Fixing cracks in the concrete: Random oracles with auxiliary input, revisited

Yevgeniy Dodis, Siyao Guo, Jonathan Katz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We revisit the security of cryptographic primitives in the random-oracle model against attackers having a bounded amount of auxiliary information about the random oracle. This situation arises most naturally when an attacker carries out offline preprocessing to generate state (namely, auxiliary information) that is later used as part of an on-line attack, with perhaps the best-known example being the use of rainbow tables for function inversion. The resulting model is also critical to obtain accurate bounds against non-uniform attackers when the random oracle is instantiated by a concrete hash function. Unruh (Crypto 2007) introduced a generic technique (called presampling) for analyzing security in this model: a random oracle for which S bits of arbitrary auxiliary information can be replaced by a random oracle whose value is fixed in some way on P points; the two are distinguishable with probability at most O(√ST/P) by attackers making at most T oracle queries. Unruh conjectured that the distinguishing advantage could be made negligible for a sufficiently large polynomial P. We show that Unruh’s conjecture is false by proving that the distinguishing probability is at least Ω(ST/P). Faced with this negative general result, we establish new security bounds, — which are nearly optimal and beat pre-sampling bounds, — for specific applications of random oracles, including one-way functions, pseudorandom functions/generators, and message authentication codes. We also explore the effectiveness of salting as a mechanism to defend against offline preprocessing, and give quantitative bounds demonstrating that salting provably helps in the context of one-wayness, collision resistance, pseudorandom generators/functions, and message authentication codes. In each case, using (at most) n bits of salt, where n is the length of the secret key, we get the same security O(T/2n) in the random oracle model with auxiliary input as we get without auxiliary input. At the heart of our results is the compression technique of Gennaro and Trevisan, and its extensions by De, Trevisan and Tulsiani.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Cryptology – EUROCRYPT 2017 - 36th Annual International Conference on the Theory and Applications of Cryptographic Techniques, Proceedings
EditorsJesper Buus Nielsen, Jean-Sebastien Coron
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9783319566139
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume10211 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Fixing cracks in the concrete: Random oracles with auxiliary input, revisited'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this