[Resource Topic] 2002/135: Folklore, Practice and Theory of Robust Combiners

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Folklore, Practice and Theory of Robust Combiners

Authors: Amir Herzberg


Cryptographic schemes are often designed as a combination of multiple
component cryptographic modules. Such a combiner design is {\em robust}
for a (security) specification if it meets the specification,
provided that a sufficient subset of the components meet
their specifications. A folklore combiner for encryption is {\em cascade}, i.e. c={\cal E}''_{e''}({\cal E}'_{e'}(m)). We show that cascade is a robust combiner for cryptosystems, under three important indistinguishability specifications: chosen plaintext attack (IND-CPA),
non-adaptive chosen ciphertext attack (IND-CCA1), and replayable chosen ciphertext attack (IND-rCCA). We also show that cascade is not robust for the important specifications adaptive CCA (IND-CCA2) and generalized CCA (IND-gCCA). The IND-rCCA and IND-gCCA specifications are closely related, and this is an interesting difference between them. All specifications are defined within.

We also analyze few other basic and folklore combiners. In particular, we show that the following are robust combiners: the {\em parallel combiner} f(x)=f''(x)||f'(x) for one-way functions , the {\em XOR-Input combiner} c=\left({\cal E}''_{e''}(m\oplus r),{\cal E}'_{e'}(r)\right) for cryptosystems, and the {\em copy combiner} f_{k'',k'}(m)=f''_{k''}(m)||f'_{k'}(m) for integrity tasks such as Message Authentication Codes (MAC) and signature schemes. Cascade is also robust for the hiding property of commitment schemes, and the copy combiner is robust for the binding property, but neither is a robust combiner for both properties.

We present (new) robust combiners for
commitment schemes; these new combiners can be viewed as a composition of the cascade and the copy combiners. Our combiners are simple, efficient and practical.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2002/135

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