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Key Blinding for Signature Schemes
Fastly Inc.
475 Brannan St
San Francisco
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fde@00f.net
University of Waterloo
200 University Av West
Waterloo
Canada
ted@eeaton.ca
New York
United States of America
cfrg@tancre.de
Cloudflare, Inc.
101 Townsend St
San Francisco
United States of America
caw@heapingbits.net
AREA
WG Working Group
InternetDraft
This document describes extensions to existing digital signature schemes for key blinding.
The core property of signing with key blinding is that a blinded public key and
all signatures produced using the blinded key pair are independent of the
unblinded key pair. Moreover, signatures produced using blinded key pairs
are indistinguishable from signatures produced using unblinded key pairs.
This functionality has a variety of applications, including Tor onion services
and privacypreserving airdrop for bootstrapping cryptocurrency systems.
About This Document
The latest revision of this draft can be found at .
Status information for this document may be found at .
Discussion of this document takes place on the
CFRG Working Group mailing list (),
which is archived at .
Subscribe at .
Source for this draft and an issue tracker can be found at
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Introduction
Digital signature schemes allow a signer to sign a message using a private signing
key and produce a digital signature such that anyone can verify the digital signature
over the message with the public verification key corresponding to the signing key.
Digital signature schemes typically consist of three functions:
 KeyGen: A function for generating a private signing key skS and the corresponding
public verification key pkS.
 Sign(skS, msg): A function for signing an input message msg using a private
signing key skS, producing a digital signature sig.
 Verify(pkS, msg, sig): A function for verifying the digital signature sig over
input message msg against a public verification key pkS, yielding true if
the signature is valid and false otherwise.
In some applications, it's useful for a signer to produce digital signatures using
the same longterm private signing key such that a verifier cannot link any two signatures
to the same signer. In other words, the signature produced is independent of the
longterm privatesigning key, and the public verification key for verifying the
signature is independent of the longterm public verification key. This type of
functionality has a number of practical applications, including, for example,
in the Tor onion services protocol and privacypreserving airdrop
for bootstrapping cryptocurrency systems . It is also necessary for
a variant of the Privacy Pass issuance protocol .
One way to accomplish this is by signing with a private key which is a function of the
longterm private signing key and a freshly chosen blinding key, and similarly by producing
a public verification key which is a function of the longterm public verification key
and same blinding key. A signature scheme with this functionality is referred to as signing
with key blinding.
A signature scheme with key blinding aims to achieve unforgeability and unlinkability.
Informally, unforgeability means that one cannot produce a valid (message, signature)
pair for any blinding key without access to the private signing key. Similarly,
unlinkability means that one cannot distinguish between two signatures produced from
two separate key signing keys, and two signatures produced from the same signing
key but with different blinding keys.
This document describes extensions to EdDSA and ECDSA to enable
signing with key blinding. Security analysis of these extensions is currently underway;
see for more details.
This functionality is also possible with other signature schemes, including some postquantum
signature schemes , though such extensions are not specified here.
DISCLAIMER
This document is a work in progress and is still undergoing security analysis.
As such, it MUST NOT be used for real world applications. See
for additional information.
Conventions and Definitions
The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL
NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED",
"MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as
described in BCP 14 when, and only when, they
appear in all capitals, as shown here.
The following terms are used throughout this document to describe the blinding modification.

G: The standard base point.

sk: A signature scheme private key. For EdDSA, this is a a randomly generated
private seed of length 32 bytes or 57 bytes according to
or , respectively. For , sk is a random scalar
in the primeorder elliptic curve group.

pk(sk): The public key corresponding to the private key sk.

concat(x0, ..., xN): Concatenation of byte strings.
concat(0x01, 0x0203, 0x040506) = 0x010203040506.
 ScalarMult(pk, k): Multiply the public key pk by scalar k, producing a new
public key as a result.
 ModInverse(x, L): Compute the multiplicative inverse of x modulo L.
In pseudocode descriptions below, integer multiplication of two scalar values is denoted
by the * operator. For example, the product of two scalars x and y is denoted as x * y.
Key Blinding
At a high level, a signature scheme with key blinding allows signers to blind their
private signing key such that any signature produced with a private signing key and blinding
key is independent of the private signing key. Similar to the signing key, the blinding key
is also a private key. For example, the blind is a 32byte or 57byte random seed for Ed25519
or Ed448 variants, respectively, whereas the blind for ECDSA over P256 is a random value in
the scalar field for the P256 elliptic curve group.
