International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Charles Momin


POLKA: Towards Leakage-Resistant Post-Quantum CCA-Secure Public Key Encryption
As for any cryptographic algorithm, the deployment of post-quantum CCA-secure public key encryption schemes may come with the need to be protected against side-channel attacks. For existing post-quantum schemes that have not been developed with leakage in mind, recent results showed that the cost of these protections can make their implementations more expensive by orders of magnitude. In this paper, we describe a new design, coined POLKA, that is specifically tailored for this purpose. It leverages various ingredients in order to enable efficient side-channel protected implementations such as: (i) the rigidity property (which intuitively means that de-randomized encryption and decryption are injective functions) to avoid the very leaky re-encryption step of the Fujisaki-Okamoto transform, (ii) the randomization of the decryption thanks to the incorporation of a dummy ciphertext, removing the adversary's control of its intermediate computations and making these computations ephemeral, (iii) key-homomorphic computations that can be masked against side-channel attacks with overheads that scale linearly in the number of shares, (iv) hard physical learning problem to argue about the security of some critical unmasked operations. Furthermore, we use an explicit rejection mechanism (returning an error symbol for invalid ciphertexts) to avoid the additional leakage caused by implicit rejection. As a result, all the operations of POLKA can be protected against leakage in a much cheaper way than state-of-the-art designs, opening the way towards schemes that are both quantum-safe and leakage-resistant.
Prime-Field Masking in Hardware and its Soundness against Low-Noise SCA Attacks
A recent study suggests that arithmetic masking in prime fields leads to stronger security guarantees against passive physical adversaries than Boolean masking. Indeed, it is a common observation that the desired security amplification of Boolean masking collapses when the noise level in the measurements is too low. Arithmetic encodings in prime fields can help to maintain an exponential increase of the attack complexity in the number of shares even in such a challenging context. In this work, we contribute to this emerging topic in two main directions. First, we propose novel masked hardware gadgets for secure squaring in prime fields (since squaring is non-linear in non-binary fields) which prove to be significantly more resource-friendly than corresponding masked multiplications. We then formally show their local and compositional security for arbitrary orders. Second, we attempt to >experimentally evaluate the performance vs. security tradeoff of prime-field masking. In order to enable a first comparative case study in this regard, we exemplarily consider masked implementations of the AES as well as the recently proposed AESprime. AES-prime is a block cipher partially resembling the standard AES, but based on arithmetic operations modulo a small Mersenne prime. We present cost and performance figures for masked AES and AES-prime implementations, and experimentally evaluate their susceptibility to low-noise side-channel attacks. We consider both the dynamic and the static power consumption for our low-noise analyses and emulate strong adversaries. Static power attacks are indeed known as a threat for side-channel countermeasures that require a certain noise level to be effective because of the adversary’s ability to reduce the noise through intra-trace averaging. Our results show consistently that for the noise levels in our practical experiments, the masked prime-field implementations provide much higher security for the same number of shares. This compensates for the overheads prime computations lead to and remains true even if / despite leaking each share with a similar Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) as their binary equivalents. We hope our results open the way towards new cipher designs tailored to best exploit the advantages of prime-field masking.
Learning With Physical Rounding for Linear and Quadratic Leakage Functions
Fresh re-keying is a countermeasure against side-channel analysis where an ephemeral key is derived from a long-term key using a public random value. Popular instances of such schemes rely on key-homomorphic primitives, so that the re-keying process is easy to mask and the rest of the (e.g., block cipher) computations can run with cheaper countermeasures. The main requirement for these schemes to be secure is that the leakages of the ephemeral keys do not allow recovering the long-term key. The Learning with Physical Rounding (LWPR) problem formalizes this security in a practically-relevant model where the adversary can observe noise-free leakages. It can be viewed as a physical version of the Learning With Rounding (LWR) problem, where the rounding is performed by a leakage function and therefore does not have to be computed explicitly. In this paper, we first consolidate the intuition that LWPR cannot be secure in a serial implementation context without additional countermeasures (like shuffling), due to attacks exploiting worst-case leakages that can be mounted with practical data complexity. We then extend the understanding of LWPR in a parallel implementation setting. On the one hand, we generalize its robustness against cryptanalysis taking advantage of any (i.e., not only worst-case) leakage. A previous work claimed security in the specific context of a Hamming weight leakage function. We clarify necessary conditions to maintain this guarantee, based on the degree of the leakage function and the accuracy of its coefficients. On the other hand, we show that parallelism inherently provides good security against attacks exploiting worst-case leakages. We finally confirm the practical relevance of these findings by validating our assumptions experimentally for an exemplary implementation.
EvalRound Algorithm in CKKS Bootstrapping 📺
Homomorphic encryption (HE) has open an entirely new world up in the privacy-preserving use of sensitive data by conducting computations on encrypted data. Amongst many HE schemes targeting on computation in various contexts, Cheon--Kim--Kim--Song (CKKS) scheme is distinguished since it allows computations for encrypted real number data, which have greater impact in real-world applications. CKKS scheme is a levelled homomorphic encryption scheme, consuming one level for each homomorphic multiplication. When the level runs out, a special computational circuit called bootstrapping is required in order to conduct further multiplications. The algorithm proposed by Cheon et al. has been regarded as a standard way to do bootstrapping in the CKKS scheme, and it consists of the following four steps: ModRaise, CoeffToSlot, EvalMod and SlotToCoeff. However, the steps consume a number of levels themselves, and thus optimizing this extra consumption has been a major focus of the series of recent research. Among the total levels consumed in the bootstrapping steps, about a half of them is spent in CoeffToSlot and SlotToCoeff steps to scale up the real number components of DFT matrices and round them to the nearest integers. Each scale-up factor is very large so that it takes up one level to rescale it down. Scale-up factors can be taken smaller to save levels, but the error of rounding would be transmitted to EvalMod and eventually corrupt the accuracy of bootstrapping. EvalMod aims to get rid of the superfluous $qI$ term from a plaintext $\pt + qI$ resulting from ModRaise, where $q$ is the bottom modulus and $I$ is a polynomial with small integer coefficients. EvalRound is referred to as its opposite, obtaining $qI$. We introduce a novel bootstrapping algorithm consisting of ModRaise, CoeffToSlot, EvalRound and SlotToCoeff, which yields taking smaller scale-up factors without the damage of rounding errors.
