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  1. Digital Twins (DT) virtually model cyber-physical objects via sensory inputs by simulating or monitoring their behavior. Therefore, DTs usually harbor vast quantities of Internet of Things (IoT) components (e.g., sensors) that gather, process, and offload sensitive information (e.g., healthcare) to the cloud. It is imperative to ensure the trustworthiness of such sensitive information with long-term and compromise-resilient security guarantees. Digital signatures provide scalable authentication and integrity with non-repudiation and are vital tools for DTs. Post-quantum cryptography (PQC) and forward-secure signatures are two fundamental tools to offer long-term security and breach resiliency. However, NIST-PQC signature standards are exorbitantly costly for embedded DT components and are infeasible when forward-security is also considered. Moreover, NIST-PQC signatures do not admit aggregation, which is a highly desirable feature to mitigate the heavy storage and transmission burden in DTs. Finally, NIST recommends hybrid PQ solutions to enable cryptographic agility and transitional security. Yet, there is a significant gap in the state of the art in the achievement of all these advanced features simultaneously. Therefore, there is a significant need for lightweight digital signatures that offer compromise resiliency and compactness while permitting transitional security into the PQ era for DTs.

    We create a series of highly lightweight digital signatures called Hardware-ASisted Efficient Signature (HASES) that meets the above requirements. The core ofHASES is a hardware-assisted cryptographic commitment construct oracle (CCO) that permits verifiers to obtain expensive commitments without signer interaction. We created threeHASES schemes:PQ-HASES is a forward-secure PQ signature,LA-HASES is an efficient aggregate Elliptic-Curve signature, andHY-HASES is a novel hybrid scheme that combinesPQ-HASES andLA-HASES with novel strong nesting and sequential aggregation.HASES does not require a secure-hardware on the signer. We prove thatHASES schemes are secure and implemented them on commodity hardware and and 8-bit AVR ATmega2560. Our experiments confirm thatPQ-HASES andLA-HASES are two magnitudes of times more signer efficient than their PQ and conventional-secure counterparts, respectively.HY-HASES outperforms NIST PQC and conventional signature combinations, offering a standard-compliant transitional solution for emerging DTs. We open-sourceHASES schemes for public-testing and adaptation.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 21, 2024
  2. The Internet of Things (IoT) harbors a large number of resource-limited devices (e.g., sensors) that continuously generate and offload sensitive information (e.g., financial, health, personal). It is imperative the ensure the trustworthiness of this data with efficient cryptographic mechanisms. Digital signatures can offer scalable authentication with public verifiability and nonrepudiation. However, the state-of-the-art digital signatures do not offer the desired efficiency and are not scalable for the connected resource-limited IoT devices. This is without considering long term security features such as post-quantum security and forward security. In this paper, we summarize the main challenges to an energy-aware and efficient signature scheme. Then, we propose new scheme design improvements that uniquely embed different emerging technologies such as Mutli-Party Computation (MPC) and secure enclaves (e.g., Intel SGX) in order to secret-share confidential keys of low-end IoT devices across multiple cloud servers. We also envision building signature schemes with Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE) to enable verifiers to compute expensive commitments under encryption. We provide evaluation metrics that showcase the feasibility and efficiency of our designs for potential deployment on embedded devices in IoT. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 7, 2024
  3. Digital signatures provide scalable authentication with non-repudiation and therefore are vital tools for the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT applications harbor vast quantities of low-end devices that are expected to operate for long periods with a risk of compromise. Hence, IoT needs post-quantum cryptography (PQC) that respects the resource limitations of low-end devices while offering compromise resiliency (e.g., forward security). However, as seen in NIST PQC efforts, quantum-safe signatures are extremely costly for low-end IoT. These costs become prohibitive when forward security is considered. We propose a highly lightweight post-quantum digital signature called HArdware-Supported Efficient Signature (HASES) that meets the stringent requirements of resource-limited signers (processor, memory, bandwidth) with forward security. HASES transforms a key-evolving one-time hash-based signature into a polynomial unbounded one by introducing a public key oracle via secure enclaves. The signer is non-interactive and only generates a few hashes per signature. Unlike existing hardware-supported alternatives, HASES does not require secure-hardware on the signer, which is infeasible for low-end IoT. HASES also does not assume non-colluding servers that permit scalable verification. We proved that HASES is secure and implemented it on the commodity hardware and the 8-bit AVR ATmega2560 microcontroller. Our experiments confirm that HASES is 271  and 34  faster than (forward-secure) XMSS and (plain) Dilithium. HASES is more than twice and magnitude more energy-efficient than (forward-secure) ANT and (plain) BLISS, respectively, on an 8-bit device. We open-source HASES for public testing and adaptation. 
