QCB: Efficient Quantum-secure Authenticated Encryption 📺
It was long thought that symmetric cryptography was only mildly affected by quantum attacks, and that doubling the key length was sufficient to restore security. However, recent works have shown that Simon's quantum period finding algorithm breaks a large number of MAC and authenticated encryption algorithms when the adversary can query the MAC/encryption oracle with a quantum superposition of messages. In particular, the OCB authenticated encryption mode is broken in this setting, and no quantum-secure mode is known with the same efficiency (rate-one and parallelizable). In this paper we generalize the previous attacks, show that a large class of OCB-like schemes is unsafe against superposition queries, and discuss the quantum security notions for authenticated encryption modes. We propose a new rate-one parallelizable mode named QCB inspired by TAE and OCB and prove its security against quantum superposition queries.
ZCZ – Achieving n-bit SPRP Security with a Minimal Number of Tweakable-Block-Cipher Calls
Strong Pseudo-random Permutations (SPRPs) are important for various applications. In general, it is desirable to base an SPRP on a single-keyed primitive for minimizing the implementation costs. For constructions built on classical block ciphers, Nandi showed at ASIACRYPT’15 that at least two calls to the primitive per processed message block are required for SPRP security, assuming that all further operations are linear. The ongoing trend of using tweakable block ciphers as primitive has already led to MACs or encryption modes with high security and efficiency properties. Thus, three interesting research questions are hovering in the domain of SPRPs: (1) if and to which extent the bound of two calls per block can be reduced with a tweakable block cipher, (2) how concrete constructions could be realized, and (3) whether full n-bit security is achievable from primitives with n-bit state size.The present work addresses all three questions. Inspired by Iwata et al.’s ZHash proposal at CRYPTO’17, we propose the ZCZ (ZHash-Counter-ZHash) construction, a single-key variable-input-length SPRP based on a single tweakable block cipher whose tweak length is at least its state size. ZCZ possesses close to optimal properties with regards to both performance and security: not only does it require only asymptotically $$3\ell /2$$ calls to the primitive for $$\ell $$-block messages; we show that this figure is close to the minimum by an PRP distinguishing attack on any construction with tweak size of $$\tau = n$$ bits and fewer than $$(3\ell -1)/2$$ calls to the same primitive. Moreover, it provides optimal n-bit security for a primitive with n-bit state and tweak size.
Turning Online Ciphers Off
CAESAR has caused a heated discussion regarding the merits of one-pass encryption and online ciphers. The latter is a keyed, length preserving function which outputs ciphertext blocks as soon as the respective plaintext block is available as input. The immediacy of an online cipher affords a clear performance advantage, but it comes at a price: ciphertext blocks cannot depend on later plaintext blocks, limiting diffusion and hence security. We show how one can attain the best of both worlds by providing provably secure constructions, achieving full cipher security, based on applications of an online cipher around blockwise reordering layers. Explicitly, we show that with just two calls to the online cipher, prp security up to the birthday bound is both attainable and maximal. Moreover, we demonstrate that three calls to the online cipher suffice to obtain beyond birthday bound security. We provide a full proof of this for a prp construction, and, in the ±prp setting, security against adversaries who make queries of any single length. As part of our investigation, we extend an observation by Rogaway and Zhang by further highlighting the close relationship between online ciphers and tweakable blockciphers with variable-length tweaks.
OleF: an Inverse-Free Online Cipher. An Online SPRP with an Optimal Inverse-Free Construction
Online ciphers, in spite of being insecure against an sprp adversary, can be desirable at places because of their ease of implementation and speed. Here we propose a single-keyed inverse-free construction that achieves online sprp security with an optimal number of blockcipher calls. We also include a partial block construction, without requiring any extra key.