy.
The Renyi entropy of order at least 2 of a random variable is a lower bound
for its smooth entropy, whereas an assumption about Renyi entropy of order 1,
which is equivalent to the Shannon entropy, is too weak to guarantee any
non-trivial amount of smooth entropy. The gap between Renyi entropy of
order 1 and 2 is closed by proving that Renyi entropy of order \alpha
between 1 and 2 is a lower bound for smooth entropy, up to a small parameter
depending on \alpha, the alphabet size, and the failure probability.
The operation of many unconditionally secure cryptosystems can be divided into
the three phases advantage distillation, information reconciliation, and
privacy amplification. The relation between privacy amplification and
information reconciliation is investigated, in particular, the effect of
side information, obtained by an adversary through an initial reconciliation
step, on the size of the secret key that can be distilled safely by subsequent
privacy amplification. It is shown that each bit of side information reduces
the size of the key that can be generated by at most one bit, except with
A private-key cryptosystem and a protocol for key agreement by public
discussion are proposed that are unconditionally secure based on the sole
assumption that an adversary's memory capacity is limited. The systems make
use of a random bit string of length slightly larger than the adversary's
memory capacity that can be received by all parties.
cachin (at) acm.org