Bernstein bound on WCS is tight: Repairing luykx-preneel optimal forgeries

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Conference Article

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Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)


In Eurocrypt 2018, Luykx and Preneel described hash-key-recovery and forgery attacks against polynomial hash based Wegman-Carter-Shoup (WCS) authenticators. Their attacks require (formula presented) message-tag pairs and recover hash-key with probability about (formula presented) where n is the bit-size of the hash-key. Bernstein in Eurocrypt 2005 had provided an upper bound (known as Bernstein bound) of the maximum forgery advantages. The bound says that all adversaries making (formula presented) queries of WCS can have maximum forgery advantage (formula presented). So, Luykx and Preneel essentially analyze WCS in a range of query complexities where WCS is known to be perfectly secure. Here we revisit the bound and found that WCS remains secure against all adversaries making (formula presented) queries. So it would be meaningful to analyze adversaries with beyond birthday bound complexities. In this paper, we show that the Bernstein bound is tight by describing two attacks (one in the “chosen-plaintext model” and other in the “known-plaintext model”) which recover the hash-key (hence forges) with probability at least based on (formula presented) message-tag pairs. We also extend the forgery adversary to the Galois Counter Mode (or GCM). More precisely, we recover the hash-key of GCM with probability at least (formula presented) based on only (formula presented) encryption queries, where (formula presented) is the number of blocks present in encryption queries.

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