International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Greg Zaverucha


Banquet: Short and Fast Signatures from AES 📺
In this work we introduce Banquet, a digital signature scheme with post-quantum security, constructed using only symmetric-key primitives. The design is based on the MPC-in-head paradigm also used by Picnic (CCS 2017) and BBQ (SAC 2019). Like BBQ, Banquet uses only standardized primitives, namely AES and SHA-3, but signatures are more than 50\% shorter, making them competitive with Picnic (which uses a non-standard block cipher to improve performance). The MPC protocol in Banquet uses a new technique to verify correctness of the AES S-box computations, which is efficient because the cost is amortized with a batch verification strategy. Our implementation and benchmarks also show that both signing and verification can be done in under 10ms on a current x64 CPU. We also explore the parameter space to show the range of trade-offs that are possible with the Banquet design, and show that Banquet can nearly match the signature sizes possible with Picnic (albeit with slower, but still practical run times) or have speed within a factor of two of Picnic (at the cost of larger signatures).
MPC-Friendly Symmetric Cryptography from Alternating Moduli: Candidates, Protocols, and Applications 📺
We study new candidates for symmetric cryptographic primitives that leverage alternation between linear functions over $\mathbb{Z}_2$ and $\mathbb{Z}_3$ to support fast protocols for secure multiparty computation (MPC). This continues the study of weak pseudorandom functions of this kind initiated by Boneh et al. (TCC 2018) and Cheon et al. (PKC 2021). We make the following contributions. (Candidates). We propose new designs of symmetric primitives based on alternating moduli. These include candidate one-way functions, pseudorandom generators, and weak pseudorandom functions. We propose concrete parameters based on cryptanalysis. (Protocols). We provide a unified approach for securely evaluating modulus-alternating primitives in different MPC models. For the original candidate of Boneh et al., our protocols obtain at least 2x improvement in all performance measures. We report efficiency benchmarks of an optimized implementation. (Applications). We showcase the usefulness of our candidates for a variety of applications. This includes short ``Picnic-style'' signature schemes, as well as protocols for oblivious pseudorandom functions, hierarchical key derivation, and distributed key generation for function secret sharing.
Side-Channel Protections for Picnic Signatures 📺
We study masking countermeasures for side-channel attacks against signature schemes constructed from the MPC-in-the-head paradigm, specifically when the MPC protocol uses preprocessing. This class of signature schemes includes Picnic, an alternate candidate in the third round of the NIST post-quantum standardization project. The only previously known approach to masking MPC-in-the-head signatures suffers from interoperability issues and increased signature sizes. Further, we present a new attack to demonstrate that known countermeasures are not sufficient when the MPC protocol uses a preprocessing phase, as in Picnic3.We overcome these challenges by showing how to mask the underlying zero-knowledge proof system due to Katz–Kolesnikov–Wang (CCS 2018) for any masking order, and by formally proving that our approach meets the standard security notions of non-interference for masking countermeasures. As a case study, we apply our masking technique to Picnic. We then implement different masked versions of Picnic signing providing first order protection for the ARM Cortex M4 platform, and quantify the overhead of these different masking approaches. We carefully analyze the side-channel risk of hashing operations, and give optimizations that reduce the CPU cost of protecting hashing in Picnic by a factor of five. The performance penalties of the masking countermeasures ranged from 1.8 to 5.5, depending on the degree of masking applied to hash function invocations.
Security of Hedged Fiat-Shamir Signatures under Fault Attacks 📺
Deterministic generation of per-signature randomness has been a widely accepted solution to mitigate the catastrophic risk of randomness failure in Fiat--Shamir type signature schemes. However, recent studies have practically demonstrated that such de-randomized schemes, including EdDSA, are vulnerable to differential fault attacks, which enable adversaries to recover the entire secret signing key, by artificially provoking randomness reuse or corrupting computation in other ways. In order to balance concerns of both randomness failures and the threat of fault injection, some signature designs are advocating a ``hedged'' derivation of the per-signature randomness, by hashing the secret key, message, and a nonce. Despite the growing popularity of the hedged paradigm in practical signature schemes, to the best of our knowledge, there has been no attempt to formally analyze the fault resilience of hedged signatures. We perform a formal security analysis of the fault resilience of signature schemes constructed via the Fiat--Shamir transform. We propose a model to characterize bit-tampering fault attacks, and investigate their impact across different steps of the signing operation. We prove that, for some types of faults, attacks are mitigated by the hedged paradigm, while attacks remain possible for others. As concrete case studies, we then apply our results to XEdDSA, a hedged version of EdDSA used in the Signal messaging protocol, and to Picnic2, a hedged Fiat--Shamir signature scheme in Round 2 of the NIST Post-Quantum standardization process.
Improving the Performance of the Picnic Signature Scheme 📺
Daniel Kales Greg Zaverucha
Picnic is a digital signature algorithm designed to provide security against attacks by quantum computers. The design uses only symmetric-key primitives, and is an efficient instantiation of the MPC-in-the-head paradigm. In this work, we explore the Picnic design in great detail. We investigate and benchmark different parameter choices and show that there exist better parameter choices than those in the current specification. We also present improvements to the MPC protocol that shorten signatures and reduce signing time. The proposed MPC changes tailor the protocol to the circuit of interest in Picnic, but may also be of independent interest. Taken together, these changes give a new instantiation of Picnic that signs messages 7.9 to 13.9 times faster, and verifies signatures 4.5 to 5.5 times faster than the existing “Picnic2” design, while having nearly the same signature sizes.