Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2021/516

A new weak curve fault attack on ECIES: embedded point validation is not enough during decryption

Weiqiong Cao and Hongsong Shi and Hua Chen and Wei Xi and Yuhang Wang

Abstract: ECIES has been widely used in many cryptographic devices and systems to ensure the confidentiality of communication data. Hence, researching its security of implementation is essential. It is generally considered that the embedded point validation towards the input point $Q$ during decryption is enough to resist most of the existing fault attacks and small subgroup attacks. Even many open source algorithm libraries (e.g., OpenSSL and BouncyCastle) only employ the embedded point validation to resist fault attack. However, the proposed weak curve fault attack in this paper can break this situation because it can successfully pass the embedded point validation and the validation of the scalar multiplication about the input point $Q$ and cofactor $h$(i.e., $hQ \ne \mathcal{O}$). Moreover, the proposed attack does not require that the instances of ECDLP on the weak curve derived by fault injection is computationally practical which could increase the availability of fault injection. The simulations demonstrate the feasibility of our attack. Finally, we also investigate the implementations of $14$ open source algorithm libraries, and there are $10$ algorithm libraries which can not block our attack. Hence, we also give some suggestions about countermeasures.

Category / Keywords: public-key cryptography / ECIES, Weak Curve Attack, Fault Attack, Small Subgroup Attack

Date: received 19 Apr 2021

Contact author: caoweqion at 163 com

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20210423:122028 (All versions of this report)

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