A jq255 Elliptic Curve Specification, and a Retrospective

First things first: there is now a specification for the jq255e and jq255s elliptic curves; it is published on the C2SP initiative and is formally in (draft) version 0.0.1: https://github.com/C2SP/C2SP/blob/main/jq255.md The jq255e and jq255s groups are prime-order groups appropriate for building cryptographic protocols, and based on elliptic curves. These curves are from the large class … Continue reading A jq255 Elliptic Curve Specification, and a Retrospective

Public Report – IOV Labs powHSM Security Assessment

In June 2022, IOV Labs engaged NCC Group to perform a review of powHSM. Per the project documentation: "Its main role is to safekeep and prevent the unauthorized usage of each of the powPeg's members' private keys. powHSM is implemented as a pair of applications for the Ledger Nano S, namely a UI and a Signer, … Continue reading Public Report – IOV Labs powHSM Security Assessment

Public Report – Penumbra Labs Decaf377 Implementation and Poseidon Parameter Selection Review

During the summer of 2022, Penumbra Labs, Inc. engaged NCC Group to conduct a cryptographic security assessment of two items: (i) the specification and two implementations of the decaf377 group, and (ii) a methodology and implementation of parameter generation for the Poseidon hash function. Decaf377 is a prime-order group obtained by applying the Decaf construction … Continue reading Public Report – Penumbra Labs Decaf377 Implementation and Poseidon Parameter Selection Review

Constant-Time Data Processing At a Secret Offset, Privacy and QUIC

Introduction NCC Group Cryptography Services team assessed security aspects of several implementations of the QUIC protocol. During the course of their reviews, the team found a number of recurrent cryptography side channel findings of arguably negligible privacy risk to users, across these implementations. However, repetition in itself makes these findings somehow worth having a deeper … Continue reading Constant-Time Data Processing At a Secret Offset, Privacy and QUIC

Implementing the Castryck-Decru SIDH Key Recovery Attack in SageMath

Editor’s note: since the publication of this blog post, an expanded and more technical discussion of the implementation process has been written, and is available on eprint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2022/1283. Introduction Last weekend (July 30th) a truly incredible piece of mathematical/cryptanalysis research was put onto eprint. Wouter Castryck and Thomas Decru of KU Leuven published a paper "An … Continue reading Implementing the Castryck-Decru SIDH Key Recovery Attack in SageMath

NIST Selects Post-Quantum Algorithms for Standardization

Last week, NIST announced some algorithms selected for standardization as part of their Post-Quantum Cryptography project. This is a good opportunity to recall the history of this process, observe its current state, and comment on the selected algorithms. It is important to remember that the process is not finished: round 4 has started, and should … Continue reading NIST Selects Post-Quantum Algorithms for Standardization

Public Report – Threshold ECDSA Cryptography Review

In March 2022, DFINITY engaged NCC Group to conduct a security and cryptography review of a threshold ECDSA implementation, which follows a novel approach described in the reference paper entitled "Design and analysis of a distributed ECDSA signing service" and available on the IACR ePrint archive at https://eprint.iacr.org/2022/506. The threshold ECDSA protocol will be deployed into … Continue reading Public Report – Threshold ECDSA Cryptography Review

Public Report – go-cose Security Assessment

In April and May 2022, NCC Group Cryptography Services engaged in a security and cryptography assessment reviewing Microsoft's contributions to the go-cose library, a Go library implementing signing and verification for CBOR Object Signing and Encryption (COSE), as specified in RFC 8152. This library focuses on a minimal feature set to enable the signing and verification of … Continue reading Public Report – go-cose Security Assessment

Real World Cryptography Conference 2022

The IACR’s annual Real World Cryptography (RWC) conference took place in Amsterdam a few weeks ago. It remains the best venue for highlights of cryptographic constructions and attacks for the real world. While the conference was fully remote last year, this year it was a 3-day hybrid event, live-streamed from a conference center in charming … Continue reading Real World Cryptography Conference 2022

Public Report – O(1) Labs Mina Client SDK, Signature Library and Base Components Cryptography and Implementation Review

During October 2021, O(1) Labs engaged NCC Group's Cryptography Services team to conduct a cryptography and implementation review of selected components within the main source code repository for the Mina project. Mina implements a cryptocurrency with a lightweight and constant-sized blockchain, where the code is primarily written in OCaml. The selected components involved the client … Continue reading Public Report – O(1) Labs Mina Client SDK, Signature Library and Base Components Cryptography and Implementation Review