Paper 2022/309
On TimeSpace Tradeoffs for BoundedLength Collisions in MerkleDamgård Hashing
Abstract
We study the power of preprocessing adversaries in finding boundedlength collisions in the widely used MerkleDamgård (MD) hashing in the random oracle model. Specifically, we consider adversaries with arbitrary $S$bit advice about the random oracle and can make at most $T$ queries to it. Our goal is to characterize the advantage of such adversaries in finding a $B$block collision in an MD hash function constructed using the random oracle with range size $N$ as the compression function (given a random salt). The answer to this question is completely understood for very large values of $B$ (essentially $\Omega(T)$) as well as for $B=1,2$. For $B\approx T$, Coretti et al.~(EUROCRYPT '18) gave matching upper and lower bounds of $\tilde\Theta(ST^2/N)$. Akshima et al.~(CRYPTO '20) observed that the attack of Coretti et al.\ could be adapted to work for any value of $B>1$, giving an attack with advantage $\tilde\Omega(STB/N + T^2/N)$. Unfortunately, they could only prove that this attack is optimal for $B=2$. Their proof involves a compression argument with exhaustive case analysis and, as they claim, a naive attempt to generalize their bound to larger values of B (even for $B=3$) would lead to an explosion in the number of cases needed to be analyzed, making it unmanageable. With the lack of a more general upper bound, they formulated the STB conjecture, stating that the bestpossible advantage is $\tilde O(STB/N + T^2/N)$ for any $B>1$. In this work, we confirm the STB conjecture in many new parameter settings. For instance, in one result, we show that the conjecture holds for all constant values of $B$, significantly extending the result of Akshima et al. Further, using combinatorial properties of graphs, we are able to confirm the conjecture even for super constant values of $B$, as long as some restriction is made on $S$. For instance, we confirm the conjecture for all $B \le T^{1/4}$ as long as $S \le T^{1/8}$. Technically, we develop structural characterizations for boundedlength collisions in MD hashing that allow us to give a compression argument in which the number of cases needed to be handled does not explode.
Metadata
 Available format(s)
 Category
 Foundations
 Publication info
 A major revision of an IACR publication in CRYPTO 2022
 Keywords
 Timespace tradeoffs AIROM MerkleDamgård short collisions
 Contact author(s)

ashrujit @ cs washington edu
ilank @ cs huji ac il  History
 20220620: revised
 20220307: received
 See all versions
 Short URL
 https://ia.cr/2022/309
 License

CC BY
BibTeX
@misc{cryptoeprint:2022/309, author = {Ashrujit Ghoshal and Ilan Komargodski}, title = {On TimeSpace Tradeoffs for BoundedLength Collisions in MerkleDamgård Hashing}, howpublished = {Cryptology {ePrint} Archive, Paper 2022/309}, year = {2022}, url = {https://eprint.iacr.org/2022/309} }