Modeling Computational Security in Long-Lived Systems

Authors Ran Canetti, Ling Cheung, Dilsun Kaynar, Nancy Lynch, Olivier Pereira

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Ran Canetti
Ling Cheung
Dilsun Kaynar
Nancy Lynch
Olivier Pereira

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Ran Canetti, Ling Cheung, Dilsun Kaynar, Nancy Lynch, and Olivier Pereira. Modeling Computational Security in Long-Lived Systems. In Theoretical Foundations of Practical Information Security. Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Volume 8491, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2009)


For many cryptographic protocols, security relies on the assumption that adversarial entities have limited computational power. This type of security degrades progressively over the lifetime of a protocol. However, some cryptographic services, such as timestamping services or digital archives, are emph{long-lived} in nature; they are expected to be secure and operational for a very long time (ie super-polynomial). In such cases, security cannot be guaranteed in the traditional sense: a computationally secure protocol may become insecure if the attacker has a super-polynomial number of interactions with the protocol. This paper proposes a new paradigm for the analysis of long-lived security protocols. We allow entities to be active for a potentially unbounded amount of real time, provided they perform only a polynomial amount of work emph{per unit of real time}. Moreover, the space used by these entities is allocated dynamically and must be polynomially bounded. We propose a new notion of emph{long-term implementation}, which is an adaptation of computational indistinguishability to the long-lived setting. We show that long-term implementation is preserved under polynomial parallel composition and exponential sequential composition. We illustrate the use of this new paradigm by analyzing some security properties of the long-lived timestamping protocol of Haber and Kamat.
  • Long lived security; universally composable security;


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