International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Joanne Woodage

Affiliation: Royal Holloway University of London


An Analysis of NIST SP 800-90A 📺
Joanne Woodage Dan Shumow
We investigate the security properties of the three deterministic random bit generator (DRBG) mechanisms in NIST SP 800-90A [2]. The standard received considerable negative attention due to the controversy surrounding the now retracted $$\mathsf{{DualEC\text {-}DRBG}}$$DualEC-DRBG, which appeared in earlier versions. Perhaps because of the attention paid to the DualEC, the other algorithms in the standard have received surprisingly patchy analysis to date, despite widespread deployment. This paper addresses a number of these gaps in analysis, with a particular focus on $$\mathsf{{HASH\text {-}DRBG}}$$HASH-DRBG and $$\mathsf{{HMAC\text {-}DRBG}}$$HMAC-DRBG. We uncover a mix of positive and less positive results. On the positive side, we prove (with a caveat) the robustness [13] of $$\mathsf{{HASH\text {-}DRBG}}$$HASH-DRBG and $$\mathsf{{HMAC\text {-}DRBG}}$$HMAC-DRBG in the random oracle model (ROM). Regarding the caveat, we show that if an optional input is omitted, then – contrary to claims in the standard—$$\mathsf{{HMAC\text {-}DRBG}}$$HMAC-DRBG does not even achieve the (weaker) property of forward security. We then conduct a more informal and practice-oriented exploration of flexibility in the standard. Specifically, we argue that these DRBGs have the property that partial state leakage may lead security to break down in unexpected ways. We highlight implementation choices allowed by the overly flexible standard that exacerbate both the likelihood, and impact, of such attacks. While our attacks are theoretical, an analysis of two open source implementations of $$\mathsf{{CTR\text {-}DRBG}}$$CTR-DRBG shows that these potentially problematic implementation choices are made in the real world.
Fast Message Franking: From Invisible Salamanders to Encryptment 📺
Message franking enables cryptographically verifiable reporting of abusive messages in end-to-end encrypted messaging. Grubbs, Lu, and Ristenpart recently formalized the needed underlying primitive, what they call compactly committing authenticated encryption (AE), and analyze security of a number of approaches. But all known secure schemes are still slow compared to the fastest standard AE schemes. For this reason Facebook Messenger uses AES-GCM for franking of attachments such as images or videos.We show how to break Facebook’s attachment franking scheme: a malicious user can send an objectionable image to a recipient but that recipient cannot report it as abuse. The core problem stems from use of fast but non-committing AE, and so we build the fastest compactly committing AE schemes to date. To do so we introduce a new primitive, called encryptment, which captures the essential properties needed. We prove that, unfortunately, schemes with performance profile similar to AES-GCM won’t work. Instead, we show how to efficiently transform Merkle-Damgärd-style hash functions into secure encryptments, and how to efficiently build compactly committing AE from encryptment. Ultimately our main construction allows franking using just a single computation of SHA-256 or SHA-3. Encryptment proves useful for a variety of other applications, such as remotely keyed AE and concealments, and our results imply the first single-pass schemes in these settings as well.