On Fri, 2018-09-07 at 02:31 +0000, Gregory Maxwell wrote:
> Currently, Tor provides _no confidentiality at all_ in that threat
> model.  Part of why I think this enhancement is interesting is
> because
> without it BIP151 doesn't actually add anything for those p2p
> connections running over Tor, but with it -- it at least adds some
> long term confidentiality hedge.
Okay, sure, I was assuming that Tor will deploy it at some point. No
idea what the status is.

> > It's not worth the hassle, would hinder adoption,
> Why do you say this?
My assumption is that NewHope is harder to implement. If you just 
drop-in existing code, it's not. And I've neither implemented NewHope
nor Elligator Squared, so I may just be wrong.

> > impression of "bulletproof" security. Even worse, there will be too
> > many people that will suddenly
> > assume that Bitcoin is post-quantum secure.
> People already make that claim with respect to public key hashing.  I
> don't think "we shouldn't improve security because someone will
> mistake an improvement for perfection" is an an especially
> interesting
> argument.

I don't like the argument either but I think it's real.

> (Blockstream  previously wrote the SW forward transform for asset
> generation, but this requires the inverse too, as well as glue code.
> It also isn't clear to me if it's possible to make this construction
> constant time, which would be okay for BIP151 purposes but if we
> wanted to have a generic uniform encoder in libsecp256k1 I think we'd
> prefer it be constant time? maybe?)
No idea if it can be made constant time but yeah I think it's not
crucial in this case.

> I don't believe that indistinguishable keys are actually useful
> outside of the context of things like stegnographic embedding-- cases
> where protocol 'metadata' doesn't tell you that a key is there
> regardless.

I wasn't specific but my point is that these are indeed interesting
future directions. You can easily make the traffic look like any other
protocol which uses encryption. That's a really useful property if you
want to avoid censorship, even if traffic analysis still works. That's
true even if this it's not in the scope of this BIP, which is of course
the case.

If you ask me, that is more interesting than protecting against
potential decryption of P2P connections in a few decades. But I don't
have a definitive argument for this of course.

> I also prefer the contributory key model, but Pieter proved me on IRC
> last week that the attack form that I was concerned about was not
> possible.
> Do you actually have an attack in mind that you can spell out
> here?  I
> don't see a harm in changing that, but given that I'd already twice
> talked myself out of proposing the same thing, I'd like to understand
> if I'm missing something. :)

I don't have a harmful example but here is harmless one (that you
probably know because it's really the simplest one can think of):

A             M             B 
   -- aG -->
                 <-- bG --
                  -- aG -->
  <-- bG --

Now A and B share the same session id but any attempt to communicate
will fail because they both think that they're the initiator. Of course
that's not a big deal because M is in neither of those sessions. So
it's not an attack but it's a weird property of the key exchange. But I
think it's desirable to avoid such things if the cost to do so is very

Also, here is a better argument:

A             M             B 
   -- aG -->
                 <-- bG --
  <-- xG --
                  -- yG -->

After B's message, M's goal is create a collision of the session ids.
Since M can freely choose x and y, that's a birthday attack on the hash
function and needs 2^(l/2) work if the session id is l bits long.

Telegram has (had?) the same issue:

With the other variant, M cannot collect both aG and bG upfront:

A             M             B 
   -- aG -->
                  -- yG -->
                 <-- bG --
  <-- xG --

Now M can only choose x, so this is a second-preimage attack and takes
2^l work. So with the this variant, you can have a session id that's
only half the size. That's a real difference if session ids are meant
to be comparable by humans, e.g., over the phone. 

(I think) it's possible to even go further with a 3-way handshake:
A                M                B 
   -- H(aG) -->
                    -- H(yG) -->
                   <--  bG   --
  <--  xG   --
   --  aG   -->
                    --  yG   -->

Here M has no flexibility at all, so the probability of a successful
attack against a single key exchange is just 2^(-l). This is similar to
ZRTP. I'm not saying that we should do this, it's something worth
noting that.

> > Re-keying
> > =========
> > The problem with signalling re-keying in the length field is that
> > the length field is not covered
> > by the MAC.
> It's AAD data in the mac, unless I misunderstand the protocol.

Oh nevermind.

> Personally I'd prefer that we used a ciphersuite that effectively
> "rekeyed" every message-- along the lines of the constructions
> described https://blog.cr.yp.to/20170723-random.html   Unfortunately
> I
> was unable to find _any_ well analyized  authenticated encryption
> mode
> that has the fast erasure property.   It's too bad because it would
> be
> trivial to adhoc one (e.g. use the extra 32 bytes from the poly1305
> chacha run to update the keys for the next message).

That adhoc construction is a very interesting idea. Hm... Just fyi, the
closest that comes to my mind is:

> The norm in Bitcoin is to ignore messages you don't know how to parse
> anyways,  so there is no complexity that arises from "may negotiate"
> itself-- only from actually making use of that possibility in the
> future, so the merits of any particular usage could be decided when
> something wants to actually use it.  The purpose of pointing out "may
> negotiate" is, I think, primarily to avoid a debate about who would
> assign numbers from this limited space in the future-- and the answer
> just is that they're implementation defined (e.g. by the BIPs using
> them).

Yeah, my point was not to write the entire list in stone. That was not
really clear from my message, sorry. Of course, new message types can
be added later. But I don't see a big advantage in allowing both ASCII
strings and short IDs. So I wanted to say that the usage of short IDs
should be written stone.

On Fri, 2018-09-07 at 10:34 +0200, Jonas Schnelli wrote:
> > I didn't think about this in detail: maybe there are a few
> meaningful cases where padding could
> > hide the message length without too much overhead. (I'm not
> convinced, just a random thought.)
> I think a new message type that could contain message + pad would be
> trivial.
> Would this again be to obfuscate traffic patterns? Anti DPI is not
> the scope of BIP151.

Well, it's indeed to obfuscate traffic patterns but primarily for
confidentiality. If I see the length of the message, I can guess the
message type fairly well for example. (That's not no matter if my goal
as an attacker is to break your privacy or to censor your connection.
Of course more confidentiality helps also against DPI/censorship but
that was not my point here.)

> I was under the false impression that it is obvious to disconnect in
> those cases.

Yeah I think it's by far the most natural thing to do but it may be
better to make it explicit.


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