This course will introduce you to the foundations of modern cryptography, with an eye toward practical applications.

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From the course by University of Maryland, College Park

Cryptography

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University of Maryland, College Park

347 ratings

Course 3 of 5 in the Specialization Cybersecurity

This course will introduce you to the foundations of modern cryptography, with an eye toward practical applications.

From the lesson

Week 6

Key Exchange and Public-Key Encryption

- Jonathan KatzProfessor, University of Maryland, and Director, Maryland Cybersecurity Center

Maryland Cybersecurity Center

[SOUND] In this lecture we'll look at public-key encryption schemes,

Â and we'll start by just showing how public-key encryption

Â can be used to ensure secrecy in the public-key setting.

Â So just like in the public-key setting more generally.

Â We'll begin with a party who locally generates public and private keys.

Â When another party comes along and wants to communicate with this first party,

Â the first thing they need to do is to obtain a copy of that user's public key.

Â In this figure for concreteness we've just assumed that the party is able to

Â look up the other person's public key in some public directory.

Â And so now they have an authentic copy of the public key of the person with whom

Â they wish to communicate.

Â They can take a message m that they wish to send to the recipient.

Â And they can then encrypt that message using the public key that

Â they've just obtained.

Â This gives a ciphertext c which they can then send onto the recipient.

Â At the other end the recipient can use the private key to decrypt the ciphertext and

Â recover the message.

Â And one thing I want to stress here is that we have asymmetry.

Â Because the keys being used by the sender and the receiver are different.

Â And this is contrast to the case of private key encryption

Â where encryption and decryption both use the same key.

Â Here encryption uses the public key and decryption uses the private key.

Â Now from the point of view of an attacker,

Â note that only does the attacker get to observe the ciphertext, but we'd have to

Â assume that the attacker is also able to get a copy of the recipient's public key.

Â After all, if the public key is being stored in some public directory, it's

Â reasonable to assume that the attacker is able to get its hands on it also.

Â Nevertheless, even for an attacker who obtains the public-key of

Â the recipient and can observe the cipher text,

Â we would like the contents of the message being communicated to remain secret.

Â More formally a public-key encryption scheme consists of

Â three probabilistic polynomial time algorithms.

Â The first algorithm is the key-generation algorithm,

Â that on input the security parameter outputs the public and private keys.

Â The encryption algorithm, as we've just seen, takes as input a public key and

Â a message, and outputs a ciphertext c.

Â The decryption algorithm takes as input the private key and the cipher text.

Â And it outputs either a message m or

Â a special symbol that we use here to denote an error.

Â And of course we have the standard correctness requirement that for

Â all messages m and for

Â all public, private key pairs, output by the key generation algorithm.

Â If you decrypt using the private key, something that was

Â encrypted using the public key, you should get back the same results in the end.

Â We can define CPA security for public encryption scheme's in a way that's very

Â analogous to the definitions that we've seen already in the private key settings.

Â So let's fix a public-key encryption scheme Pi and some attacker a.

Â And then we can define the following experiment.

Â The first thing we do is to run the key generation algorithm to obtain public and

Â private keys.

Â And we give the public key to the attacker.

Â Right, this just models what we talked about earlier.

Â Namely that the attacker is assumed to be able to see the public key of

Â the recipient.

Â The attacker then outputs two messages, m0 and m1 of the same length.

Â And the experiment then chooses a uniform bit b and

Â encrypts the message mb using the given public key to obtain a ciphertext c.

Â And we give the ciphertext to a.

Â Finally, a outputs a guess, b prime.

Â Representing its best guess as to what message was encrypted.

Â And the attacker succeeds, i.e.

Â the experiment evaluates to one, if and

Â only the attackers guess, b-prime, was correct.

Â In the usual way, we then define that a public encryption scheme is CPA-secure.

Â If for all probabilistic polynomial time adversaries a, the probability with which

Â a succeeds in the experiment we just saw is at most one half plus negligible.

Â Now I want to make a couple of observations about the definition.

Â One thing you might have been surprised about is the fact that the definition,

Â although it talked about CPA security.

Â Did not include an encryption oracle.

Â But the reason for that is simple.

Â If the attacker has the public key, it has no need for an encryption oracle.

Â Given the public key,

Â the attacker can use the public key to encrypt messages of his choice.

