In “Practical, RoundOptimal LatticeBased Blind Signatures” by Shweta Agrawal, Elena Kirshanova, Damien Stehle and Anshu Yadav, the authors introduce a new candidate hard lattice problem. They introduce this problem to build blind signatures but in this blog post, I’ll ignore the application and only talk about the cryptanalytic target: OnemoreISIS.
Tag: lattices
A Fun Bug? Help Wanted!
Over at Low BDD Estimate · Issue #33 Ben reports a bug that, on first sight and unfortunately, does not stand out much. For some unusual parameters the Lattice Estimator reports wrong results. Given that we rely on a variety of heuristics to keep the running time down and given that the whole thing is mostly developed on the side, this is – again, unfortunately – not surprising.
Debugging “corner cases” can often do wonders to improve the robustness of a given piece of software. For example, back in the days when I worked a lot on M4RI, as much as I dreaded fixing bugs that only showed up on Solaris boxes, those bugs always revealed some shady assumptions in my code that were bound to produce problems elsewhere down the line.
Indeed, I think this bug puts the finger on the heuristics we rely upon and where they can go wrong. The parameter sets that Ben has in mind are quite unusual in that we have to pick quite a large dimension (or, equivalently, a large number of LWE samples) to make the target uniquely short. That is, I suspect fixing this bug would take a bit more than increasing the precision of some numerical computation here or there or to fix/add some if statement to account for a corner case. This makes bugs like these a highish priority.
On the other hand, truth be told, between this, the estimator being “mostly developed on the side” and all the other stuff I have to do, I doubt I’ll sink significant time into fixing this bug anytime soon.
But, and this is point of this post, perhaps someone would like to take this bug as an invitation to help to improve the Lattice Estimator? While, the estimator is quite widely relied upon to, well, estimate the difficulty of solving LWE and related problems, its bus factor is uncomfortably low. I’d say attempting to fix this bug would take whoever attempts to fix it on a whirlwind tour through the code base; a good way to learn it and to improve it.
Interested? Get in touch.
Lattice Estimator, Rebooted
We have “rebooted” the LWE Estimator as the Lattice Estimator. This was born out of frustration with the limitations of the old codebase.

Here is how we had to express, e.g., NIST Round 1 Kyber512 for the “Estimate all the {LWE, NTRU} schemes!” project:
n = 512 sd = 1.5811388300841898 q = 7681 alpha = sqrt(2*pi)*sd/RR(q) m = n secret_distribution = "normal" primal_usvp(n, alpha, q, secret_distribution=secret_distribution, m=m)
In contrast, here’s how we express NIST Round 3 Kyber512 now:
from estimator import * Kyber512 = LWE.Parameters( n=2 * 256, q=3329, Xs=ND.CenteredBinomial(3), Xe=ND.CenteredBinomial(3), m=2 * 256, tag="Kyber 512", )
That is, the user should not have to pretend their input distributions are some sort of Gaussians, the estimator should be able to handle standard distributions used in cryptography. Hopefully this makes using the estimator less errorprone.

It is wellestablished by now that making the Geometric Series Assumption for “primal attacks” on the Learning with Errors problem can be somewhat off. It is more precise to use a simulator to predict the shape after lattice reduction but the old estimator did not support this. Now we do:
lwe.primal_usvp(Kyber512, red_shape_model="GSA")
rop: ≈2^141.2, red: ≈2^141.2, δ: 1.004111, β: 382, d: 973, tag: usvp
lwe.primal_usvp(Kyber512, red_shape_model="CN11")
rop: ≈2^144.0, red: ≈2^144.0, δ: 1.004038, β: 392, d: 976, tag: usvp
The design is (hopefully) modular enough that you can plug in your favourite simulator.

