Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2020/063

Attack on LAC Key Exchange in Misuse Situation

Aurelien Greuet and Simon Montoya and Guenael Renault

Abstract: LAC is a Ring Learning With Error based cryptosystem that has been proposed to the NIST call for post-quantum standardization and passed the first round of the submission process. The particularity of LAC is to use an error-correction code ensuring a high security level with small key sizes and small ciphertext sizes. LAC team proposes a CPA secure cryptosystem, LAC.CPA, and a CCA secure one, LAC.CCA, obtained by applying the Fujisaki-Okamoto transformation on LAC.CPA. In this paper, we study the security of LAC Key Exchange (KE) mechanism, using LAC.CPA, in a misuse context: when the same secret key is reused for several key exchanges and an active adversary has access to a mismatch oracle. This oracle indicates information on the possible mismatch at the end of the KE protocol. In this context, we show that an attacker needs at most $8$ queries to the oracle to retrieve one coefficient of a static secret key. This result has been experimentally confirmed using the reference and optimized implementations of LAC. Since our attack can break the CPA version in a misuse context, the Authenticated KE protocol, based on the CCA version, is not impacted. However, this research provides a tight estimation of LAC resilience against this type of attacks.

Category / Keywords: public-key cryptography / lattice based cryptography, post-quantum cryptography, active attack, key reuse

Date: received 21 Jan 2020

Contact author: aurelien greuet at idemia com,simon montoya@idemia com,guenael renault@lix polytechnique fr

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Version: 20200121:184831 (All versions of this report)

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