Improved Leakage-Resistant Authenticated Encryption based on Hardware AES Coprocessors 📺
We revisit Unterstein et al.’s leakage-resilient authenticated encryption scheme from CHES 2020. Its main goal is to enable secure software updates by leveraging unprotected (e.g., AES, SHA256) coprocessors available on low-end microcontrollers. We show that the design of this scheme ignores an important attack vector that can significantly reduce its security claims, and that the evaluation of its leakage-resilient PRF is quite sensitive to minor variations of its measurements, which can easily lead to security overstatements. We then describe and analyze a new mode of operation for which we propose more conservative security parameters and show that it competes with the CHES 2020 one in terms of performances. As an additional bonus, our solution relies only on AES-128 coprocessors, an
Spook: Sponge-Based Leakage-Resistant Authenticated Encryption with a Masked Tweakable Block Cipher 📺
This paper defines Spook: a sponge-based authenticated encryption with associated data algorithm. It is primarily designed to provide security against side-channel attacks at a low energy cost. For this purpose, Spook is mixing a leakageresistant mode of operation with bitslice ciphers enabling efficient and low latency implementations. The leakage-resistant mode of operation leverages a re-keying function to prevent differential side-channel analysis, a duplex sponge construction to efficiently process the data, and a tag verification based on a Tweakable Block Cipher (TBC) providing strong data integrity guarantees in the presence of leakages. The underlying bitslice ciphers are optimized for the masking countermeasures against side-channel attacks. Spook is an efficient single-pass algorithm. It ensures state-of-the-art black box security with several prominent features: (i) nonce misuse-resilience, (ii) beyond-birthday security with respect to the TBC block size, and (iii) multiuser security at minimum cost with a public tweak. Besides the specifications and design rationale, we provide first software and hardware implementation results of (unprotected) Spook which confirm the limited overheads that the use of two primitives sharing internal components imply. We also show that the integrity of Spook with leakage, so far analyzed with unbounded leakages for the duplex sponge and a strongly protected TBC modeled as leak-free, can be proven with a much weaker unpredictability assumption for the TBC. We finally discuss external cryptanalysis results and tweaks to improve both the security margins and efficiency of Spook.
Mode-Level vs. Implementation-Level Physical Security in Symmetric Cryptography: A Practical Guide Through the Leakage-Resistance Jungle 📺
Triggered by the increasing deployment of embedded cryptographic devices (e.g., for the IoT), the design of authentication, encryption and authenticated encryption schemes enabling improved security against side-channel attacks has become an important research direction. Over the last decade, a number of modes of operation have been proposed and analyzed under different abstractions. In this paper, we investigate the practical consequences of these findings. For this purpose, we first translate the physical assumptions of leakage-resistance proofs into minimum security requirements for implementers. Thanks to this (heuristic) translation, we observe that (i) security against physical attacks can be viewed as a tradeoff between mode-level and implementation-level protection mechanisms, and (i}) security requirements to guarantee confidentiality and integrity in front of leakage can be concretely different for the different parts of an implementation. We illustrate the first point by analyzing several modes of operation with gradually increased leakage-resistance. We illustrate the second point by exhibiting leveled implementations, where different parts of the investigated schemes have different security requirements against leakage, leading to performance improvements when high physical security is needed. We finally initiate a comparative discussion of the different solutions to instantiate the components of a leakage-resistant authenticated encryption scheme.
Exploring Crypto-Physical Dark Matter and Learning with Physical Rounding: Towards Secure and Efficient Fresh Re-Keying 📺
State-of-the-art re-keying schemes can be viewed as a tradeoff between efficient but heuristic solutions based on binary field multiplications, that are only secure if implemented with a sufficient amount of noise, and formal but more expensive solutions based on weak pseudorandom functions, that remain secure if the adversary accesses their output in full. Recent results on “crypto dark matter” (TCC 2018) suggest that low-complexity pseudorandom functions can be obtained by mixing linear functions over different small moduli. In this paper, we conjecture that by mixing some matrix multiplications in a prime field with a physical mapping similar to the leakage functions exploited in side-channel analysis, we can build efficient re-keying schemes based on “crypto-physical dark matter”, that remain secure against an adversary who can access noise-free measurements. We provide first analyzes of the security and implementation properties that such schemes provide. Precisely, we first show that they are more secure than the initial (heuristic) proposal by Medwed et al. (AFRICACRYPT 2010). For example, they can resist attacks put forward by Belaid et al. (ASIACRYPT 2014), satisfy some relevant cryptographic properties and can be connected to a “Learning with Physical Rounding” problem that shares some similarities with standard learning problems. We next show that they are significantly more efficient than the weak pseudorandom function proposed by Dziembowski et al. (CRYPTO 2016), by exhibiting hardware implementation results.