Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2003/031

Cryptographic Tamper Evidence

Gene Itkis

Abstract: We propose a new notion of cryptographic tamper evidence. A tamper-evident signature scheme provides an additional procedure Div which detects tampering: given two signatures, Div can determine whether one of them was generated by the forger. Surprisingly, this is possible even after the adversary has inconspicuously learned some --- or even all --- the secrets in the system. In this case, it might be impossible to tell which signature is generated by the legitimate signer and which by the forger. But at least the fact of the tampering will be made evident.

We define several variants of tamper-evidence, differing in their power to detect tampering. In all of these, we assume an equally powerful adversary: she adaptively controls all the inputs to the legitimate signer (i.e., all messages to be signed and their timing), and observes all his outputs; she can also adaptively expose all the secrets at arbitrary times.

We provide tamper-evident schemes for all the variants and prove their optimality.

We stress that our mechanisms are purely cryptographic: the tamper-detection algorithm Div is stateless and takes no inputs except the two signatures (in particular, it keeps no logs), we use no infrastructure (or other ways to conceal additional secrets), and we use no hardware properties (except those implied by the standard cryptographic assumptions, such as random number generators). Our constructions are based on arbitrary ordinary signature schemes and do not require random oracles.

Category / Keywords: digital signatures, tamper evidence

Date: received 12 Feb 2003

Contact author: itkis at cs bu edu

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Version: 20030212:204636 (All versions of this report)

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