Giuseppe Ateniese, Danilo Francati, Bernardo Magri amd Daniele Venturi
ACNS '19
Publication year: 2019

We seek constructions of general-purpose immunizers that take arbitrary cryptographic primitives, and transform them into ones that withstand a powerful “malicious but proud” adversary, who attempts to break security by possibly subverting the implementation of all algorithms (including the immunizer itself!), while trying not to be detected. This question is motivated by the recent evidence of cryptographic schemes being intentionally weakened, or designed together with hidden backdoors, e.g. with the scope of mass surveillance.

Our main result is a subversion-secure immunizer in the plain model (assuming collision-resistant hashing), that works for a fairly large class of deterministic primitives, i.e. cryptoschemes where a secret (but  tamperable) random source is used to generate the keys and the public parameters, whereas all other algorithms are deterministic. The immunizer relies on an additional independent source of public randomness, which is used to sample a public seed. While the public source is untamperable, the subversion of all other algorithms is allowed to depend on it.

Previous work in the area only obtained subversion-secure immunization for very restricted classes of primitives, often in weaker models of subversion and relying on random oracles, or by leveraging a higher number of independent random sources.

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