Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2009/562

How to pair with a human

Stefan Dziembowski

Abstract: We introduce a protocol, that we call Human Key Agreement, that allows pairs of humans to establish a key in a (seemingly hopeless) case where no public-key infrastructure is available, the users do not share any common secret, and have never been connected by any physically-secure channel. Our key agreement scheme, while vulnerable to the human-in-the middle attacks, is secure against any malicious machine-in-the middle. The only assumption that we make is that the attacker is a machine that is not able to break the Captcha puzzles (introduced by von Ahn et al., EUROCRYPT 2003).

Our main tool is a primitive that we call a Simultaneous Turing Test, which is a protocol that allows two users to verify if they are both human, in such a way that if one of them is not a human, then he does not learn whether the other one is human, or not.

To construct this tool we use a Universally-Composable Password Authenticated Key Agreement of Canetti et al. (EUROCRYPT 2005).

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Date: received 21 Nov 2009

Contact author: stefan at dziembowski net

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Version: 20091122:041902 (All versions of this report)

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