In more detail, consider first the basic digital signature syntax, which is a combination of
the following functionalities:
 KeyGen: A function for generating a private and public key pair (skS, pkS).
 Sign(skS, msg): A function for signing a message msg with the given private key skS,
producing a signature sig.
 Verify(pkS, msg, sig): A function for verifying a signature sig over message msg
against the public key pkS, which returns 1 upon success and 0 otherwise.
Key blinding introduces three new functionalities for the signature scheme syntax:
 BlindKeyGen: A function for generating a private blind key.
 BlindPublicKey(pkS, bk, ctx): Blind the public verification key pkS using the private
blinding key bk and context ctx, yielding a blinded public key pkR.
 BlindKeySign(skS, bk, ctx, msg): Sign a message msg using the private signing key skS
with the private blind key bk and context ctx.
For a given bk produced from BlindKeyGen, key pair (skS, pkS) produced from
KeyGen, a context value ctx, and message msg, correctness requires the following
equivalence to hold with overwhelming probability:
Security requires that signatures produced using BlindKeySign are unlinkable from
signatures produced using the standard signature generation function with the same
private key.
When the context value is known, a signature scheme with key blinding may also support
the ability to unblind public keys. This is represented with the following function.
 UnblindPublicKey(pkR, bk, ctx): Unblind the public verification key pkR using the private
blinding key bk and context ctx.
For a given bk produced from BlindKeyGen, (skS, pkS) produced from KeyGen, and context
value ctx, correctness of this function requires the following equivalence to hold:
Considerations for choosing context strings are discussed in .
Ed25519ph, Ed25519ctx, and Ed25519
This section describes implementations of BlindPublicKey, UnblindPublicKey, and BlindKeySign as
modifications of routines in . BlindKeyGen invokes the key generation
routine specified in and outputs only the private key. This section
assumes a context value ctx has been configured or otherwise chosen by the application.
BlindPublicKey and UnblindPublicKey
BlindPublicKey transforms a private blind bk into a scalar for the edwards25519 group
and then multiplies the target key by this scalar. UnblindPublicKey performs essentially
the same steps except that it multiplies the target public key by the multiplicative
inverse of the scalar, where the inverse is computed using the order of the group L,
described in .
More specifically, BlindPublicKey(pk, bk, ctx) works as follows.
 Construct the blind_ctx as concat(bk, 0x00, ctx), where bk is a 32byte octet
string, hash the result using SHA512(blind_ctx), and store the digest in a 64octet
large buffer, denoted b. Interpret the lower 32 bytes buffer as a littleendian
integer, forming a secret scalar s. Note that this explicitly skips the buffer
pruning step in .
 Perform a scalar multiplication ScalarMult(pk, s), and output the encoding of the
resulting point as the public key.
UnblindPublicKey(pkR, bk, ctx) works as follows.
 Compute the secret scalar s from bk and ctx as in BlindPublicKey.
 Compute the sInv = ModInverse(s, L), where L is as defined in .
 Perform a scalar multiplication ScalarMult(pk, sInv), and output the encoding
of the resulting point as the public key.
BlindKeySign
BlindKeySign transforms a private key bk into a scalar for the edwards25519 group and a
message prefix to blind both the signing scalar and the prefix of the message used
in the signature generation routine.
More specifically, BlindKeySign(skS, bk, msg) works as follows:
 Hash the private key skS, 32 octets, using SHA512. Let h denote the
resulting digest. Construct the secret scalar s1 from the first
half of the digest, and the corresponding public key A1, as
described in . Let prefix1 denote the second
half of the hash digest, h[32],...,h[63].
 Construct the blind_ctx as concat(bk, 0x00, ctx), where bk is a 32byte octet
string, hash the result using SHA512(blind_ctx), and store the digest in a 64octet
large buffer, denoted b. Interpret the lower 32 bytes buffer as a littleendian
integer, forming a secret scalar s2. Note that this explicitly skips the buffer
pruning step in . Let prefix2 denote the second half of
the hash digest, b[32],...,b[63].
 Compute the signing scalar s = s1 * s2 (mod L) and the signing public key A = ScalarMult(G, s).
 Compute the signing prefix as concat(prefix1, prefix2).
 Run the rest of the Sign procedure in from step (2) onwards
using the modified scalar s, public key A, and string prefix.
Ed448ph and Ed448
This section describes implementations of BlindPublicKey, UnblindPublicKey, and BlindKeySign as
modifications of routines in . BlindKeyGen invokes the key generation
routine specified in and outputs only the private key. This section
assumes a context value ctx has been configured or otherwise chosen by the application.
