Information Security and Cryptography Research Group

Deniable Authentication when Signing Keys Leak

Suvradip Chakraborty, Dennis Hofheinz, Ueli Maurer, Christopher Portmann, and Guilherme Rito

Advances in Cryptology—EUROCRYPT 2023, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer International Publishing, vol. 14006, pp. 69–100, May 2023.

Deniable Authentication is a highly desirable property for secure messaging protocols: it allows a sender Alice to authentically transmit messages to a designated receiver Bob in such a way that only Bob gets convinced that Alice indeed sent these messages. In particular, it guarantees that even if Bob tries to convince a (non-designated) party Judy that Alice sent some message, and even if Bob gives Judy his own secret key, Judy will not be convinced: as far as Judy knows, Bob could be making it all up!

In this paper we study Deniable Authentication in the setting where Judy can additionally obtain Alice’s secret key. Informally, we want that knowledge of Alice’s secret key does not help Judy in learning whether Alice sent any messages, even if Bob does not have Alice’s secret key and even if Bob cooperates with Judy by giving her his own secret key. This stronger flavor of Deniable Authentication was not considered before and is particularly relevant for Off-The-Record Group Messaging as it gives users stronger deniability guarantees.

Our main contribution is a scalable "MDRS-PKE" (Multi-Designated Receiver Signed Public Key Encryption) scheme---a technical formalization of Deniable Authentication that is particularly useful for secure messaging for its confidentiality guarantees---that provides this stronger deniability guarantee. At its core lie new MDVS (Multi-Designated Verifier Signature) and PKEBC (Public Key Encryption for Broadcast) scheme constructions: our MDVS is not only secure with respect to the new deniability notions, but it is also the first to be tightly secure under standard assumptions; our PKEBC---which is also of independent interest—is the first with ciphertext sizes and encryption and decryption times that grow only linearly in the number of receivers. This is a significant improvement upon the construction given by Maurer et al. (EUROCRYPT '22), where ciphertext sizes and encryption and decryption times are quadratic in the number of receivers.

BibTeX Citation

    author       = {Suvradip Chakraborty and Dennis Hofheinz and Ueli Maurer and Christopher Portmann and Guilherme Rito},
    title        = {Deniable Authentication when Signing Keys Leak},
    editor       = {Carmit Hazay and Martijn Stam},
    booktitle    = {Advances in Cryptology---EUROCRYPT 2023},
    pages        = {69--100},
    series       = {Lecture Notes in Computer Science},
    volume       = {14006},
    year         = {2023},
    month        = {05},
    publisher    = {Springer International Publishing},

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