Paper 2015/552

An Improved BKW Algorithm for LWE with Applications to Cryptography and Lattices

Paul Kirchner and Pierre-Alain Fouque


In this paper, we study the Learning With Errors problem and its binary variant, where secrets and errors are binary or taken in a small interval. We introduce a new variant of the Blum, Kalai and Wasserman algorithm, relying on a quantization step that generalizes and fine-tunes modulus switching. In general this new technique yields a significant gain in the constant in front of the exponent in the overall complexity. We illustrate this by solving p within half a day a LWE instance with dimension n = 128, modulus q = n^2 , Gaussian noise alpha = 1/(sqrt(n/pi)log^2 n) and binary secret, using 2^28 samples, while the previous best result based on BKW claims a time complexity of 2^74 with 2^60 samples for the same parameters. We then introduce variants of BDD, GapSVP and UniqueSVP, where the target point is required to lie in the fundamental parallelepiped, and show how the previous algorithm is able to solve these variants in subexponential time. Moreover, we also show how the previous algorithm can be used to solve the BinaryLWE problem with n samples in subexponential time 2^((ln 2/2+o(1))n/log log n) . This analysis does not require any heuristic assumption, contrary to other algebraic approaches; instead, it uses a variant of an idea by Lyubashevsky to generate many samples from a small number of samples. This makes it possible to asymptotically and heuristically break the NTRU cryptosystem in subexponential time (without contradicting its security assumption). We are also able to solve subset sum problems in subexponential time for density o(1), which is of independent interest: for such density, the previous best algorithm requires exponential time. As a direct application, we can solve in subexponential time the parameters of a cryptosystem based on this problem proposed at TCC 2010.

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Publication info
A minor revision of an IACR publication in CRYPTO 2015
cryptanalysislattice techniquespublic-key cryptographyBKWLearning With ErrorsalgorithmHidden number problemLearning Parity with Noise
Contact author(s)
paul kirchner @ ens fr
2015-06-29: last of 3 revisions
2015-06-14: received
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      author = {Paul Kirchner and Pierre-Alain Fouque},
      title = {An Improved BKW Algorithm for LWE with Applications to Cryptography and Lattices},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2015/552},
      year = {2015},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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