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Cryptography, Volume 8, Issue 2 (June 2024) – 9 articles

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24 pages, 1696 KiB  
Article
A Provably Secure Anonymous Authentication Protocol for Consumer and Service Provider Information Transmissions in Smart Grids
by Zahraa Abdullah Ali, Zaid Ameen Abduljabbar, Hamid Ali Abed AL-Asadi, Vincent Omollo Nyangaresi, Iman Qays Abduljaleel and Abdulla J. Y. Aldarwish
Cryptography 2024, 8(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryptography8020020 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 518
Abstract
Smart grids integrate information technology, decision support systems, communication networks, and sensing technologies. All these components cooperate to facilitate dynamic power adjustments based on received client consumption reports. Although this brings forth energy efficiency, the transmission of sensitive data over the public internet [...] Read more.
Smart grids integrate information technology, decision support systems, communication networks, and sensing technologies. All these components cooperate to facilitate dynamic power adjustments based on received client consumption reports. Although this brings forth energy efficiency, the transmission of sensitive data over the public internet exposes these networks to numerous attacks. To this end, numerous security solutions have been presented recently. Most of these techniques deploy conventional cryptographic systems such as public key infrastructure, blockchains, and physically unclonable functions that have either performance or security issues. In this paper, a fairly efficient authentication scheme is developed and analyzed. Its formal security analysis is carried out using the Burrows–Abadi–Needham (BAN) logic, which shows that the session key negotiated is provably secure. We also execute a semantic security analysis of this protocol to demonstrate that it can resist typical smart grid attacks such as privileged insider, guessing, eavesdropping, and ephemeral secret leakages. Moreover, it has the lowest amount of computation costs and relatively lower communication overheads as well as storage costs. Full article
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22 pages, 1508 KiB  
Article
Auditable Anonymous Electronic Examination
by Ádám Vécsi and Attila Pethő
Cryptography 2024, 8(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryptography8020019 - 1 May 2024
Viewed by 576
Abstract
Ensuring security in electronic examination systems represents a significant challenge, particularly when practical considerations dictate that most involved parties cannot be fully trusted due to self-interest. To enhance the security, we introduce auditability to e-exam systems, enabling an auditing authority to verify the [...] Read more.
Ensuring security in electronic examination systems represents a significant challenge, particularly when practical considerations dictate that most involved parties cannot be fully trusted due to self-interest. To enhance the security, we introduce auditability to e-exam systems, enabling an auditing authority to verify the system integrity. This auditability not only ensures system robustness but also creates an opportunity to grant communication between candidates and examiners, allowing for clarification on unclear questions during exams. Additionally, the implementation of attribute-based certifications ensures anonymity for both candidates and examiners throughout all stages of the exam, with the option for revocation in case of audit-detected fraud. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Privacy-Enhancing Technologies for the Digital Age)
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12 pages, 658 KiB  
Article
An Efficient Homomorphic Argmax Approximation for Privacy-Preserving Neural Networks
by Peng Zhang, Ao Duan and Hengrui Lu
Cryptography 2024, 8(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryptography8020018 - 1 May 2024
Viewed by 744
Abstract
Privacy-preserving neural networks offer a promising solution to train and predict without user privacy leakage, and fully homomorphic encryption (FHE) stands out as one of the key technologies, as it enables homomorphic operations over encrypted data. However, only addition and multiplication homomorphisms are [...] Read more.
Privacy-preserving neural networks offer a promising solution to train and predict without user privacy leakage, and fully homomorphic encryption (FHE) stands out as one of the key technologies, as it enables homomorphic operations over encrypted data. However, only addition and multiplication homomorphisms are supported by FHE, and thus, it faces huge challenges when implementing non-linear functions with ciphertext inputs. Among the non-linear functions in neural networks, one may refer to the activation function, the argmax function, and maximum pooling. Inspired by using a composition of low-degree minimax polynomials to approximate sign and argmax functions, this study focused on optimizing the homomorphic argmax approximation, where argmax is a mathematical operation that identifies the index of the maximum value within a given set of values. For the method that uses compositions of low-degree minimax polynomials to approximate argmax, in order to further reduce approximation errors and improve computational efficiency, we propose an improved homomorphic argmax approximation algorithm that includes rotation accumulation, tree-structured comparison, normalization, and finalization phases. And then, the proposed homomorphic argmax algorithm was integrated into a neural network structure. Comparative experiments indicate that the network with our proposed argmax algorithm achieved a slight increase in accuracy while significantly reducing the inference latency by 58%, as the homomorphic sign and rotation operations were rapidly reduced. Full article
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15 pages, 854 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Smart Communication Security: A Novel Cost Function for Efficient S-Box Generation in Symmetric Key Cryptography
by Oleksandr Kuznetsov, Nikolay Poluyanenko, Emanuele Frontoni and Sergey Kandiy
Cryptography 2024, 8(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryptography8020017 - 25 Apr 2024
Viewed by 668
Abstract
In the realm of smart communication systems, where the ubiquity of 5G/6G networks and IoT applications demands robust data confidentiality, the cryptographic integrity of block and stream cipher mechanisms plays a pivotal role. This paper focuses on the enhancement of cryptographic strength in [...] Read more.