Â And therefore, unlike the private key setting, the attacker doesn't need access

Â to an encryption oracle in order to obtain encryptions of messages of his choice.

Â That means that even if we wanted to define a relatively weak

Â notion of security against a completely passive attacker,

Â there's sort of no way to get around automatically including the ability

Â to mount a chosen plain text attack in the public-key setting.

Â And that's something that's in contrast to what we've seen as we've

Â discussed already in the private key setting.

Â Now this fact has a number of consequences.

Â The first is that there's no such thing as perfectly secret public-key encryption.

Â At least not in any of a setting where the attacker's able to get a copy of

Â the recipient's public key.

Â And this follows really from the fact that as we've just said given

Â the public key the attacker effectively has access to an encryption oracle.

Â Which means that given any ciphertext corresponding to some unknown

Â method the attacker could always try to encrypt every possible message under

Â the public key repeatedly until it obtains the same ciphertext.

Â And therefore, if you allow attackers with unbounded running time, they'll always be

Â able to figure out the message that corresponds to a given ciphertext.

Â Alternately, the attacker could also run the key generation algorithm over

Â and over again.

Â Until it obtains a private key matching the observed public key.

Â Another consequence, is that no public encryption scheme

Â with a deterministic encryption algorithm can possibly be CPA-secure.

Â And this is exactly like what we've seen already in the setting of

Â private-key encryption.

Â If you have a deterministic encryption scheme.

Â Then given an, given a ciphertext feed,

Â which is an encryption of one of two possibilities, either of zero or of one.

Â The attacker that could simply encrypt them zero encrypt in one, and

Â compare both of those results to the observed ciphertext and

Â figure out exactly which message was encrypted.

Â What this means is that we should never use a deterministic public-key

Â encryption scheme.

Â They simply won't satisfy even the most basic notion of security.

Â Finally, if we defined a notion of security for

Â the encryption of multiple messages.

Â Then, just as in the private key setting where we observed that

Â CPA security implies security for the encryption of multiple messages.

Â The same will hold, will hold true in the public key setting as well.

Â That is the definition of CPA security that we gave on the previous slide.

Â We'll also imply the secrecy of encrypting vectors of message as well.

Â Now we can often define, or

Â consider, the notion of chosen-ciphertext attacks in the public key setting.

Â So here we have an attacker who's observed the ciphertext c, and it's implicit even

Â though I haven't shown it here that the attacker knows the public key as usual.

Â The attacker might then be able to inject ciphertext c prime,

Â that is to send the ciphertext to the recipient.

Â And, receive in return the resulting decryption, m prime,

Â corresponding to the ciphertext that it sent.

Â Now, this is so far, just like what we saw in the private-key case.

Â But, I want to make the point here, that chosen-ciphertext attacks.

Â Can arguably be even a greater concern in the public key setting than they were in

Â the private key setting.

Â And the reason for that fundamentally is that in the private key setting,

Â the recipient shares the key, shares their key, with one other sender.

Â And so when they receive a ciphertext, they will assume that it

Â came from the legitimate sender, the single legitimate sender.

Â With whom they've shared their key.

Â In contrast, in the public key setting,

Â almost by assumption, anybody in the world who's ob, able to obtain a copy of

Â the public key is a legitimate sender with respect to that receiver.

Â And so it's not at all unusual for

Â the receiver to receive ciphertexts from many different senders.

Â And so it would be much easier in this case number one for an attacker to

Â send a ciphertext that wouldn't immediately get rejected by the recipient.

Â And number two it would be easier for the attacker to potentially receive and

Â return the entire decryption of the ciphertext that it sends to the receiver.

Â So the point of all of this is that if you thought that chosen ciphertext were

Â a problem in private key setting, and

Â indeed they are, well they're even more a concern in the public key setting.

Â A very related concern that we've spoken about earlier in the private key

Â setting as well is that of malleability.

Â And remember that this informally refers to the property that

Â given the ciphertext c that is the in the encryption of some unknown message m.

Â It might be possible for an attacker to produce a ciphertext c

Â prime that decrypts to a related message m prime.

Â And again this is likely to be even more problematic in the public key

Â setting than it is in the private key setting.

Â And, we'll show an example, in fact,

Â in the next lecture, I, that I think really highlights this point.

Â Just as in the private-key case, we're not going to define a notion of malleability.

Â But, I can tell you that malleability and

Â chosen-ciphertext security are very related.