The algorithms we costed were getting outdated. For example, we had these (really slow) estimates for the “decoding attack” that was essentially equivalent to computing a BKZϐ reduced basis followed by calling an SVP oracle in some dimension η. This is now implemented as
primal_bdd
.lwe.primal_bdd(Kyber512, red_shape_model="CN11")
rop: ≈2^140.5, red: ≈2^139.3, svp: ≈2^139.6, β: 375, η: 409, d: 969, tag: bdd
Similarly, our estimates for dual and hybrid attacks hadn’t kept up with the state of the art. Michael and Ben (both now at Zama) contributed code to fix that and have blogged about it here.
lwe.dual_hybrid(Kyber512)
rop: ≈2^157.7, mem: ≈2^153.6, m: 512, red: ≈2^157.4, δ: 1.003726, β: 440, d: 1008, ↻: ≈2^116.5, ζ: 16, tag: dual_hybrid
lwe.primal_hybrid(Kyber512)
rop: ≈2^276.4, red: ≈2^276.4, svp: ≈2^155.3, β: 381, η: 2, ζ: 0, S: 1, d: 1007, prob: ≈2^133.2, ↻: ≈2^135.4, tag: hybrid
We’re still not complete (e.g. BKW with sieving is missing), but the more modular design, e.g. the onebigPythonfiletorulethemall is no more, should make it easier to update the code.
 The rename is motivated by our ambition to add estimation modules for attacks on NTRU (not just viewing it as LWE) and SIS, too.
For most users, the usage should be fairly simple, e.g.
params = LWE.Parameters(n=700, q=next_prime(2^13), Xs=ND.UniformMod(3), Xe=ND.CenteredBinomial(8), m=1400, tag="KewLWE") _ = LWE.estimate.rough(params)
usvp :: rop: ≈2^153.9, red: ≈2^153.9, δ: 1.003279, β: 527, d: 1295, tag: usvp dual_hybrid :: rop: ≈2^178.9, mem: ≈2^175.1, m: 691, red: ≈2^178.7, δ: 1.002943, β: 612, d: 1360, ↻: 1, ζ: 31, tag: dual_hybrid
_ = LWE.estimate(params)
bkw :: rop: ≈2^210.4, m: ≈2^198.0, mem: ≈2^199.0, b: 15, t1: 0, t2: 16, ℓ: 14, #cod: 603, #top: 0, #test: 98, tag: codedbkw usvp :: rop: ≈2^182.3, red: ≈2^182.3, δ: 1.003279, β: 527, d: 1295, tag: usvp bdd :: rop: ≈2^178.7, red: ≈2^178.1, svp: ≈2^177.2, β: 512, η: 543, d: 1289, tag: bdd dual :: rop: ≈2^207.8, mem: ≈2^167.1, m: 695, red: ≈2^207.6, δ: 1.002926, β: 617, d: 1394, ↻: ≈2^165.5, tag: dual dual_hybrid :: rop: ≈2^201.3, mem: ≈2^197.4, m: 676, red: ≈2^201.1, δ: 1.003008, β: 594, d: 1341, ↻: ≈2^141.9, ζ: 35, tag: dual_hybrid
If you are an attack algorithm designer, we would appreciate if you would contribute estimates for your algorithm to the estimator. If we already have support for it implemented, we would appreciate if you could compare our results against what you expect. If you are a scheme designer, we would appreciate if you could check if our results match what you expect. If you find suspicious behaviour or bugs, please open an issue on GitHub.
You can read the documentation here and play with the new estimator in your browser here (beware that Binder has a pretty low timeout, though).
Roundoptimal Verifiable Oblivious Pseudorandom Functions from Ideal Lattices
PKC’21 is nearly upon us which – in this day and age – means a new YouTube playlist of talks. Eamonn and Fernando wrote a nice paper on on the success probability of solving unique SVP via BKZ which Fernando is describing here:
Alex is presenting our – with Amit and Nigel – work on roundoptimal Verifiable Oblivious PseudoRandom Functions (VOPRF) from ideal lattices here:
Since Alex is doing an amazing job at walking you through our paper I won’t attempt this here. Rather, let me point out a – in my book – cute trick in one of our appendices that may have applications elsewhere.
