Tag Archives: Jan Willemson

Study on the lifecycle of cryptographic algorithms 2017

This year we have ordered and will publish cryptographic algorithms life cycle report in parts. The first part is now available.

The first and the most important chapter gives overview of the current state of algorithms.

The second chapter writes about the cryptographic side of the last fall ID card crisis. The report describes what happened, what was done and how on the cryptographic side the new solution (elliptic curves) for ID cards works.

The third chapter gives overview of block-chain technologies and in addition provides Estonian-language terminology for block-chain related English terms.

The report has been ordered by RIA and written by Cybernetica researchers Ahto Buldas, Jan Willemson and Arne Ansper.

Links:
https://blog.ria.ee/ria-kruptouuring-id-kaart-ja-plokiahelad/
https://www.ria.ee/public/RIA/kruptograafiliste_algoritmide_elutsukli_uuring_2017.pdf
https://geenius.ee/uudis/nsa-usub-et-eesti-id-kaart-peaks-vastu-pidama-ka-kvantarvuti-runnakule/

Estonian Voting Verification Mechanism Revisited (Again)


Two papers on the topic. The first:

Abstract: After the Estonian Parliamentary Elections held in 2011, an additional verification mechanism was integrated into the i-voting system in order to resist corrupted voting devices [..] However, the verification phase ends by displaying the cast vote in plain form on the verification device. [..] In this respect, we propose an alternative verification mechanism for the Estonian i-voting system to overcome this vulnerability.

The second:

Abstract: Recently, Muş, Kiraz, Cenk and Sertkaya proposed an improvement over the present Estonian Internet voting vote verification scheme. This paper points to the weaknesses and questionable design choices of the new scheme. We show that the scheme does not fix the vote privacy issue it claims to. It also introduces a way for a malicious voting application to manipulate the vote without being detected by the verification mechanism, hence breaking the cast-as-intended property. In addition, the proposal would seriously harm usability of the Estonian vote verification scheme.

TL;DR: Turkish researchers see a privacy risk in the verification process which lets voter’s mobile device to learn for whom the vote was given. Estonian researchers in the counter paper argue why the proposed improvements do not solve the issue, instead decreasing the security of the scheme.

Links:
https://eprint.iacr.org/2016/1125
https://eprint.iacr.org/2017/081

Case study on Estonian public transportation RFID/NFC card security

This report talks about security of NFC/RFID cards. It first describes the most widely-used type of cards, MIFARE Classic, and then considers a real-life application, namely Estonian public transportation cards. The communication between a real card reader installed in Tartu bus and a Tallinn public transportation card is eavesdropped and analysed on high level.

The report has been published for the UT course “Research Seminar in Cryptography (MTAT.07.022)”.

Links:
https://courses.cs.ut.ee/MTAT.07.022/2016_fall/uploads/Main/yauhen-report-f16.pdf
https://courses.cs.ut.ee/MTAT.07.022/2016_fall/uploads/Main/jan_project_fall_2016.pdf
http://geenius.ee/uudis/kruptograaf-tallinna-ja-tartu-uhistranspordisusteemid-piisavalt-turvalised/
http://geenius.ee/uudis/tudengid-leidsid-et-tallinna-ja-tartu-uhistranspordikaardid-ebaturvalised/

E-Vote-ID 2016: Improving the verifiability of the Estonian Internet Voting scheme

Estonian_internet_voting

Abstract. We describe an update of the Estonian Internet Voting scheme targeted towards adding verification capabilities to the central system. We propose measures to ensure the auditability of the correctness of vote decryption and i-ballot box integrity. The latter will be improved to a level where it would be possible to outsource the vote collection process to an untrusted party and later fully verify the correctness of its operations.

The short summary is that I-voting system used for local municipal elections in October 2017 will use ElGamal cryptosystem that can be plugged into mix-net. Currently it is not clear whether the general public will be allowed to verify mix-net inputs and outputs.

Links:
http://research.cyber.ee/~jan/publ/ivxv-evoteid.pdf

 

Study on the lifecycle of cryptographic algorithms 2016

cybernetica_ria_crypto_algorithms_report

This study is a natural continuation of three previous studies conducted in 2011, 2013 and 2015. The fourth version of cryptographic algorithms life cycle study published on June 9, has more than 10 authors and has 163 reference source. The 2016 report is the first one in its sequence to be written in English, because the study is unique on a global scale, and the previous versions has been of great international interest.

