Paper 2020/1509

Single-Message Credential-Hiding Login

Kevin Lewi, Payman Mohassel, and Arnab Roy


The typical login protocol for authenticating a user to a web service involves the client sending a password over a TLS-secured channel to the service, occasionally deployed with the password being prehashed. This widely-deployed paradigm, while simple in nature, is prone to both inadvertent logging and eavesdropping attacks, and has repeatedly led to the exposure of passwords in plaintext. Partly to address this problem, symmetric and asymmetric PAKE protocols were developed to ensure that the messages exchanged during an authentication protocol reveal nothing about the passwords. However, these protocols inherently require at least two messages to be sent out: one from each party. This limitation hinders wider adoption, as the most common login flow consists of a single message from client to the login server. The ideal solution would retain the password privacy properties of asymmetric PAKEs while allowing the protocol to be a drop-in replacement into legacy password-over-TLS deployments. With these requirements in mind, we introduce the notion of credential-hiding login, which enables a client to authenticate itself by sending a single message to the server, while ensuring the correct verification of credentials and maintaining credential privacy in the same strong sense as guaranteed by asymmetric PAKEs. We initiate a formal study of this primitive in the Universal Composability framework, design and implement a practical password-based protocol using identity-based encryption, and report on its performance. We also construct a variant of credential-hiding login for fuzzy secrets (e.g. biometrics), proven secure based on the Learning With Errors (LWE) assumption.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Preprint. MINOR revision.
Password authenticationPAKE
Contact author(s)
lewi kevin k @ gmail com
payman mohassel @ gmail com
arnabr @ gmail com
2020-12-02: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Kevin Lewi and Payman Mohassel and Arnab Roy},
      title = {Single-Message Credential-Hiding Login},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2020/1509},
      year = {2020},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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