Séminaire de Cryptographie

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Thibauld Feneuil

Syndrome Decoding in the Head – Shorter Signatures from Zero-Knowledge proofs

In this talk, I will present a new zero-knowledge proof of knowledge for the syndrome decoding (SD) problem on random linear codes. Instead of using permutations like most of the existing protocols, we rely on the MPC-in-the-head paradigm in which we reduce the task of proving the low Hamming weight of the SD solution to proving some relations between specific polynomials. Specifically, we propose a 5-round zero-knowledge protocol that proves the knowledge of a vector x such that y=Hx and wt(x)<= w and which achieves a soundness error closed to 1/N for an arbitrary N. While turning this protocol into a signature scheme, we achieve a signature size of 11-12 KB for 128-bit security when relying on the hardness of the SD problem on binary fields. Using larger fields (like F_{256}), we can produce fast signatures of around 8 KB. This allows us to outperform Picnic3 and to be competitive with SPHINCS+, both post-quantum signature candidates in the ongoing NIST standardization effort. Since the security relies on the hardness of the syndrome decoding problem for random linear codes which is known to be NP-hard and for which the cryptanalysis state of the art has been stable for many years, it results in a conservative signature scheme. Moreover, our scheme outperforms all the existing code-based signature schemes for the common « signature size + public key size » metric. Joint work with Antoine Joux and Matthieu Rivain.