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  4. Internet of Things (IoT) and Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS) continuum permit cost-effective maintenance of security-sensitive information collected by IoT devices over cloud systems. It is necessary to guarantee the security of sensitive data in IoT-STaaS applications. Especially, log entries trace critical events in computer systems and play a vital role in the trustworthiness of IoT-STaaS. An ideal log protection tool must be scalable and lightweight for vast quantities of resource-limited IoT devices while permitting efficient and public verification at STaaS. However, the existing cryptographic logging schemes either incur significant computation/signature overhead to the logger or extreme storage and verification costs to the cloud. There is a critical need for a cryptographic forensic log tool that respects the efficiency requirements of the IoT-STaaS continuum. In this paper, we created novel digital signatures for logs called Optimal Signatures for secure Logging (OSLO), which are the first (to the best of our knowledge) to offer both small-constant signature and public key sizes with near-optimal signing and batch verification via various granularities. We introduce new design features such as one-time randomness management, flexible aggregation along with various optimizations to attain these seemingly conflicting properties simultaneously. Our experiments show that OSLO offers 50× faster verification (for 235 entries) than the most compact alternative with equal signature sizes, while also being several magnitudes of more compact than its most logger efficient counterparts. These properties make OSLO an ideal choice for the IoT-STaaS, wherein lightweight logging and efficient batch verification of massive-size logs are vital for the IoT edge and cold storage servers, respectively. 
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  5. Storage-as-a-service (STaaS) permits the client to outsource her data to the cloud, thereby reducing data management and maintenance costs. However, STaaS also brings significant data integrity and soundness concerns since the storage provider might not keep the client data intact and retrievable all the time (e.g., cost saving via deletions). Proof of Retrievability (PoR) can validate the integrity and retrievability of remote data effectively. This technique can be useful for regular audits to monitor data compromises, as well as to comply with standard data regulations. In particular, cold storage applications (e.g., MS Azure, Amazon Glacier) require regular and frequent audits with less frequent data modification. Yet, despite their merits, existing PoR techniques generally focus on other metrics (e.g., low storage, fast update, metadata privacy) but not audit efficiency (e.g., low audit time, small proof size). Hence, there is a need to develop new PoR techniques that achieve efficient data audit while preserving update and retrieval performance. In this paper, we propose Porla, a new PoR framework that permits efficient data audit, update, and retrieval functionalities simultaneously. Porla permits data audit in both private and public settings, each of which features asymptotically (and concretely) smaller audit-proof size and lower audit time than all the prior works while retaining the same asymptotic data update overhead. Porla achieves all these properties by composing erasure codes with verifiable computation techniques which, to our knowledge, is a new approach to PoR design. We address several challenges that arise in such a composition by creating a new homomorphic authenticated commitment scheme, which can be of independent interest. We fully implemented Porla and evaluated its performance on commodity cloud (i.e., Amazon EC2) under various settings. Experimental results demonstrated that Porla achieves two to four orders of magnitude smaller audit proof size with 4x–18000x lower audit time than all prior schemes in both private and public audit settings at the cost of only 2x–3x slower update. 
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  6. End-to-end encrypted file-sharing systems enable users to share files without revealing the file contents to the storage servers. However, the servers still learn metadata, including user identities and access patterns. Prior work tried to remove such leakage but relied on strong assumptions. Metal (NDSS '20) is not secure against malicious servers. MCORAM (ASIACRYPT '20) provides confidentiality against malicious servers, but not integrity. Titanium is a metadata-hiding file-sharing system that offers confidentiality and integrity against malicious users and servers. Compared with MCORAM, which offers confidentiality against malicious servers, Titanium also offers integrity. Experiments show that Titanium is 5x-200x faster or more than MCORAM. 