Continue reading “Roundoptimal Verifiable Oblivious Pseudorandom Functions from Ideal Lattices”
Multicore BKZ in FPLLL
There have been a few works recently that give FPLLL a hard time when considering parallelism on multicore systems. That is, they compare FPLLL’s singlecore implementation against their multicore implementations, which is fair enough. However, support for parallel enumeration has existed for a while in the form of fplllextenum. Motivated by these works we merged that library into FPLLL itself a year ago. However, we didn’t document the multicore performance that this gives us. So here we go.
I ran
for t in 1 2 4 8; do ./compare.py j $(expr 28 / $t) t $t s 512 u 80 ./fplll/strategies/default.json done
where compare.py is from the strategizer and default.json is from a PR against FPLLL. Note that these strategies were not optimised for multicore performance. I ran this on a system with two Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E52690 v4 @ 2.60GHz
i.e. 28 cores. The resulting speedups are:
As you can see, the speedup is okay for two cores but diminishes as we throw more cores at the problem. I assume that this is partly due to block sizes being relatively small (for larger block sizes G6K – which scales rather well on multiple cores – will be faster). I also suspect that this is partly an artefact of not optimising for multiple cores, i.e. picking the tradeoff between enumeration (multicore) and preprocessing (partly singlecore due to LLL calls) right. If someone wants to step up and compute some strategies for multiple cores, that’d be neat.
Virtual FPLLL Days 6 aka Bounded Distance Development
The sixth FPLLL Days will be held on 19 and 20 November 2020. For obvious reasons they will be held online. (Who knows, we might end up liking the format enough to do more of these online in a postCOVID world, too).
As with previous incarnations of FPLLL Days, everyone who wishes to contribute to opensource latticereduction software is welcome to attend. In particular, you do not have to work on FPLLL or any of its sibling projects like FPyLLL or G6K. Work on whatever advances the state of the art or seems useful to you personally. That said, we do have the ambition to suggest projects from the universe of FPLLL and I personally hope that some people will dig in with me to do the sort of plumbing that keeps projects like these running. To give you an idea of what people worked on in the past, you can find the list of project of the previous FPLLL Days on the wiki and a report on the PROMETHEUS blog.
Format is yet to be determined. We are going to coordinate using Zulip. I think it would also be useful to have a brief conference call, roll call style, on the first day to break the ice and to make it easier for people to reach out to each other for help during the event. This is why we’re asking people to indicate their timezone on the Wiki. If you have ideas for making this event a success, please let us know.
PS: For the record: Joe threatened a riot if I didn’t call it “Bounded Distance Development”, so credit goes to him for the name.
Postdoc at Royal Holloway on Latticebased Cryptography
I’m looking for a postdoc to work with me and others – in the ISG and at Imperial College – on latticebased cryptography and, ideally, its connections to coding theory.
The ISG is a nice place to work; it’s a friendly environment with strong research going on in several areas. We got people working across the field of information security including several people working on cryptography. For example, Carlos Cid, Anamaria Costache, Lydia Garms, Jianwei Li, Sean Murphy, Rachel Player, Eamonn Postlethwaite, Joe Rowell, Fernando Virdia and me all have looked at or are looking at latticebased cryptography.
A postdoc here is a 100% research position, i.e. you wouldn’t have teaching duties. That said, if you’d like to gain some teaching experience, we can arrange for that as well.
If you have e.g. a twobody problem and would like to discuss flexibility about being in the office (assuming we’ll all be back in the office at some postcovid19 point), feel free to get in touch.
Continue reading “Postdoc at Royal Holloway on Latticebased Cryptography”
Postdoc at Royal Holloway on Latticebased Cryptography
Update: 25/09/2020: New deadline: 30 October.
We are looking for a postdoc to join us to work on latticebased cryptography. This postdoc is funded by the EU H2020 PROMETHEUS project for building privacy preserving systems from advanced lattice primitives. At Royal Holloway, the project is looked after by Rachel Player and me. Feel free to email me with any queries you might have.
The ISG is a nice place to work; it’s a very friendly environment with strong research going on in several areas. We got people working across the field of information security including several people working on cryptography. A postdoc here is a 100% research position, i.e. you wouldn’t have teaching duties. That said, if you’d like to gain some teaching experience, we can arrange for that as well.
