Tag Archives: Cryptography

Private Set Intersection protocols (PSIs) allow parties to compute the intersection of their private sets, such that nothing about the sets’ elements beyond the intersection is revealed. PSIs have a variety of applications, primarily in efficiently supporting data sharing in a privacy-preserving manner. At Eurocrypt 2019, Ghosh and Nilges proposed three efficient PSIs based on the polynomial representation of sets and proved their security against active adversaries. In this talk, I will discuss that these three PSIs are susceptible to several serious attacks. The attacks let an adversary (1) learn the correct intersection while making its victim believe that the intersection is empty, (2) learn a certain element of its victim’s set beyond the intersection, and (3) delete multiple elements of its victim’s input set. I will explain why the proofs did not identify these attacks and discuss how the issues can be rectified.
This is a joint work with Steven Murdoch (UCL) and Thomas Zacharias (University of Edinburgh)

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Password-authenticated key exchange (PAKE) is an interesting example that shows the magic of mathematics. It allows two remote users to establish a “high-entropy” key from a “low-entropy” shared secret without involving any trusted third party. Following Bellovin and Merrit’s 1992 Encrypted Key Exchange (EKE), many PAKE protocols have been proposed in the next 30 years. Today, some have been adopted in large-scale applications, e.g., secure messenger, Wi-Fi, iCloud, browser sync and Thread. On the other hand, designing a robust PAKE protocol has proved extremely delicate and error-prone. In this talk, I will provide a review of the three decades research in this field, a summary of the state-of-the-art, and a taxonomy to categorize existing protocols. A comparative analysis of protocol performance is provided, using representative examples from taxonomy categories. Finally, I will review the recent IETF selection of PAKE protocols for standardisation and summarise lessons as well as open problems.…

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In this talk, I will present Checklist, a system for private blocklist lookups. In Checklist, a client can determine whether a particular string appears on a server-held blocklist of strings, without leaking its string to the server. Checklist is the first blocklist-lookup system that (1) leaks no information about the client’s string to the server, (2) does not require the client to store the blocklist in its entirety, and (3) allows the server to respond to the client’s query in time sublinear in the blocklist size. To make this possible, Checklist uses a new two-server private-information-retrieval protocol that is both asymptotically and concretely faster, in terms of server-side time, than those of prior work. We will discuss the evaluation of Checklist in the context of the “Safe Browsing” blocklist, which all major browsers use to prevent web clients from visiting malware-hosting URLs. Joint work with Henry Corrigan-Gibbs.

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Secure computation is a promising privacy enhancing technology, but it is often not scalable enough for data intensive applications. On the other hand, the use of sketches has gained popularity in data mining, because sketches often give rise to highly efficient and scalable sub-linear algorithms. It is natural to ask: what if we put secure computation and sketches together? We investigated the question and the findings are interesting: we can get security, we can get scalability, and somewhat unexpectedly, we can also get differential privacy — for free. Our study started from building a secure computation protocol based on the Flajolet-Martin (FM) sketches, for solving the Private Distributed Cardinality Estimation (PDCE) problem, which is a fundamental problem with applications ranging from crowd tracking to network monitoring. The state of art protocol for PDCE is computationally expensive and not scalable enough to cope with big data applications, which prompted us to design a better protocol. Our further analysis revealed that if the cardinality to be estimated is large enough, our protocol can achieve [latex](\epsilon,\delta)[/latex]-differential privacy automatically, without requiring any additional manipulation of the output. The result signifies a new approach for achieving differential privacy that departs from the mainstream approach (i.e. adding noise to the result). Free differential privacy can be achieved because of two reasons: secure computation minimizes information leakage, and the intrinsic estimation variance of the FM sketch makes the output of our protocol uncertain. We further show that the result is not just theoretical: the minimal cardinality for differential privacy to hold is only [latex]10^2-10^4[/latex] for typical parameters.

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In this talk I present the family of lightweight cryptographic permutations SPARKLE with a focus on its core component — the ARX-based S-box Alzette. SPARKLE and Alzette are at the heart of our submission to the ongoing competition for new standards in lightweight cryptography organised by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). On March 29, 2021, SPARKLE was selected as one of the ten finalists entering the final round of the competition, out of 56 initial submissions.

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