A Fast and Key-Efficient Reduction of Chosen- Ciphertext to Known-Plaintext Security
Motivated by the quest for reducing assumptions in security proofs in cryptography, this paper is concerned with designing efficient symmetric encryption and authentication schemes based on any weak pseudorandom function (PRF) which can be much more efficiently implemented than PRFs. Damgard and Nielsen (CRYPTO '02) have shown how to construct an efficient symmetric encryption scheme based on any weak PRF that is provably secure against chosen-plaintext attacks. The main ingredient is a range-extension construction for weak PRFs. By using well-known techniques, they also showed how their scheme can be made secure against the stronger chosen-ciphertext attacks. The results of our paper are three-fold. First, we give a range-extension construction for weak PRFs that is optimal within a large and natural class of reductions (especially all known today). Second, we propose a construction of a regular PRF from any weak PRF. Third, these two results imply a (for long messages) much more efficient chosen-ciphertext secure encryption scheme than the one proposed by Damgard and Nielsen. The results also give answers to open questions posed by Naor and Reingold (CRYPTO '98) and by Damgard and Nielsen.
Luby-Rackoff Ciphers from Weak Round Functions?
The Feistel-network is a popular structure underlying many block-ciphers where the cipher is constructed from many simpler rounds, each defined by some function which is derived from the secret key. Luby and Rackoff showed that the three-round Feistel-network -- each round instantiated with a pseudorandom function secure against adaptive chosen plaintext attacks (CPA) -- is a CPA secure pseudorandom permutation, thus giving some confidence in the soundness of using a Feistel-network to design block-ciphers. But the round functions used in actual block-ciphers are -- for efficiency reasons -- far from being pseudorandom. We investigate the security of the Feistel-network against CPA distinguishers when the only security guarantee we have for the round functions is that they are secure against non-adaptive chosen plaintext attacks (NCPA). We show that in the information-theoretic setting, four rounds with NCPA secure round functions are sufficient (and necessary) to get a CPA secure permutation. Unfortunately, this result does not translate into the more interesting pseudorandom setting. In fact, under the so-called Inverse Decisional Diffie-Hellman assumption the Feistel-network with four rounds, each instantiated with a NCPA secure pseudorandom function, is in general not a CPA secure pseudorandom permutation. We also consider other relaxations of the Luby-Rackoff construction and prove their (in)security against different classes of attacks.