Estimating the Bit Security of Pairing-Friendly Curves

Introduction The use of pairings in cryptography began in 1993, when an algorithm developed by Menezes, Okamoto and Vanstone, now known as the MOV-attack, described a sub-exponential algorithm for solving the discrete logarithm problem for supersingular elliptic curves.1 It wasn't until the following decade that efficient pairing-based algorithms were used constructively to build cryptographic protocols … Continue reading Estimating the Bit Security of Pairing-Friendly Curves

Public Report – WhatsApp opaque-ke Cryptographic Implementation Review

In June 2021, WhatsApp engaged NCC Group to conduct a security assessment of the 'opaque-ke' library, an open source Rust implementation of the OPAQUE password authenticated key exchange protocol. The protocol is designed to allow password-based authentication in such a way that a server does not actually learn the plaintext value of the client's password, … Continue reading Public Report – WhatsApp opaque-ke Cryptographic Implementation Review

Announcing NCC Group’s Cryptopals Guided Tour!

Hello and welcome to NCC Group's Cryptopals guided tour! This post is the first in a series of eight installments covering the solutions to the Cryptopals Crypto Challenges. These have been a long time coming, and we're excited to finally start bringing them to you. For those who don't know, Cryptopals is a series of … Continue reading Announcing NCC Group’s Cryptopals Guided Tour!

Public Report – Zendoo Proof Verifier Cryptography Review

During the summer of 2021, Horizen Labs engaged NCC Group to conduct a cryptography review of Zendoo protocol’s proof verifier. This system generates and verifies modified Marlin proofs with a polynomial commitment scheme based on the hardness of the discrete logarithm problem in prime-order groups. The system also provides optimized batch verification of accumulated proofs. … Continue reading Public Report – Zendoo Proof Verifier Cryptography Review

An Illustrated Guide to Elliptic Curve Cryptography Validation

Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) has become the de facto standard for protecting modern communications. ECC is widely used to perform asymmetric cryptography operations, such as to establish shared secrets or for digital signatures. However, insufficient validation of public keys and parameters is still a frequent cause of confusion, leading to serious vulnerabilities, such as leakage … Continue reading An Illustrated Guide to Elliptic Curve Cryptography Validation

Technical Advisory – Arbitrary Signature Forgery in Stark Bank ECDSA Libraries (CVE-2021-43572, CVE-2021-43570, CVE-2021-43569, CVE-2021-43568, CVE-2021-43571)

Vendor: Stark Bank's open-source ECDSA cryptography libraries Vendor URL: https://starkbank.com/, https://github.com/starkbank/ Versions affected: - ecdsa-python (https://github.com/starkbank/ecdsa-python) v2.0.0 - ecdsa-java (https://github.com/starkbank/ecdsa-java) v1.0.0 - ecdsa-dotnet (https://github.com/starkbank/ecdsa-dotnet) v1.3.1 - ecdsa-elixir (https://github.com/starkbank/ecdsa-elixir) v1.0.0 - ecdsa-node (https://github.com/starkbank/ecdsa-node) v1.1.2 Author: Paul Bottinelli paul.bottinelli@nccgroup.com Advisory URLs: - ecdsa-python: https://github.com/starkbank/ecdsa-python/releases/tag/v2.0.1 - ecdsa-java: https://github.com/starkbank/ecdsa-java/releases/tag/v1.0.1 - ecdsa-dotnet: https://github.com/starkbank/ecdsa-dotnet/releases/tag/v1.3.2 - ecdsa-elixir: https://github.com/starkbank/ecdsa-elixir/releases/tag/v1.0.1 - ecdsa-node: https://github.com/starkbank/ecdsa-node/releases/tag/v1.1.3 CVE … Continue reading Technical Advisory – Arbitrary Signature Forgery in Stark Bank ECDSA Libraries (CVE-2021-43572, CVE-2021-43570, CVE-2021-43569, CVE-2021-43568, CVE-2021-43571)

Public Report – Zcash NU5 Cryptography Review

In March 2021, Electric Coin Co. engaged NCC Group to perform a review of the upcoming network protocol upgrade NU5 to the Zcash protocol (codenamed "Orchard"). The review was to be performed over multiple phases: first, the specification document changes and the relevant ZIPs, then, in June 2021, the implementation itself.  The Public Report for … Continue reading Public Report – Zcash NU5 Cryptography Review

Public Report – WhatsApp End-to-End Encrypted Backups Security Assessment

During the summer of 2021, WhatsApp engaged NCC Group's Cryptography Services team to conduct an independent security assessment of its End-to-End Encrypted Backups project. End-to-End Encrypted Backups is an hardware security module (HSM) based key vault solution that aims to primarily support encrypted backup of WhatsApp user data. This assessment was performed remotely, as a … Continue reading Public Report – WhatsApp End-to-End Encrypted Backups Security Assessment

Paradoxical Compression with Verifiable Delay Functions

We present here a new construction which has no real immediate usefulness, but is a good illustration of a fundamental concept of cryptography, namely that there is a great difference between knowing that some mathematical object exists, and being able to build it in practice. Thus, this construction can be thought of as having some … Continue reading Paradoxical Compression with Verifiable Delay Functions