[Cfrg] AES-GCM-SIV security of the additional data

Daniel Bleichenbacher <bleichen@google.com> Fri, 24 June 2016 11:35 UTC

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From: Daniel Bleichenbacher <bleichen@google.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2016 13:35:24 +0200
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Subject: [Cfrg] AES-GCM-SIV security of the additional data
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I'm wondering what can or should be expected about the security of the
additional data.

In particular, I'm considering the following scenario:

Sender and receiver share a secret S.
The sender knows the public key of the receiver and the receiver of course
knows the private key.
They use a hybrid encryption as follows:

The sender chooses a new AES-GCM-SIV key, encrypts his message
and includes S as additional data. The AES-GCM-SIV key is wrapped with
the receivers public key and the wrapped key and ciphertext are sent to the

Here an attacker can use that AES-GCM-SIV allows to select a key such that
element H used for POLYVAL is 0. In this case it would not be necessary for
the sender
to know S to construct a ciphertext that validates.
A similar attack using AES-GCM seems much harder since the value H for the
is obtained by encrypting 0 and thus I'm not aware of a way to do the same
thing here.

The attack does of course not violate any of the guarantees claimed.
However, in the industry lots of ad hoc protocols are designed without
proper security reductions and hence it seems a bit scary to me to allow
this kind of "weak" keys. And since abuse resistance is
one of the goals it might be a good idea to avoid such type of abuses.