Also, if you have e.g. a twobody problem and would like to discuss flexibility about being in the office (assuming we’ll all be back in the office at some postcovid19 point), feel free to get in touch.
Continue reading “Postdoc at Royal Holloway on Latticebased Cryptography”
Faster Enumerationbased Lattice Reduction
Our paper “Faster Enumerationbased Lattice Reduction: Root Hermite Factor in Time ” – together with Shi Bai, PierreAlain Fouque, Paul Kirchner, Damien Stehlé and Weiqiang Wen – is now available on ePrint (the work has been accepted to CRYPTO 2020). Here’s the abstract:
We give a lattice reduction algorithm that achieves root Hermite factor in time and polynomial memory. This improves on the previously best known enumerationbased algorithms which achieve the same quality, but in time . A cost of was previously mentioned as potentially achievable (HanrotStehlé’10) or as a heuristic lower bound (Nguyen’10) for enumeration algorithms. We prove the complexity and quality of our algorithm under a heuristic assumption and provide empirical evidence from simulation and implementation experiments attesting to its performance for practical and cryptographic parameter sizes. Our work also suggests potential avenues for achieving costs below for the same root Hermite factor, based on the geometry of SDBKZreduced bases.
Continue reading “Faster Enumerationbased Lattice Reduction”
Postdoc at Royal Holloway on Latticebased Cryptography
We are looking for a postdoc to join us to work on latticebased cryptography. This postdoc is funded by the EU H2020 PROMETHEUS project for building privacy preserving systems from advanced lattice primitives. At Royal Holloway, the project is looked after by Rachel Player and me. Feel free to email me with any queries you might have.
The ISG is a nice place to work; it’s a very friendly environment with strong research going on in several areas. We got people working across the field of information security including several people working on cryptography. A postdoc here is a 100% research position, i.e. you wouldn’t have teaching duties. That said, if you’d like to gain some teaching experience, we can arrange for that as well.
Also, if you have e.g. a twobody problem and would like to discuss flexibility about being in the office, feel free to get in touch.
Location: Egham Salary: £41,743 per annum – including London Allowance Closing Date: Thursday 12 September 2019 Interview Date: To be confirmed Reference: 0819315 FullTime, Fixed Term (until December 2021)
The ISG is seeking to recruit a postdoctoral research assistant to work in the area of cryptography. The position is available now until 31 December 2021.
The PDRA will work alongside Dr. Martin Albrecht, Dr. Rachel Player and other cryptographic researchers at Royal Holloway on topics in latticebased cryptography. This post is part of the EU H2020 PROMETHEUS project (http://prometheuscrypt.gforge.inria.fr) for building privacy preserving systems from advanced lattice primitives. Our research focus within this project is on cryptanalysis and implementations, but applicants with a strong background in other areas such as protocol/primitive design are also encouraged to apply.
Applicants should have already completed, or be close to completing, a PhD in a relevant discipline. Applicants should have an outstanding research track record in cryptography. Applicants should be able to demonstrate scientific creativity, research independence, and the ability to communicate their ideas effectively in written and verbal form.
In return we offer a highly competitive rewards and benefits package including:
 Generous annual leave entitlement
 Training and Development opportunities
 Pension Scheme with generous employer contribution
 Various schemes including Cycle to Work, Season Ticket Loans and help with the cost of Eyesight testing.
 Free parking
The post is based in Egham, Surrey where the College is situated in a beautiful, leafy campus near to Windsor Great Park and within commuting distance from London.
Informal enquiries can be made to Martin Albrecht at martin.albrecht@royalholloway.ac.uk
We particularly welcome applicants from backgrounds which are typically underrepresented in cryptography. We are committed to enabling a healthy worklife balance.
Please quote the reference: 0819315
Closing Date: Midnight, 12 September 2019
Interview Date: To be confirmed
PS: I have no idea why our HR department thinks “free parking” is a perk worth mentioning.