Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2021/1288

FO-like Combiners and Hybrid Post-Quantum Cryptography

Loïs Huguenin-Dumittan and Serge Vaudenay

Abstract: Combining several primitives together to offer greater security is an old idea in cryptography. Recently, this concept has resurfaced as it could be used to improve trust in new Post-Quantum (PQ) schemes and smooth the transition to PQ cryptography. In particular, several ways to combine key exchange mechanisms (KEMs) into a secure hybrid KEM have been proposed. In this work, we observe that most PQ KEMs are built using a variant of the Fujisaki-Okamoto (FO) transform. Thus, we propose several efficient combiners that take OW-CPA public-key encryption schemes (PKEs) and directly build hybrid IND-CCA KEMs. Our constructions are secure in the ROM and QROM and can be seen as generalizations of the FO transform. We also study how the hash functions (ROs) used in our transforms can be combined in order to improve efficiency and security. In a second part, we implement a hybrid KEM using one of our combiners as a proof-of-concept and benchmark it. More precisely, we build a hybrid IND-CCA KEM from the CPA-secure versions of HQC and LAC, two NIST Round 2 PQ proposals. We show that the resulting KEM offers comparable performances to HQC, thus improving security at a small cost. Finally, we discuss which PQ schemes should be combined in order to offer the best efficiency/security trade-off.

Category / Keywords: public-key cryptography /

Original Publication (with major differences): CANS 2021

Date: received 24 Sep 2021

Contact author: lois huguenin-dumittan at epfl ch, serge vaudenay at epfl ch

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20210924:175646 (All versions of this report)

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