Cryptography Beyond the Black-box Model (DFG – Emmy Noether)


German Science Foundation (DFG)


Cryptographic algorithms and protocols are widely implemented in practice and guarantee data confidentiality and integrity. They help to prevent fraud in, e.g., electronic payment systems, and play a fundamental role in daily life. Modern cryptography analyzes the security of cryptographic algorithms using a mathematical framework based on formal security definitions and a proof-driven security analysis. To this end, an adversarial model is defined that specifies the capabilities of an attacker and describes the environment in which cryptographic algorithms are executed. The most prominent security model is the black-box model, where cryptographic algorithms are assumed to be executed in a highly idealized environment.

Unfortunately, many examples illustrate that the idealized assumptions made in the black-box model often cease to hold when adversaries attack cryptographic implementations. This gap between idealized security models and the practical security of cryptographic implementations is shown by shortcomings such as bad randomness, side-channel attacks, and faulty and malicious implementations.

The main goal of the Emmy Noether project is to overcome these shortcomings and to develop a sound theory for the analysis of cryptographic implementations. The expected outcome of the project are new cryptographic techniques and security models for developing the next generation of cryptographic implementations.

The project “Cryptography Beyond the Black Box Model” is funded by the Emmy Noether Programme of the German Research Foundation (DFG).