In the realm of smart communication systems, where the ubiquity of 5G/6G networks and IoT applications demands robust data confidentiality, the cryptographic integrity of block and stream cipher mechanisms plays a pivotal role. This paper focuses on the enhancement of cryptographic strength in these systems through an innovative approach to generating substitution boxes (S-boxes), which are integral in achieving confusion and diffusion properties in substitution–permutation networks. These properties are critical in thwarting statistical, differential, linear, and other forms of cryptanalysis, and are equally vital in pseudorandom number generation and cryptographic hashing algorithms. The paper addresses the challenge of rapidly producing random S-boxes with desired cryptographic attributes, a task notably arduous given the complexity of existing generation algorithms. We delve into the hill climbing algorithm, exploring various cost functions and their impact on computational complexity for generating S-boxes with a target nonlinearity of 104. Our contribution lies in proposing a new cost function that markedly reduces the generation complexity, bringing down the iteration count to under 50,000 for achieving the desired S-box. This advancement is particularly significant in the context of smart communication environments, where the balance between security and performance is paramount. Full article
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16 pages, 900 KiB  
Article
An Engineered Minimal-Set Stimulus for Periodic Information Leakage Fault Detection on a RISC-V Microprocessor
by Idris O. Somoye, Jim Plusquellic, Tom J. Mannos and Brian Dziki
Cryptography 2024, 8(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryptography8020016 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 601
Abstract
Recent evaluations of counter-based periodic testing strategies for fault detection in Microprocessor (μP) have shown that only a small set of counters is needed to provide complete coverage of severe faults. Severe faults are defined as faults that leak sensitive information, [...] Read more.
Recent evaluations of counter-based periodic testing strategies for fault detection in Microprocessor (μP) have shown that only a small set of counters is needed to provide complete coverage of severe faults. Severe faults are defined as faults that leak sensitive information, e.g., an encryption key on the output of a serial port. Alternatively, fault detection can be accomplished by executing instructions that periodically test the control and functional units of the μP. In this paper, we propose a fault detection method that utilizes an ’engineered’ executable program combined with a small set of strategically placed counters in pursuit of a hardware Periodic Built-In-Self-Test (PBIST). We analyze two distinct methods for generating such a binary; the first uses an Automatic Test Generation Pattern (ATPG)-based methodology, and the second uses a process whereby existing counter-based node-monitoring infrastructure is utilized. We show that complete fault coverage of all leakage faults is possible using relatively small binaries with low latency to fault detection and by utilizing only a few strategically placed counters in the μP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Hardware Security II)
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13 pages, 1338 KiB  
Article
Investigating CRYSTALS-Kyber Vulnerabilities: Attack Analysis and Mitigation
by Maksim Iavich and Tamari Kuchukhidze
Cryptography 2024, 8(2), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryptography8020015 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 782
Abstract
Significant advancements have been achieved in the field of quantum computing in recent years. If somebody ever creates a sufficiently strong quantum computer, many of the public-key cryptosystems in use today might be compromised. Kyber is a post-quantum encryption technique that depends on [...] Read more.
Significant advancements have been achieved in the field of quantum computing in recent years. If somebody ever creates a sufficiently strong quantum computer, many of the public-key cryptosystems in use today might be compromised. Kyber is a post-quantum encryption technique that depends on lattice problem hardness, and it was recently standardized. Despite extensive testing by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), new investigations have demonstrated the effectiveness of CRYSTALS-Kyber attacks and their applicability in non-controlled environments. We investigated CRYSTALS-Kyber’s susceptibility to side-channel attacks. In the reference implementation of Kyber512, additional functions can be compromised by employing the selected ciphertext. The implementation of the selected ciphertext allows the attacks to succeed. Real-time recovery of the entire secret key is possible for all assaults. Full article
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15 pages, 311 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Biometric-Based Cryptographic Key Exchange Protocols—BAKE and BRAKE
by Maksymilian Gorski and Wojciech Wodo
Cryptography 2024, 8(2), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryptography8020014 - 6 Apr 2024
Viewed by 789
Abstract
Biometric authentication methods offer high-quality mechanisms to confirm the identity of individuals in security systems commonly used in the modern world, such as physical access control, online banking, or mobile device unlocking. They also find their application in cryptographic solutions, which allow the [...] Read more.
