[tor-dev] New paper by Goldberg, Stebila, and Ostaoglu with proposed circuit handshake

Ian Goldberg iang at cs.uwaterloo.ca
Thu May 12 10:57:54 UTC 2011

On Thu, May 12, 2011 at 05:32:06AM -0400, Berkant Ustaoglu wrote:
> There may be an alternative form of validation: instead of computing
> X^y and X^b, the shared secret can be set as X^8y and X^8b. The
> results is verified to not match identity point (assuming X \in G of
> course). This will kill any multiples coming from the cofactor 8. If
> I recall correctly something along these lines is going on in
> SP800-56A for ECMQV.

Indeed, private keys for curve25519 _must_ be multiples of 8, for
exactly this reason.  So b and y will already be multiples of 8, and if
the client's X is on the twist curve, it still ends up with large prime
order, and all is OK.

I think this suggestion merits examination, though:

> However, I'd still suggest to keep the check X \in G* if at least to
> serve as warning should there be a decision to move away from
> curve25519.

Indeed, any "optimizations" we do knowing we're using special properties
of curve25519 need to be thoroughly documents, preferably both as inline
comments and in the spec documentation.

   - Ian

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