A Cryptographic Look at Multi-Party Channels

Patrick Eugster, Giorgia Azzurra Marson, Bertram Poettering

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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Cryptographic channels aim to enable authenticated and confidential communication over the Internet. The general understanding seems to be that providing security in the sense of authenticated encryption for every (unidirectional) point-to-point link suffices to achieve this goal. As recently shown (in FSE17/ToSC17), however, even in the bidirectional case just requiring the two unidirectional links to provide security independently of each other does not lead to a secure solution in general. Informally, the reason for this is that the increased interaction in bidirectional communication may be exploited by an adversary. The same argument applies, a fortiori, in a multi-party setting where several users operate concurrently and the communication develops in more directions. In the cryptographic literature, however, the targeted goals for group communication in terms of channel security are still unexplored. Applying the methodology of provable security, we fill this gap by (i) defining exact (game-based) authenticity and confidentiality goals for broadcast communication and (ii) showing how to achieve them. Importantly, our security notions also account for the causal dependencies between exchanged messages, thus naturally extending the bidirectional case where causal relationships are automatically captured by preserving the sending order. On the constructive side we propose a modular and yet efficient protocol that, assuming only reliable point-to-point links between users, leverages (non-cryptographic) broadcast and standard cryptographic primitives to a full-fledged broadcast channel that provably meets the security notions we put forth.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event31st IEEE Computer Security Foundations Symposium - Oxford, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Jul 201812 Jul 2018


Conference31st IEEE Computer Security Foundations Symposium
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

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