Sage Code for GGH Cryptanalysis by Hu and Jia

Recently, Yupu Hu and Huiwen Jia put a paper on the Cryptology ePrint Archive which describes a successful attack of the GGH (and GGHLite) candidate multilinear map. The attack does not try to recover the secret g or any other secret parameter of the map. Instead, it solves the Extraction \kappa-graded CDH (Ext-GCDH) problem directly.

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Improved Parameters and an Implementation of Graded Encoding Schemes from Ideal Lattices

Our paper (with Catalin Cocis, Fabien Laguillaumie and Adeline Langlois) on picking parameters and implementing GGHLite just hit eprint. Here’s the abstract:

We discuss how to set parameters for GGH-like graded encoding schemes approximating cryptographic multilinear maps from ideal lattices and propose a strategy which reduces parameter sizes for concrete instances. Secondly, we discuss a first software implementation of a graded encoding scheme based on GGHLite, an improved variant of Garg, Gentry and Halevi’s construction (GGH) due to Langlois, Stehlé and Steinfeld. Thirdly, we provide an implementation of non-interactive N-partite Diffie-Hellman key exchange. We discuss our implementation strategies and show that our implementation outperforms previous work.

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Cryptanalysis of the FHE based on GACD?

Jintai Ding and Chengdong Tao published a new preprint on the IACR’s ePrint titled A New Algorithm for Solving the Approximate Common Divisor Problem and Cryptanalysis of the FHE based on GACD.

*Abstract. *In this paper, we propose a new algorithm for solving the approximate common divisors problems, which is based on LLL reduction algorithm of certain special lattice and linear equation solving algorithm over integers. Through both theoretical argument and experimental data, we show that our new algorithm is a polynomial time algorithm under reasonable assumptions on the parameters. We use our algorithm to solve concrete problems that no other algorithm could solve before. Further more, we show that our algorithm can break the fully homomorphic encryption schemes, which are based on the approximate common divisors problem, in polynomial time in terms of the system parameter λ.

It is worth emphasising that the Approximate GCD problem not only underpinsone of the few fully homomorphic encryption schemes we have but it is also somewhat related to one of two candidates for multilinear maps. So if it could be shown to be easy then this would be somewhat sad as the choice of problems for building fancy crypto schemes would have gotten a lot smaller. So what is the Approxmiate GCD problem?

Approximate Greatest Common Divisions Problem: Given polynomially many samples x_{i} = q_{i}· p + r_{i} where x_{i} = O(2^{γ}), r_{i} = O(2^{ρ}) and p = O(2^{η}), recover p.

The algorithm proceeds by using the LLL algorithm to find relations .

Note that if enough such relations can be found then this gives a linear system of equations in the r_{j} which we’d only need to solve. So how does the algorithm use LLL to recover the a_{ij}? It sets up a lattice basis of dimension (t+1) × (t+1) as follows:

Here, N is simply a random integer O(2^{γ}). Now, the authors claim that running LLL on the lattice spanned by B returns about t-2 of the desired relations. They are unable to rigorously argue why this should happen but offer the following intuition. Any  vector  in the lattice spanned by B has the form . Considering the last component = = they speculate that that LLL would focus on the left hand side of this expression as the right hand side would be rather small anyway. Making implies which in turn implies , if I understood correctly.

An implementation of the first step of this algorithm for Sage is given here (in a Sage cell). Indeed, if you plug in the parameters from the authors’ table on page 9, we do get our desired relations out.

Finally, let’s look at the application to parameters as they are used in cryptography. The authors consider the fully homomorphic encryption scheme due to Marten van Dijkm Craig Gentry, Shai Halevi, Vinod Vaikuntanathan which sets γ = λ^{5}, η = λ^{2} and ρ = λ for a security level of λ, i.e. 2^{λ} operations should be needed to break it. Here is what the authors write:

We apply our algorithm to the parameters in [ 6 ] and we could break all the cases where their parameter γ < 2^{20}.

It is not really clear to me if the authors actually ran their attack or not. On the one hand, we have that a choice of parameters where γ < 2^{20} would correspond to  λ=16 as (2^{20})^{(1/5)} = 2^{4}. Hence, attacking such dimensions would not mean much. On the other hand, the estimates by the authors about LLL would mean their attack would cost 2^{135} operations.