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  7. Certificates ensure the authenticity of users’ public keys, however their overhead (e.g., certificate chains) might be too costly for some IoT systems like aerial drones. Certificate-free cryptosystems, like identity-based and certificateless systems, lift the burden of certificates and could be a suitable alternative for such IoTs. However, despite their merits, there is a research gap in achieving compatible identity-based and certificateless systems to allow users from different domains (identity-based or certificateless) to communicate seamlessly. Moreover, more efficient constructions can enable their adoption in resource-limited IoTs. In this work, we propose new identity-based and certificateless cryptosystems that provide such compatibility and efficiency. This feature is beneficial for heterogeneous IoT settings (e.g., commercial aerial drones), where different levels of trust/control is assumed on the trusted third party. Our schemes are more communication efficient than their public key based counterparts, as they do not need certificate processing. Our experimental analysis on both commodity and embedded IoT devices show that, only with the cost of having a larger system public key, our cryptosystems are more computation and communication efficient than their certificate-free counterparts. We prove the security of our schemes (in the random oracle model) and open-source our cryptographic framework for public testing/adoption. 
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  8. null (Ed.)
    Audit logs play a crucial role in the security of computer systems and are targeted by the attackers due to their forensic value. Digital signatures are essential tools to ensure the authentication/integrity of logs with public verifiability and nonrepudiation. Especially, forward-secure and aggregate signatures (FAS) offer compromise-resiliency and append-only features such that an active attacker compromising a computer cannot tamper or selectively delete the logs collected before the breach. Despite their high-security, existing FAS schemes can only sign a small pre-defined number (K) of logs, and their key-size/computation overhead grows linearly with K. These limitations prevent a practical adoption of FAS schemes for digital forensics. In this paper, we created new signatures named COmpact and REsilient (CORE) schemes, which are (to the best of our knowledge) the first FAS that can sign (practically) unbounded number of messages with only a sub-linear growth in the keysize/computation overhead. Central to CORE is the creation of a novel K-time signature COREKBase that has a small-constant key generation overhead and public key size. We then develop CORE-MMM that harnesses COREK Base via forward-secure transformations. We showed that CORE-MMM significantly outperforms its alternatives for essential metrics. For instance, CORE-MMM provides more than two and one magnitudes faster key updates and smaller signatures, respectively, with smaller private keys. CORE-MMM also offers extra efficiency when the same messages are signed with evolving keys. We formally prove that CORE schemes are secure. Our analysis indicates that CORE schemes are ideal tools to enhance the trustworthiness of digital forensic applications. 
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  9. Oblivious Random Access Machine (ORAM) allows a client to hide the access pattern when accessing sensitive data on a remote server. It is known that there exists a logarithmic communication lower bound on any passive ORAM construction, where the server only acts as the storage service. This overhead, however, was shown costly for some applications. Several active ORAM schemes with server computation have been proposed to overcome this limitation. However, they mostly rely on costly homomorphic encryptions, whose performance is worse than passive ORAM. In this article, we propose S3ORAM, a new multi-server ORAM framework, which featuresO(1) client bandwidth blowup and low client storage without relying on costly cryptographic primitives. Our key idea is to harness Shamir Secret Sharing and a multi-party multiplication protocol on applicable binary tree-ORAM paradigms. This strategy allows the client to instruct the server(s) to perform secure and efficient computation on his/her behalf with a low intervention thereby, achieving a constant client bandwidth blowup and low server computational overhead. Our framework can also work atop a generalk-ary tree ORAM structure (k≥ 2). We fully implemented our framework, and strictly evaluated its performance on a commodity cloud platform (Amazon EC2). Our comprehensive experiments confirmed the efficiency of S3ORAM framework, where it is approximately 10× faster than the most efficient passive ORAM (i.e., Path-ORAM) for a moderate network bandwidth while being three orders of magnitude faster than active ORAM withO(1) bandwidth blowup (i.e., Onion-ORAM). We have open-sourced the implementation of our framework for public testing and adaptation.

     
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