CCSDS Security WG - . I. Aguilar, D. Fischer CCSDS Fall 2012 Meeting, Cleveland, USA 15/10/2012. Motivation.
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As part of a general effort to strengthen TT&C links against denial-of-service attacks (jamming), ESA initiated research on two specific topics:
Cryptographic sequences to be applied on spread spectrum communications with multiple-user access capability and
Advanced synchronization techniques able to acquire such ultra-long codes under signal dynamic conditions (Doppler, jerk) experienced by various missions topologies as well as under stress (jamming).
Such research was funded with an activity of the ESA Technology Research Programme (TRP). Thales Alenia Space (Italy), a leading European supplier of ‘robust’ transponders, teamed up with Prof. J. Massey, a well-known authority on both pseudo-noise sequences and cryptography.
The research effort delivered good results. A family of pseudo-noise sequences that can provide both cryptographic strength and controlled cross-correlation, vital for multi-user access was identified.
Cryptographic Pseudo-Noise Sequences:
LetPNCRbe the cryptographically strong1 PN sequence that is assigned to every satellite.
LetPNMA(i)be the periodic1 PN spreading sequence whose first period corresponds to the phase of the maximal-length sequence that is assigned to theithsatellite.
Spreading sequencePN(i)used by the G/S for transmission to theithsatellite is the Hadamard productof PNCRand PNMA(i), i.e.,
Furthermore, techniques to quickly synchronize very long PN sequences were identified, analysed and evaluated.
Those techniques, based on frequency-domain signal processing algorithms (Generalized Zero Padding), have improved several orders of magnitude the performance compared with classical serial search techniques.
In combination with a clever 3-step acquisition protocol, they allow to transit from an already long PN sequence (2exp 22) to a cryptographic sequence in a few seconds.
Some details of the acquisition technique can be found on the following paper presented at MILCOM 2011.
Fast acquisition techniques for very long PN codes for On-Board Secure TTC transponders, L. Simone, G.Fittipaldi, I. Aguilar Sánchez.
Phase 1, focusing on providing scientific basis for the determination of crypto periods for TC and TM secure communications links on space missions based on symmetric algorithms; 2 generic missions considered with GEO and LEO orbits;
Phase 2, looking at the use of trusted modules for key management/recovery;
Phase 3, investigating more complex mission topologies like those relying on space networks and the application of asymmetric algorithms to support key management.
Results of first phase:
Draft Technical Report produced;
Paper recently presented at IEEE AESS ESTEL 2012 Conference.
On the Specification of Symmetric Key Management Parameters for Secure Space Missions, MarcioJuliato, Catherine Gebotys, Ignacio Aguilar Sanchez.
This workshop is part of ECRYPT, the European Network of Excellence in Cryptology; this is a network funded by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme.
This workshop gathered top cryptographers and practitioners in industry and academia like
B. Preneel, Univ. KatoliekLeuven (Belgium);
P. Rogaway, Univ. of California at Davis, USA;
J. Daemen, STM Microelectronics, AES father;
A, McGrew, CISCO, USA (AES-GCM father);
The following website provides relevant information:
ESA presented a ‘white paper’ with a view to inform the research community and possibly trigger their interest about the particular requirements, issues, constraints and concerns of authenticated encryption:
Authenticated encryption in civilian space missions: context and requirements, I. Aguilar Sánchez, D. Fischer
Space considered a user community at one (tough) end of the spectrum of user requirements (T. Lange dixit);
At opposite end one can find the so-called ‘lightweight cryptography’ (e.g. embedded processors);
Some surprise shown by the anticipated need for a MAC longer than 128 bits (D. McGrew);
Doubt raised about the true security strength given by a particular MAC length, triggered by conversation with P. Rogaway; apparently a 128-bit MAC would give 128-bit security (not 64-bit); question still to be solved!
NIST and some top non-European Universities (USA, Japan) actively involved in the Workshop;
Possibly a new competition for an advanced AE algorithm in the pipeline; certainly, a lot of interest by represented parties; however, who would fund it?