BlindPublicKey and UnblindPublicKey
BlindPublicKey and UnblindPublicKey for Ed448ph and Ed448 are implemented just as these
routines are for Ed25519ph, Ed25519ctx, and Ed25519, except that SHAKE256 is used instead
of SHA512 for hashing the secret blind context, i.e., the concatenation of blind key bk
and context ctx, to a 114byte buffer (and using the lower 57bytes for the secret), and
the order of the edwards448 group L is as defined in . Note that
this process explicitly skips the buffer pruning step in .
BlindKeySign
BlindKeySign for Ed448ph and Ed448 is implemented just as this routine for Ed25519ph,
Ed25519ctx, and Ed25519, except in how the scalars (s1, s2), public keys (A1, A2),
and message strings (prefix1, prefix2) are computed. More specifically,
BlindKeySign(skS, bk, msg) works as follows:
 Hash the private key skS, 57 octets, using SHAKE256(skS, 117). Let h1 denote the
resulting digest. Construct the secret scalar s1 from the first
half of h1, and the corresponding public key A1, as described in
. Let prefix1 denote the second half of the
hash digest, h1[57],...,h1[113].
 Construct the blind_ctx as concat(bk, 0x00, ctx), where bk is a 57byte octet
string, hash the result using SHAKE256(blind_ctx, 117), and store the digest in a 117octet
digest, denoted h2. Interpret the lower 57 bytes buffer as a littleendian
integer, forming a secret scalar s2. Note that this explicitly skips the buffer
pruning step in . Let prefix2 denote the second half of
the hash digest, h2[57],...,h2[113].
 Compute the signing scalar s = s1 * s2 (mod L) and the signing public key A = ScalarMult(A1, s2).
 Compute the signing prefix as concat(prefix1, prefix2).
 Run the rest of the Sign procedure in from step (2) onwards
using the modified scalar s, public key A, and string prefix.
ECDSA
[[DISCLAIMER: Multiplicative blinding for ECDSA is known to be NOT be SUFCMAsecure in the presence of an adversary that controls the blinding value. describes this in the context of relatedkey attacks. This variant may likely be removed in followup versions of this document based on further analysis.]]
This section describes implementations of BlindPublicKey, UnblindPublicKey, and BlindKeySign as
functions implemented on top of an existing implementation. BlindKeyGen invokes the
key generation routine specified in and outputs only the private key. In the descriptions
below, let p be the order of the corresponding elliptic curve group used for ECDSA. For example, for
P256, p = 115792089210356248762697446949407573529996955224135760342422259061068512044369.
This section assumes a context value ctx has been configured or otherwise chosen by the application.
BlindPublicKey and UnblindPublicKey
BlindPublicKey multiplies the public key pkS by an augmented private key bk yielding a
new public key pkR. UnblindPublicKey inverts this process by multiplying the input public
key by the multiplicative inverse of the augmented bk. Augmentation here maps the private
key bk to another scalar using hash_to_field as defined in ,
with DST set to "ECDSA Key Blind", L set to the value corresponding to the target curve,
e.g., 48 for P256 and 72 for P384, expand_message_xmd with a hash function matching
that used for the corresponding digital signature algorithm, and prime modulus equal to
the order p of the corresponding curve. Letting HashToScalar denote this augmentation
process, and blind_ctx = concat(bk, 0x00, ctx), BlindPublicKey and UnblindPublicKey are
then implemented as follows:
BlindKeySign
BlindKeySign transforms the signing key skS by the private key bk along with
context ctx into a new signing key, skR, and then invokes the existing ECDSA
signing procedure. More specifically, skR = skS * HashToScalar(blind_ctx) (mod p),
where blind_ctx = concat(bk, 0x00, ctx).
Application Considerations
Choice of the context string ctx is applicationspecific. For example, in Tor ,
the context string is set to the concatenation of the longterm signer public key and an
integer epoch. This makes it so that unblinding a blinded public key requires knowledge of
the longterm public key as well as the blinding key. Similarly, in a ratelimited version
of Privacy Pass , the context is empty, thereby allowing unblinding by anyone
in possession of the blinding key.
Applications are RECOMMENDED to choose context strings that are distinct from other protocols
as a way of enforcing domain separation. See
for additional discussion around the construction of suitable domain separation values.
Security Considerations
The signature scheme extensions in this document aim to achieve unforgeability
and unlinkability. Informally, unforgeability means that one cannot produce a
valid (message, signature) pair for any blinding key without access to the
private signing key. Similarly, unlinkability means that one cannot distinguish
between two signatures produced from two independent key signing keys, and two
signatures produced from the same signing key but with different blinds. Security
analysis of the extensions in this document with respect to these two properties
is currently underway.
