[Resource Topic] 2022/1722: On Side-Channel and CVO Attacks against TFHE and FHEW

Welcome to the resource topic for 2022/1722

On Side-Channel and CVO Attacks against TFHE and FHEW

Authors: Michael Walter


The recent work of Chaturvedi et al. (ePrint 2022/685) claims to observe leakage about secret information in a ciphertext of TFHE through a timing side-channel on the (untrusted) server. In (Chaturvedi et al., ePrint 2022/1563) this is combined with an active attack against TFHE and FHEW. The claims in (Chaturvedi et al., ePrint 2022/685) about the non-trivial leakage from a ciphertext would have far-reaching implications, since the server does not have any secret inputs. In particular, this would mean a weakening of LWE in general,
since an adversary could always simulate a server on which there is side channel leakage.

In this short note, we show that the claims made in the two aforementioned works with regards to the leakage through the timing side channel are false. We demonstrate that the active attack, a standard attack against IND-CPA secure LWE-based encryption, can be mounted just as efficiently without the “side channel information”.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2022/1722

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