Biometric authentication methods offer high-quality mechanisms to confirm the identity of individuals in security systems commonly used in the modern world, such as physical access control, online banking, or mobile device unlocking. They also find their application in cryptographic solutions, which allow the biometrically authenticated exchange of cryptographic keys between users and services on the internet, despite the fuzziness of biometric data. Such solutions are BAKE (biometrics-authenticated key exchange) and BRAKE (biometric-resilient authenticated key exchange) protocols, upon which our work is based. However, the direct application of fuzzy biometrics in cryptography, which relies heavily on the accuracy of single-bit secret values, is not trivial. Therefore, this paper is devoted to analyzing the security of this idea and the feasibility of implementing biometric AKE (authenticated key exchange) protocols, with an emphasis on the BRAKE protocol. As the results of our analysis, we discuss BRAKE’s limitations and vulnerabilities, which need to be appropriately addressed to implement the protocol in modern systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Trends and Prospects in Security, Encryption and Encoding)
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29 pages, 7443 KiB  
Article
Detour-RS: Reroute Attack Vulnerability Assessment with Awareness of the Layout and Resource
by Minyan Gao, Liton Kumar Biswas, Navid Asadi and Domenic Forte
Cryptography 2024, 8(2), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryptography8020013 - 6 Apr 2024
Viewed by 739
Abstract
Recent decades have witnessed a remarkable pace of innovation and performance improvements in integrated circuits (ICs), which have become indispensable in an array of critical applications ranging from military infrastructure to personal healthcare. Meanwhile, recent developments have brought physical security to the forefront [...] Read more.
Recent decades have witnessed a remarkable pace of innovation and performance improvements in integrated circuits (ICs), which have become indispensable in an array of critical applications ranging from military infrastructure to personal healthcare. Meanwhile, recent developments have brought physical security to the forefront of concern, particularly considering the valuable assets handled and stored within ICs. Among the various invasive attack vectors, micro-probing attacks have risen as a particularly menacing threat. These attacks leverage advanced focused ion beam (FIB) systems to enable post-silicon secret eavesdropping and circuit modifications with minimal traceability. As an evolved variant of micro-probing attacks, reroute attacks possess the ability to actively disable built-in shielding measures, granting access to the security-sensitive signals concealed beneath. To address and counter these emerging challenges, we introduce a layout-level framework known as Detour-RS. This framework is designed to automatically assess potential vulnerabilities, offering a systematic approach to identifying and mitigating exploitable weaknesses. Specifically, we employed a combination of linear and nonlinear programming-based approaches to identify the layout-aware attack costs in reroute attempts given specific target assets. The experimental results indicate that shielded designs outperform non-shielded structures against reroute attacks. Furthermore, among the two-layer shield configurations, the orthogonal layout exhibits better performance compared to the parallel arrangement. Furthermore, we explore both independent and dependent scenarios, where the latter accounts for potential interference among circuit edit locations. Notably, our results demonstrate a substantial near 50% increase in attack cost when employing the more realistic dependent estimation approach. In addition, we also propose time and gas consumption metrics to evaluate the resource consumption of the attackers, which provides a perspective for evaluating reroute attack efforts. We have collected the results for different categories of target assets and also the average resource consumption for each via, required during FIB reroute attack. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Hardware Security II)
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25 pages, 7109 KiB  
Article
A Survey of Consortium Blockchain and Its Applications
by Xiaotong Chen, Songlin He, Linfu Sun, Yangxin Zheng and Chase Q. Wu
Cryptography 2024, 8(2), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryptography8020012 - 22 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1823
Abstract
Blockchain is a revolutionary technology that has reshaped the trust model among mutually distrustful peers in a distributed network. While blockchain is well-known for its initial usage in a public manner, such as the cryptocurrency of Bitcoin, consortium blockchain, which requires authentication of [...] Read more.
Blockchain is a revolutionary technology that has reshaped the trust model among mutually distrustful peers in a distributed network. While blockchain is well-known for its initial usage in a public manner, such as the cryptocurrency of Bitcoin, consortium blockchain, which requires authentication of all involved participants, has also been widely adopted in various domains. Nevertheless, there is a lack of comprehensive study of consortium blockchain in terms of its architecture design, consensus mechanisms, comparative performance, etc. In this study, we aim to fill this gap by surveying the most popular consortium blockchain platforms and assessing their core designs in a layered fashion. Particularly, Byzantine fault tolerant (BFT) state machine replication (SMR) is introduced to act as a basic computational model of consortium blockchain. Then the consortium blockchain is split into the hardware layer, layer-0 (network layer), layer-I (data layer, consensus layer and contract layer), layer-II protocols, and application layer. Each layer is presented with closely related discussion and analysis. Furthermore, with the extraction of the core functionalities, i.e., robust storage and guaranteed execution, that a consortium blockchain can provide, several typical consortium blockchain-empowered decentralized application scenarios are introduced. With these thorough studies and analyses, this work aims to systematize the knowledge dispersed in the consortium blockchain, highlight the unsolved challenges, and also indicate the propitious avenues of future work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Blockchain Security)
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