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Robust Channels: Handling Unreliable Networks in the Record Layers of QUIC and DTLS 1.3

Fischlin, Marc ; Günther, Felix ; Janson, Christian (2024)
Robust Channels: Handling Unreliable Networks in the Record Layers of QUIC and DTLS 1.3.
In: Journal of Cryptology, 37 (2)
doi: 10.1007/s00145-023-09489-9
Article, Bibliographie

Abstract

The common approach in secure communication channel protocols is to rely on ciphertexts arriving in-order and to close the connection upon any rogue ciphertext. Cryptographic security models for channels generally reflect such design. This is reasonable when running atop lower-level transport protocols like TCP ensuring in-order delivery, as for example, is the case with TLS or SSH. However, protocols like QUIC or DTLS which run over a non-reliable transport such as UDP, do not—and in fact cannot—close the connection if packets are lost or arrive in a different order. Those protocols instead have to carefully catch effects arising naturally in unreliable networks, usually by using a sliding-window technique where ciphertexts can be decrypted correctly as long as they are not misplaced too far. In order to be able to capture QUIC and the newest DTLS version 1.3, we introduce a generalized notion of robustness of cryptographic channels. This property can capture unreliable network behavior and guarantees that adversarial tampering cannot hinder ciphertexts that can be decrypted correctly from being accepted. We show that robustness is orthogonal to the common notion of integrity for channels, but together with integrity and chosen-plaintext security it provides a robust analog of chosen-ciphertext security of channels. In contrast to prior work, robustness allows us to study packet encryption in the record layer protocols of QUIC and of DTLS 1.3 and the novel sliding-window techniques both protocols employ. We show that both protocols achieve robust chosen-ciphertext security based on certain properties of their sliding-window techniques and the underlying AEAD schemes. Notably, the robustness needed in handling unreliable network messages requires both record layer protocols to tolerate repeated adversarial forgery attempts. This means we can only establish non-tight security bounds (in terms of AEAD integrity), a security degradation that was missed in earlier protocol drafts. Our bounds led the responsible IETF working groups to introduce concrete forgery limits for both protocols and the IRTF CFRG to consider AEAD usage limits more broadly.

Item Type: Article
Erschienen: 2024
Creators: Fischlin, Marc ; Günther, Felix ; Janson, Christian
Type of entry: Bibliographie
Title: Robust Channels: Handling Unreliable Networks in the Record Layers of QUIC and DTLS 1.3
Language: English
Date: 30 January 2024
Publisher: Springer
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Cryptology
Volume of the journal: 37
Issue Number: 2
DOI: 10.1007/s00145-023-09489-9
Abstract:

The common approach in secure communication channel protocols is to rely on ciphertexts arriving in-order and to close the connection upon any rogue ciphertext. Cryptographic security models for channels generally reflect such design. This is reasonable when running atop lower-level transport protocols like TCP ensuring in-order delivery, as for example, is the case with TLS or SSH. However, protocols like QUIC or DTLS which run over a non-reliable transport such as UDP, do not—and in fact cannot—close the connection if packets are lost or arrive in a different order. Those protocols instead have to carefully catch effects arising naturally in unreliable networks, usually by using a sliding-window technique where ciphertexts can be decrypted correctly as long as they are not misplaced too far. In order to be able to capture QUIC and the newest DTLS version 1.3, we introduce a generalized notion of robustness of cryptographic channels. This property can capture unreliable network behavior and guarantees that adversarial tampering cannot hinder ciphertexts that can be decrypted correctly from being accepted. We show that robustness is orthogonal to the common notion of integrity for channels, but together with integrity and chosen-plaintext security it provides a robust analog of chosen-ciphertext security of channels. In contrast to prior work, robustness allows us to study packet encryption in the record layer protocols of QUIC and of DTLS 1.3 and the novel sliding-window techniques both protocols employ. We show that both protocols achieve robust chosen-ciphertext security based on certain properties of their sliding-window techniques and the underlying AEAD schemes. Notably, the robustness needed in handling unreliable network messages requires both record layer protocols to tolerate repeated adversarial forgery attempts. This means we can only establish non-tight security bounds (in terms of AEAD integrity), a security degradation that was missed in earlier protocol drafts. Our bounds led the responsible IETF working groups to introduce concrete forgery limits for both protocols and the IRTF CFRG to consider AEAD usage limits more broadly.

Additional Information:

Art.No.: 9

Divisions: 20 Department of Computer Science
20 Department of Computer Science > Cryptography and Complexity Theory
DFG-Collaborative Research Centres (incl. Transregio)
DFG-Collaborative Research Centres (incl. Transregio) > Collaborative Research Centres
DFG-Graduiertenkollegs
DFG-Graduiertenkollegs > Research Training Group 2050 Privacy and Trust for Mobile Users
Profile Areas
Profile Areas > Cybersecurity (CYSEC)
Forschungsfelder
Forschungsfelder > Information and Intelligence
Forschungsfelder > Information and Intelligence > Cybersecurity & Privacy
DFG-Collaborative Research Centres (incl. Transregio) > Collaborative Research Centres > CRC 1119: CROSSING – Cryptography-Based Security Solutions: Enabling Trust in New and Next Generation Computing Environments
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2024 14:18
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2024 08:10
PPN: 518978095
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