On Asynchronous Group Key Agreement : Tripartite Asynchronous Ratchet Trees
Abstract: The subject of secure messaging has gained notable attention lately in the cryptographic community. For communications between two parties, paradigms such as the double ratchet, used in the Signal protocol, provide provably strong security guarantees such as forward secrecy and post-compromise security. Variations of the Signal protocol have enjoyed widespread adoption and are embedded in several well known messaging services, including Signal, WhatsApp and Facebook Secret Conversations. However, providing equally strong guarantees that scale well in group settings remains somewhat less well studied and is often neglected in practice. This motivated the need for the IETF Messaging Layer Security (MLS) working group. The first continuous group key agreement (CGKA) protocol to be proposed was Asynchronous Ratcheting Trees (ART) [Cohn-Gordon et al., 2018] and formed the basis of TreeKEM [Barnes et al., 2019], the CGKA protocol currently suggested for MLS. In this thesis we propose a new asynchronous group key agreement protocol based on a one-round Tripartite Diffie-Hellman [Joux, 2000]. Furthermore, we show that our protocol can be generalised for an n-ary asynchronous ratchet tree, assuming the existence of a one-round (n + 1)-way Diffie-Hellman key exchange, based on a n-multilinear map [Boneh and Silverberg, 2003]. We analyse ART, TreeKEM, and our proposals from a complexity theoretic perspective and show that our proposals improve the cost of update operations. Finally we present some discussion and improvements to the IETF MLS standard.
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