International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Jörg Schwenk


Flexible Authenticated and Confidential Channel Establishment (fACCE): Analyzing the Noise Protocol Framework 📺
The Noise protocol framework is a suite of channel establishment protocols, of which each individual protocol ensures various security properties of the transmitted messages, but keeps specification, implementation, and configuration relatively simple. Implementations of the Noise protocols are themselves, due to the employed primitives, very performant. Thus, despite its relative youth, Noise is already used by large-scale deployed applications such as WhatsApp and Slack. Though the Noise specification describes and claims the security properties of the protocol patterns very precisely, there has been no computational proof yet. We close this gap. Noise uses only a limited number of cryptographic primitives which makes it an ideal candidate for reduction-based security proofs. Due to its patterns’ characteristics as channel establishment protocols, and the usage of established keys within the handshake, the authenticated and confidential channel establishment (ACCE) model (Jager et al. CRYPTO 2012) seems to perfectly fit for an analysis of Noise. However, the ACCE model strictly divides protocols into two non-overlapping phases: the pre-accept phase (i.e., the channel establishment) and post-accept phase (i.e., the channel). In contrast, Noise allows the transmission of encrypted messages as soon as any key is established (for instance, before authentication between parties has taken place), and then incrementally increases the channel’s security guarantees. By proposing a generalization of the original ACCE model, we capture security properties of such staged channel establishment protocols flexibly – comparably to the multi-stage key exchange model (Fischlin and Günther CCS 2014). We give security proofs for eight of the 15 basic Noise patterns in the full version (EPRINT 2019/436) and exemplify them by the proof of the  XK pattern in this article.
Privacy-Preserving Authenticated Key Exchange and the Case of IKEv2 📺
In this paper, we present a strong, formal, and general-purpose cryptographic model for privacy-preserving authenticated key exchange (PPAKE) protocols. PPAKE protocols are secure in the traditional AKE sense but additionally guarantee the confidentiality of the identities used in communication sessions. Our model has several useful and novel features, among others: it is a proper extension of classical AKE models, guarantees in a strong sense that the confidentiality of session keys is independent from the secrecy of the used identities, and it is the first to support what we call dynamic modes, where the responsibility of selecting the identities of the communication partners may vary over several protocol runs. We show the validity of our model by applying it to the cryptographic core of IPsec IKEv2 with signature-based authentication where the need for dynamic modes is practically well-motivated. In our analysis, we not only show that this protocol provides strong classical AKE security guarantees but also that the identities that are used by the parties remain hidden in successful protocol runs. Historically, the Internet Key Exchange (IKE) protocol was the first real-world AKE to incorporate privacy-preserving techniques. However, lately privacy-preserving techniques have gained renewed interest in the design process of important protocols like TLS 1.3 (with encrypted SNI) and NOISE. We believe that our new model can be a solid foundation to analyze these and other practical protocols with respect to their privacy guarantees, in particular, in the now so wide-spread scenario where multiple virtual servers are hosted on a single machine.