Re: [Cfrg] Your Secret is Too Short (was: Is Diffie-Hellman Better Than We Think?)

Dan Brown <> Thu, 22 October 2020 02:24 UTC

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From: Dan Brown <>
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Thread-Topic: [Cfrg] Your Secret is Too Short (was: Is Diffie-Hellman Better Than We Think?)
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Subject: Re: [Cfrg] Your Secret is Too Short (was: Is Diffie-Hellman Better Than We Think?)
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​in the case of ECC, See
For recent work in this area.

Sent with BlackBerry Work (
From: Andrey Jivsov <>
Sent: Oct 21, 2020 9:21 PM
To: Mike Hamburg <>
Cc: Michael D'Errico <>om>; IRTF CFRG <>
Subject: Re: [Cfrg] Your Secret is Too Short (was: Is Diffie-Hellman Better Than We Think?)

Is the Pollar-Rho algorithm able to take advantage of the exponent size that is about the size of the security parameter?

Let's consider ECDLP for P-256 or Curve25519. Does private x for public Q=xG need to be ~256 bits? I would appreciate pointers on how does Pollard-Rho can take advantage of x~2^128 for P-256 of Curve25519.

( I know that e.g. NIST documents recommend a private key to be as you Mike wrote, e.g. 256 bits for P-256)

Thank you.

On Wed, Oct 21, 2020 at 1:14 PM Mike Hamburg <<>> wrote:
Hello again Mike,

In general, secrets for discrete log systems have to be at least
twice the security level, due to collision-based attacks such as
Pollard rho, baby-step-giant-step, etc.

This is also why P-1 must be divisible by a prime that’s at least
2*lambda bits, where lambda is the desired security level.
Otherwise the Pohlig-Hellman attack breaks the system.

— Mike

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