Preliminary analysis has been done for a variant of these extensions used for
identity key blinding routine used in Tor's Hidden Service feature .
For EdDSA, further analysis is needed to ensure this is compliant with the signature
algorithm described in .
The constructions in this document assume that both the signing and blinding keys
are private, and, as such, not controlled by an attacker.
demonstrate that ECDSA with attackercontrolled multiplicative blinding
for producing related keys can be abused to produce forgeries. In particular,
if an attacker can control the private blinding key used in BlindKeySign, they
can construct a forgery over a different message that validates under a different
public key. One mitigation to this problem is to change BlindKeySign such that the
signature is computed over the input message as well as the blind public key.
However, this would require verifiers to treat both the blind public key
and message as input to their verification interface. The construction in
does not require this change. However, further analysis is needed to
determine whether or not this construction is safe.
IANA Considerations
This document has no IANA actions.
Test Vectors
This section contains test vectors for a subset of the signature schemes
covered in this document.
Ed25519 Test Vectors
This section contains test vectors for Ed25519 as described in .
Each test vector lists the private key and blind seeds, denoted skS and bk
and encoded as hexadecimal strings, along with the public key pkS corresponding
to skS encoded has hexadecimal strings according to .
Each test vector also includes the blinded public key pkR computed from skS and bk,
denoted pkR and encoded has a hexadecimal string. Finally, each vector includes
the message and signature values, each encoded as hexadecimal strings.
ECDSA(P384, SHA384) Test Vectors
This section contains test vectors for ECDSA with P384 and SHA384, as
described in . Each test vector lists the signing and blinding keys,
denoted skS and bk, each serialized as a bigendian integers and encoded
as hexadecimal strings. Each test vector also blinded public key pkR,
encoded as compressed elliptic curve points according to . Finally,
each vector lists message and signature values, where the message is encoded
as a hexadecimal string, and the signature value is serialized as the
concatenation of scalars (r, s) and encoded as a hexadecimal string.
References
Normative References
Public Key Cryptography for the Financial Services Industry  The Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA)
American National Standards Institute
EdwardsCurve Digital Signature Algorithm (EdDSA)
This document describes elliptic curve signature scheme Edwardscurve Digital Signature Algorithm (EdDSA). The algorithm is instantiated with recommended parameters for the edwards25519 and edwards448 curves. An example implementation and test vectors are provided.
Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels
In many standards track documents several words are used to signify the requirements in the specification. These words are often capitalized. This document defines these words as they should be interpreted in IETF documents. This document specifies an Internet Best Current Practices for the Internet Community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements.
Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC 2119 Key Words
RFC 2119 specifies common key words that may be used in protocol specifications. This document aims to reduce the ambiguity by clarifying that only UPPERCASE usage of the key words have the defined special meanings.
Hashing to Elliptic Curves
Cloudflare, Inc.
Cornell Tech
Cloudflare, Inc.
Stanford University
Cloudflare, Inc.
This document specifies a number of algorithms for encoding or
hashing an arbitrary string to a point on an elliptic curve. This
document is a product of the Crypto Forum Research Group (CFRG) in
the IRTF.
Informative References
PostQuantum KeyBlinding for Authentication in Anonymity Networks
Tor directory protocol, version 3
n.d.
An airdrop that preserves recipient privacy
n.d.
Proving Security of Tor’s Hidden Service Identity Blinding Protocol
RateLimited Token Issuance Protocol
Google LLC
Fastly
Apple Inc.
Google LLC
Cloudflare
This document specifies a variant of the Privacy Pass issuance
protocol that allows for tokens to be ratelimited on a perorigin
basis. This enables origins to use tokens for use cases that need to
restrict access from anonymous clients.
Discussion Venues
This note is to be removed before publishing as an RFC.
Source for this draft and an issue tracker can be found at
https://github.com/tfpauly/privacyproxy.
On the Security of the Schnorr Signature Scheme and DSA Against RelatedKey Attacks
Hashing to Elliptic Curves
Cloudflare, Inc.
Cornell Tech
Cloudflare, Inc.
Stanford University
Cloudflare, Inc.
This document specifies a number of algorithms for encoding or
hashing an arbitrary string to a point on an elliptic curve. This
document is a product of the Crypto Forum Research Group (CFRG) in
the IRTF.
Acknowledgments
The authors would like to thank Dennis Jackson for helpful discussions
that informed the development of this draft.