Â And, in particular, any scheme which is malleable will not be

Â secure against chosen-ciphertext attacks.

Â And conversely, a scheme that is secure against chosen cipher text

Â attacks will not be malleable.

Â Now, we can define formally a notion of CCA security for public key encryption.

Â Again, by analogy to the definition we've seen already for

Â the case of private encryption.

Â And I'm going to skip that here for simplicity.

Â Now one very important paradigm I want to introduce is that of hybrid encryption.

Â Let's imagine we want to use a public key encryption scheme

Â to encrypt a very long message m.

Â Now one thing we can do of course is to simply use the encryption algorithm as is

Â with the public key.

Â And the message m, as input to obtain a ciphertext c.

Â And in this diagram,

Â I've just indicated that by the triangle, where the key is going into the algorithm.

Â So this just indicates which input is the key and

Â which is the message being encrypted.

Â Now, we can do that, and

Â that will work, but remember that we said earlier in a previous lecture.

Â That public key encryption is relatively inefficient,

Â at least as compared to private key encryption.

Â So we can use a different approach instead in order to obtain better efficiency.

Â What we'll do is to select a random key k for some private key encryption scheme.

Â And, then, rather than encrypting m,

Â using the public-key scheme, what we'll do is to encrypt k, itself.

Â And, obtain a ciphertext that we'll call here an encapsulated key.

Â We can then just use the key that we've just chosen as the key to

Â a private-key encryption scheme Enc prime.

Â And use the private key encryption scheme to encrypt our bulk data m.

Â This will result in a ciphertext for the underlying private key encryption scheme.

Â Decryption can be done in the obvious way.

Â So the ciphertext now will consist of both components, both the encapsulated key

Â that we got by running the public key scheme, as well as the ciphertext that

Â we got by encrypting the bulk data using the private key encryption scheme.

Â What the recipient can do is they can use their private key

Â to decrypt the encapsulated key.

Â And recover k.

Â And, then use the decryption algorithm for the private-key encryption scheme

Â to recover m from the first portion of the ciphertext.

Â Now, note, that by just putting a box around both of those algorithms together,

Â and by grouping the two ciphertexts that we obtained, and

Â referring to those as a single ciphertext.

Â We obtain something with the functionality of a public key encryption scheme.

Â We have a public key going in at the bottom, a message coming in at the left,

Â and a ciphertext coming out at the right.

Â What this means is that we have something here which is

Â giving us the functionality of public key encryption.

Â It's allowing us to transmit a message to a recipient using knowledge only of

Â their public-key.

Â But the efficiency here is asymptotically the efficiency of

Â the private-key encryption scheme, because we're using the private-key encryption

Â scheme to encrypt the bulk data.

Â And the public-key scheme is only being used to encrypt a very short key.

Â What this means also is that it suffices to consider public key

Â encryption schemes that can encrypt only relatively short values.

Â Like 128 bit keys.

Â And we can then take those and bootstrap them into public key

Â encryption schemes supporting encryption of arbitrary length data.

Â What can we say about the security of the approach on the previous slide?

Â Well, let's let Pi denote the public-key component and

Â Pi prime denote the private-key encryption scheme being used.

Â And we'll let Pi hybrid, denoted here by Pi sub hy,

Â denote the combination of the two as on the previous slide.

Â Well, it's possible to prove that if Pi is a CPA-secure public-key encryption scheme.

Â And Pi prime is a CPA-secure private-key encryption scheme.

Â Then the hybrid encryption approach resulting from the combination of the two

Â is itself a CPA-secure public-key encryption scheme.

Â And one can show a similar result for CCA security as well.

Â We've already seen examples of private-key encryption schemes that are both

Â CPA or CCA-secure.

Â And what that means is again if we can design public key encryption key

Â schemes that can encrypt only relatively short values like 128 bit keys.

Â Then we can couple couples those with the private key encryption schemes we've

Â seen earlier and obtain efficient public key encryption schemes for

Â arbitrary length messages.

Â The hybrid encryption approach is one that is used all the time in practice and you

Â never want to use a public key encryption natively to encrypt large volumes of data.

Â In the next lecture we will see our first concrete examples of public key

Â encryption schemes.

Â When will, when will we examine public key encryption schemes based on

Â the discrete-logarithm assumption and the Diffieâ€“Hellman assumption.

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