Re: [quicwg/base-drafts] Timing side-channel on key updates (#2792)

Christopher Wood <> Wed, 31 July 2019 02:54 UTC

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From: Christopher Wood <>
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Subject: Re: [quicwg/base-drafts] Timing side-channel on key updates (#2792)
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I'd like to second @ekr's comment at the mic. I don’t think this is an issue for which we need text. Without loss of generality, let’s assume that in the worst case an attacker learns the entire unprotected header bytes for every packet. (That is, that header protection does nothing overwhelmingly helpful.) Revisiting the header protection algorithm, it basically works as follows:

H’ = H XOR mask
     = H XOR PRP(hp_key, sample)

where H’ and H are the protected and unprotected header bytes, respectively, and sample is known to the adversary. If we assume mask is the output of a PRP, and therefore both IND-CPA secure and KPA secure, an adversary learns nothing from known plaintext and ciphertext pairs. (The typical game-based IND-CPA security definition says that an adversary with access to an oracle for encrypting any message M_i of its choice has negligible probability in selecting b, upon giving the challenger M_0 and M_1 and receiving an encryption of M_b. Recovering the header protection key would break this assumption, as it would let the adversary encrypt M_0 and M_1 -- without the oracle -- and trivially match against M_b.)

All that said, adding text describing that endpoints should precompute keys is probably fine. I’m just not sure it’s needed here.

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