The Long-Short-Key Primitive and Its Applications to Key Security [chapter]

Matthew Cary, Matthias Jacob, Mariusz H. Jakubowski, Ramarathnam Venkatesan
2008 Lecture Notes in Computer Science  
On today's open computing platforms, attackers can often extract sensitive data from a program's stack, heap, or files. To address this problem, we designed and implemented a new primitive that helps provide better security for ciphers that use keys stored in easily accessible locations. Given a particular symmetric key, our approach generates two functions for encryption and decryption: The short-key function uses the original key, while the functionally equivalent long-key version works with
more » ... n arbitrarily long key derived from the short key. On common PC architectures, such a long key normally does not fit in stack frames or cache blocks, forcing an attacker to search memory space. Even if extracted from memory, the long key is neither easily compressible nor useful in recovering the short key. Using a pseudorandom generator and additional novel software-protection techniques, we show how to implement this construction securely for AES. Potential applications include whitebox ciphers, DRM schemes, software smartcards, and challenge-response authentication, as well as any scenario where a key of controllable length is useful to enforce desired security properties.
doi:10.1007/978-3-540-89598-5_19 fatcat:ty4odmmamzgz3d3p775pweap3e