Paper 2019/1384

Identity-Based Encryption with Security against the KGC: A Formal Model and Its Instantiations

Keita Emura, Shuichi Katsumata, and Yohei Watanabe


The key escrow problem is one of the main barriers to the widespread real-world use of identity-based encryption (IBE). Specifically, a key generation center (KGC), which generates secret keys for a given identity, has the power to decrypt all ciphertexts. At PKC 2009, Chow defined a notion of security against the KGC, that relies on assuming that it cannot discover the underlying identities behind ciphertexts. However, this is not a realistic assumption since, in practice, the KGC manages an identity list, and hence it can easily guess the identities corresponding to given ciphertexts. Chow later amended this issue by introducing a new entity called an identity-certifying authority (ICA) and proposed an anonymous key-issuing protocol. Essentially, this allows the users, KGC, and ICA to interactively generate secret keys without users ever having to reveal their identities to the KGC. Unfortunately, since Chow separately defined the security of IBE and that of the anonymous key-issuing protocol, his IBE definition did not provide any formal treatment when the ICA is used to authenticate the users. Effectively, all of the subsequent works following Chow lack the formal proofs needed to determine whether or not it delivers a secure solution to the key escrow problem. In this paper, based on Chow's work, we formally define an IBE scheme that resolves the key escrow problem and provide formal definitions of security against corrupted users, KGC, and ICA. Along the way, we observe that if we are allowed to assume a fully trusted ICA, as in Chow's work, then we can construct a trivial (and meaningless) IBE scheme that is secure against the KGC. Finally, we present two instantiations in our new security model: a lattice-based construction based on the Gentry--Peikert--Vaikuntanathan IBE scheme (STOC 2008) and R{ü}ckert's lattice-based blind signature scheme (ASIACRYPT 2010), and a pairing-based construction based on the Boneh--Franklin IBE scheme (CRYPTO 2001) and Boldyreva's blind signature scheme (PKC 2003).

Available format(s)
Public-key cryptography
Publication info
Published elsewhere. MAJOR revision.ESORICS 2019
Identity-based encryptionKey escrow problem
Contact author(s)
k-emura @ nict go jp
shuichi katsumata @ aist go jp
watanabe @ uec ac jp
2019-12-04: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Keita Emura and Shuichi Katsumata and Yohei Watanabe},
      title = {Identity-Based Encryption with Security against the KGC: A Formal Model and Its Instantiations},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2019/1384},
      year = {2019},
      doi = {10.1007/978-3-030-29962-0_6},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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