[curves] Use cases for PAKE?

Arlo Breault arlolra at gmail.com
Wed Mar 19 11:44:16 PDT 2014

PANDA's an interesting use case for EKE2.


On Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 11:30 AM, Trevor Perrin <trevp at trevp.net> wrote:

> Hi,
> One thing we could discuss is Elliptic Curve PAKEs (Password Authenticated
> Key Exchange).
> There's some ideas worth exploring due to expiry of Lucent patents;
> developments such as SPAKE2, J-PAKE, and AugPAKE; and "hashing to curve"
> algorithms like SWU and Elligator [1,2].  For example, Mike Hamburg's ideas
> in [3] seem promising.
> But are there good use cases to focus discussion?  Possibilities -
>  * PAKE for the web has been attempted in TLS (RFC 5054) with little
> interest from browsers or sites.  Partly this is a layering problem
> (username in clear, too early in the connection, and the TLS terminator is
> the wrong place for client auth).  But there are deeper UI problems:
>  browsers would have to display an unspoofable dialog; users would have to
> be trained to enter certain passwords only into this dialog; and sites
> would lose control of login UI.  Client auth for the web seems likely to
> evolve in other directions (e.g. password managers, 2-factor, federation).
>  * SSH already has J-PAKE which (I think?) is rarely used, though I'm not
> sure why.  If part of the reason is performance, is there room for
> improvement here?
>  * IEEE 802.11s I think has standardized on "Simultaneous Authentication
> of Equals" (aka Dragonfly) as an EC PAKE. I don't know if it's seen real
> deployment, nor do I understand the "mesh networking" scenario it's being
> used for, which seems different from just authenticating a client to an AP.
>  Anyone know more?
>  * There are smaller, more specialized uses of PAKE for protocols like
> online backups or device pairing.  E.g. I think Chrome is (using?
> investigating?) SPAKE2 for "chromoting", whatever that is.
> Anyways, it's not clear that there are strong-enough use cases to motivate
> a good discussion and keep it on track.  Though I wish there were!  PAKEs
> are cool, it seems like they should be useful somewhere.
> Other thoughts?
> Trevor
> [1] http://eprint.iacr.org/2009/340.pdf
> [2] http://elligator.cr.yp.to
> [3] http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/cfrg/current/msg03840.html
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