However, as far as I can tell, it does not work for these kind of parameters. That is, LLL fails to find the desired relations once we choose parameters as they are suggested in the cryptographic literature (cf. the example in the Sage cell above).

There are two reasons why the algorithm might fail:

  1. The target vectors might not be among the shortest vectors in the lattice. For the parameters on page 9 it seems this condition holds. It is not clear that the condition holds in general. While on page 7 the authors argue for the existence of target vectors within the approximation radius of LLL, the algorithm on page 8 expects vectors which are smaller than suggested by the Gaussian heuristic, which seems to be what is needed to me.
  2. The target vectors are the shortest vectors in the lattice. However, LLL cannot find them. In such a case it seems the situation is somewhat similar to the situation discussed in this comment from [[]]]:

On the other hand, when t is large, ~v likely is the shortest vector in L, but known lattice reductions algorithms will not be able to find it efficiently. Specifically, as a rule of thumb, they require time roughly 2^{(t/k)} to output a 2^{k} approximation of the shortest vector. Since clearly there are exponentially (in t) many vectors in L of length at most |x_{0}|√(t + 1) < 2^{γ}√(t + 1), which is about 2^{(η−ρ)} times longer than ~v, we need better than a 2^{(η−ρ)} approximation. For t ≥ γ/η, the time needed to guarantee a 2^{η} approximation (which is not even good enough to recover ~v) is roughly 2γ/η^{2}.  Thus setting γ/η^{2} = ω(log λ) foils this attack.

So if I understand this correctly, they should have a condition on t which implies that the target vectors are smaller than what the Gaussian heuristic suggests by the appropriate LLL Unique SVP factor. In particular, they ask if there are target vectors with

|μ_i| < 1/√(t +1) 2^{(γ/(t+1) + t/4)}

but it should be more like

|μ_i| < τ/√(t +1) 2^{(γ/(t+1) – t/4)}

i.e. within the LLL approximation radius there shouldn’t be any other vectors (where τ is the Unique-SVP factor ~0.5).

Update: Since the authors show that if a short vector exists it must satisfy their conditions, this argument is invalid. Still, the authors did not show that they are able to find short enough vectors for parameters as they are found in the literature.

Of course, I might have missed something.

Back at Royal Holloway

Since the beginning of this month I am back at the Information Security Group (which is now its own department) at Royal Holloway, University of London. In particular, I have a three year postdoc position on a project looking into multilinear maps. The project is with Kenny Paterson.

It seems the Information Security Group has grown considerably since 2010 (when I left), but maybe only more people attend the research seminar now. Speaking of which, they are open to all and here is this term’s schedule:

  • 16 Jan 2014 (Thu): Corrado Leita (Symantec Research Labs, EU), “Who switched off the lights? Detecting targeted attacks against the power grid“,  room ABLT3
  •  21 Jan 2014 (Tue): Viktor Mayer-Schönberger (University of Oxford, UK), TBD, room MLT
  • 30 Jan 2014 (Thu): Martin Albrecht (Royal Holloway University of London, UK), “Lazy Modulus Switching for the BKW Algorithm on LWE“, room ABLT3
  • 05 Feb 2014 (Wed): Elisabeth Oswald (University of Bristol, UK), TBD, room ABLT2
  • 13 Feb 2014 (Thu): Andreas Schaad (SAP, GE), TBD, room ABLT3
  • 20 Feb 2014 (Thu): TBA, room ABLT3
  • 27 Feb 2014 (Thu): Frederik Mennes (Vasco, UK), “Leveraging Trustworthy Computing Mechanisms to Enhance DIGIPASS Strong Authentication Technology“, room  ABLT3
  • 05 Mar 2014 (Wed): Emiliano De Cristofaro (University College London, UK), TBD, room ABLT3
  • 13 Mar 2014 (Thu): Leyla Bilge, (Symantec Research Labs, EU), TBD, room ABLT3 
  • 20 Mar 2014 (Thu): Andrew S. Tanenbaum (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, NL), TBD, room ABLT3
  • 27 Mar 2014 (Thu): Juan Caballero (IMDEA Software, ES), TBD, room ABLT3

Best check the official seminar website for updates to talk titles etc.

PS: In related old news for those who missed it: a few UK researchers got together and expressed their criticism of NSA’s and GCHQ’s undermining of cryptography. It’s a bit tame and to get a newline one needs a professor title apparently, but it’s a start.