Provably Secure Authenticated Encryption

Authenticated Encryption (AE) is a symmetric key cryptographic primitive that ensures confidentiality and authenticity of processed messages at the same time. The research of AE as a primitive in its own right started in 2000. The security goals of AE were captured in formal definitions in the tradition in the tradition of provable security (such as NAE, MRAE, OAE, RAE or the RUP), where the security of a scheme is formally proven assuming the security of an underlying building block. The prevailing syntax moved to nonce-based AE with associated data (which is an additional input that gets authenticated, but not encrypted). Other types of AE schemes appeared as well, e.g. ones that supported stateful sessions. Numerous AE schemes were designed; in the early years, these were almost exclusively blockcipher modes of operation, most notably OCB in 2001, CCM in 2003 and GCM in 2004. At the same time, issues were discovered both with the security and applicability of the most popular AE schemes, and other applications of symmetric key cryptography. As a response, the Competition for Authenticated Encryption: Security, Applicability, and Robustness (CAESAR) was started in 2013. Its goals were to identify a portfolio of new, secure and reliable AE schemes that would satisfy the needs of practical applications, and also to boost the research in the area of AE. Prompted by CAESAR, 57 new schemes were designed, new types of constructions that gained popularity appeared (such as the Sponge-based AE schemes), and new notions of security were proposed (such as RAE). The final portfolio of the CAESAR competition should be announced in 2018. In this thesis, we push the state of the art in the field of AE in several directions. All of them are related to provable security, in one way, or another. We propose OMD, the first provably secure dedicated AE scheme that is based on a compression function. We further modify OMD to achieve nonce misuse-resistant security (MRAE). We also propose another provably secure variant of OMD called pure OMD, which enjoys a great improvement of performance over OMD. Inspired by the modifications that gave rise to pure OMD, we turn to the popular Sponge-based AE schemes and prove that similar measures can also be applied to the keyed Sponge and keyed Duplex (a variant of the Sponge), allowing a substantial increase of performance without an impact on security. We then address definitional aspects of AE. We critically evaluate the security notion of OAE, whose authors claimed that it provides the best possible security for online schemes under nonce reuse. We challenge these claims, and discuss what are the meaningful requirements for online AE schemes. Based on our findings, we formulate a new definition of online AE security under nonce-reuse, and demonstrate its feasibility. We next turn our attention to the security of nonce-based AE schemes under stretch misuse; i.e. when a scheme is used with varying ciphertext expansion under the same key, even though it should not be. We argue that varying the stretch is plausible, and formulate several notions that capture security in presence of variable stretch. We establish their relations to previous notions, and demonstrate the feasibility of security in this setting. We finally depart from provable security, with the intention to complement it. We compose a survey of universal forgeries, decryption attacks and key recovery attacks on 3rd round CAESAR candidates.

Vaudenay, Serge
Lausanne, EPFL

 Record created 2018-08-29, last modified 2019-03-17

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