International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Cas Cremers


A Holistic Security Analysis of Monero Transactions
Monero is a popular cryptocurrency with strong privacy guarantees for users' transactions. At the heart of Monero's privacy claims lies a complex transaction system called RingCT, which combines several building blocks such as linkable ring signatures, homomorphic commitments, and range proofs, in a unique fashion. In this work, we provide the first rigorous security analysis for RingCT (as given in Zero to Monero, v2.0.0, 2020) in its entirety. This is in contrast to prior works that only provided security arguments for parts of RingCT. To analyze Monero's transaction system, we introduce the first holistic security model for RingCT. We then prove the security of RingCT in our model. Our framework is modular: it allows to view RingCT as a combination of various different sub-protocols. Our modular approach has the benefit that these components can be easily updated in future versions of RingCT, with only minor modifications to our analysis. At a technical level, we split our analysis in two parts. First, we identify which security notions for building blocks are needed to imply security for the whole system. Interestingly, we observe that existing and well-established notions (e.g., for the linkable ring signature) are insufficient. Second, we analyze all building blocks as implemented in Monero and prove that they satisfy our new notions. Here, we leverage the algebraic group model to overcome subtle problems in the analysis of the linkable ring signature component. As another technical highlight, we show that our security goals can be mapped to a suitable graph problem, which allows us to take advantage of the theory of network flows in our analysis. This new approach is also useful for proving security of other cryptocurrencies.
CHIP and CRISP: Protecting All Parties Against Compromise through Identity-Binding PAKEs
Recent advances in password-based authenticated key exchange (PAKE) protocols can offer stronger security guarantees for globally deployed security protocols. Notably, the OPAQUE protocol [Eurocrypt2018] realizes Strong Asymmetric PAKE (saPAKE), strengthening the protection offered by aPAKE to compromised servers: after compromising an saPAKE server, the adversary still has to perform a full brute-force search to recover any passwords or impersonate users. However, (s)aPAKEs do not protect client storage, and can only be applied in the so-called asymmetric setting, in which some parties, such as servers, do not communicate with each other using the protocol. Nonetheless, passwords are also widely used in symmetric settings, where a group of parties share a password and can all communicate (e.g., Wi-Fi with client devices, routers, and mesh nodes; or industrial IoT scenarios). In these settings, the (s)aPAKE techniques cannot be applied, and the state-of-the-art still involves handling plaintext passwords. In this work, we propose the notions of (strong) identity-binding PAKEs that improve this situation: they protect against compromise of any party, and can also be applied in the symmetric setting. We propose counterparts to state-of-the-art security notions from the asymmetric setting in the UC model, and construct protocols that provably realize them. Our constructions bind the local storage of all parties to abstract identities, building on ideas from identity-based key exchange, but without requiring a third party. Our first protocol, CHIP, generalizes the security of aPAKE protocols to all parties, forcing the adversary to perform a brute-force search to recover passwords or impersonate others. Our second protocol, CRISP, additionally renders any adversarial pre-computation useless, thereby offering saPAKE-like guarantees for all parties, instead of only the server. We evaluate prototype implementations of our protocols and show that even though they offer stronger security for real-world use cases, their performance is in line with, or even better than, state-of-the-art protocols.
A Formal Security Analysis of the Signal Messaging Protocol
The Signal protocol is a cryptographic messaging protocol that provides end-to-end encryption for instant messaging in WhatsApp, Wire, and Facebook Messenger among many others, serving well over 1 billion active users. Signal includes several uncommon security properties (such as “future secrecy” or “post-compromise security”), enabled by a technique called ratcheting in which session keys are updated with every message sent. We conduct a formal security analysis of Signal’s initial extended triple Diffie–Hellman (X3DH) key agreement and Double Ratchet protocols as a multi-stage authenticated key exchange protocol. We extract from the implementation a formal description of the abstract protocol and define a security model which can capture the “ratcheting” key update structure as a multi-stage model where there can be a “tree” of stages, rather than just a sequence. We then prove the security of Signal’s key exchange core in our model, demonstrating several standard security properties. We have found no major flaws in the design and hope that our presentation and results can serve as a foundation for other analyses of this widely adopted protocol.
Highly Efficient Key Exchange Protocols with Optimal Tightness 📺
In this paper we give nearly-tight reductions for modern implicitly authenticated Diffie-Hellman protocols in the style of the Signal and Noise protocols, which are extremely simple and efficient. Unlike previous approaches, the combination of nearly-tight proofs and efficient protocols enables the first real-world instantiations for which the parameters can be chosen in a theoretically sound manner.Our reductions have only a linear loss in the number of users, implying that our protocols are more efficient than the state of the art when instantiated with theoretically sound parameters. We also prove that our security proofs are optimal: a linear loss in the number of users is unavoidable for our protocols for a large and natural class of reductions.

Program Committees

Eurocrypt 2022