Key derivation without entropy waste

Yevgeniy Dodis, Krzysztof Pietrzak, Daniel Wichs

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


We revisit the classical problem of converting an imperfect source of randomness into a usable cryptographic key. Assume that we have some cryptographic application P that expects a uniformly random m-bit key R and ensures that the best attack (in some complexity class) against P(R) has success probability at most δ. Our goal is to design a key-derivation function (KDF) h that converts any random source X of min-entropy k into a sufficiently "good" key h(X), guaranteeing that P(h(X)) has comparable security δ′ which is 'close' to δ. Seeded randomness extractors provide a generic way to solve this problem for all applications P, with resulting security δ′ = O(δ), provided that we start with entropy k ≥ m + 2 log (1/δ) - O(1). By a result of Radhakrishnan and Ta-Shma, this bound on k (called the "RT-bound") is also known to be tight in general. Unfortunately, in many situations the loss of 2 log (1/δ) bits of entropy is unacceptable. This motivates the study KDFs with less entropy waste by placing some restrictions on the source X or the application P. In this work we obtain the following new positive and negative results in this regard: - Efficient samplability of the source X does not help beat the RT-bound for general applications. This resolves the SRT (samplable RT) conjecture of Dachman-Soled et al. [DGKM12] in the affirmative, and also shows that the existence of computationally-secure extractors beating the RT-bound implies the existence of one-way functions. - We continue in the line of work initiated by Barak et al. [BDK+11] and construct new information-theoretic KDFs which beat the RT-bound for large but restricted classes of applications. Specifically, we design efficient KDFs that work for all unpredictability applications P (e.g., signatures, MACs, one-way functions, etc.) and can either: (1) extract all of the entropy k = m with a very modest security loss δ′ = O(δ·log (1/δ)), or alternatively, (2) achieve essentially optimal security δ′ = O(δ) with a very modest entropy loss k ≥ m + loglog (1/δ). In comparison, the best prior results from [BDK+11] for this class of applications would only guarantee δ′ = O(√δ) when k = m, and would need k ≥ m + log (1/δ) to get δ′ = O(δ). - The weaker bounds of [BDK+11] hold for a larger class of so-called "square- friendly" applications (which includes all unpredictability, but also some important indistinguishability, applications). Unfortunately, we show that these weaker bounds are tight for the larger class of applications. - We abstract out a clean, information-theoretic notion of (k,δ,δ′)- unpredictability extractors, which guarantee "induced" security δ′ for any δ-secure unpredictability application P, and characterize the parameters achievable for such unpredictability extractors. Of independent interest, we also relate this notion to the previously-known notion of (min-entropy) condensers, and improve the state-of-the-art parameters for such condensers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Cryptology, EUROCRYPT 2014 - 33rd Annual International Conference on the Theory and Applications of Cryptographic Techniques, Proceedings
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9783642552199
StatePublished - 2014
Event33rd Annual International Conference on the Theory and Applications of Cryptographic Techniques, EUROCRYPT 2014 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: May 11 2014May 15 2014

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume8441 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other33rd Annual International Conference on the Theory and Applications of Cryptographic Techniques, EUROCRYPT 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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