The foreword of the report has been written by Anto Veldre:

The Dutch DigiNotar case in 2011 demonstrated the hard choices a country faces if a PKI supporting its government’s IT systems is compromised. [..] Therefore, it was decided in 2011 to assemble a scientific task force to analyse the problems and risks that reliance on cryptography is posing on the sustainable functioning of our society.

Among the usual topics in cryptography, there is quite revealing section “Cryptographic protocols over radio connection”. For example, there the authors find that Estonian public transportation cards are vulnerable to various kinds of Denial of Service and cloning attacks:

The transportation cards in Tallinn are built on MIFARE Classic, whereas in Tartu MIFARE Ultralight C cards are used. However, even though both of the cards support cryptographic authentication, this functionality is not used. In both cases, the protocol running between the card and the reader is essentially the same, consisting of transmitting the card’s unique ID and a signature. [..] While this measure prevents unauthorised parties from issuing new cards, it does not stop the card cloning attack. [..] Cloning a card that carries a monthly ticket causes direct financial loss to the transportation service provider and must hence be urgently addressed.

Even though the ID fields of transportation cards are not writeable, other fields may be. This is for example the case with Tartu bus cards that allow e.g. the signature field to be overwritten by a standard app working on a regular NFC-capable smartphone. As a result, the card will become invalid, giving us a potential Denial of Service attack.

The report analyzes different radio frequency card technologies used for physical access control.  There are many problems – transparency issues, use of weak cryptography or no cryptography at all. The authors have also interviewed Hardmeier and G4S to study deployment issues. Some of the deployment issues revealed are quite disturbing:

Interview with a company installing NFC-based access control systems revealed that it is common practice to use same keys also in several installations, making e.g. door keys of one company work at the door of another company, too.

Links:
https://www.ria.ee/public/RIA/Cryptographic_Algorithms_Lifecycle_Report_2016.pdf
https://www.ria.ee/ee/eriik-2018-valmis-2016-aasta-kruptograafiliste-algoritmide-elutsukli-uuring.html
https://blog.ria.ee/ria-aastakonverentsi-i-sessiooni-otseblogi/

Log Analysis of Estonian Internet Voting 2013 – 2015

Log server

Conclusions
In this work we developed a systematic data analysis method that can be used to assess the state of an ongoing i-voting and to perform post-election analysis.
The log monitoring solution developed has been a useful tool for detecting software bugs and logging deficiencies, which might not have been otherwise detected.

Although the three elections analyzed in this study were different types of elections, we can see that most of the measured values are similar. Furthermore, taking into account all the observations, we can conclude that in KOV2013, EP2014 and RK2015, no large-scale attack against i-voters was carried out.

Links:
http://eprint.iacr.org/2015/1211.pdf
http://kodu.ut.ee/~arnis/slides_logmon.pdf

E-enabled elections in Estonia: Forum on research and development in 2015

Estonian_internet_voting

During the first half day, Estonian researchers will present the results of a 3-year scientific project that studied the Estonian flavour of verifiable Internet voting from both technical and social aspects. The second half of the first day will be devoted to the presentation of the development ideas of the Estonian solution. The second day holds additional interventions on the topic of remote online voting and offers brainstorming activity where feedback to the ideas of the first day will be gathered interactively.

Thursday (05.11.2015)
09:00 – 09:30 Registration
09:30 – 09:45 Opening keynote
09:45 – 10:30 Kristjan Vassil “Diffusion of Internet Voting in Estonia”
10:30 – 11:15 Mihkel Solvak “Impact of Verification on Trust toward Internet Voting”
11:15 – 11:45 Coffee break
11:45 – 12:15 Taavi Unt “Usage Patterns in Internet Voting Log Files”
12:15 – 13:45 Jan Willemson, Sven Heiberg and Arnis Paršovs “Log analysis of Estonian Internet
voting 2013-2015”
14:00 – 15:00 Lunch
16:00 – Coffee break
15:00 – 17:30 Tarvi Martens, Sven Heiberg and Jan Willemson “Estonian Internet voting 2017+”

Friday (06.11.2015)
10:00 – 10:30 Bingsheng Zhang “How to Achieve Unconditional Integrity in an End-to-end Verifiable E
voting System”
10:30 – 11:00 Kristjan Gjøsteen “A security usability study on the Norwegian e-voting system”
11:00 – 11:30 Carsten Schürmann “Creating Credible Elections”
11:30 – 12:00 Coffee break
12:00 – 12:30 Jurlind Budurushi “An Investigation into the Usability of Electronic Voting Systems with
Paper Audit Trails in the Context of Complex Elections”
12:30 – 13:00 Helger Lipmaa “Privacy and Accountability in Networks via Optimized Randomized Mixnets”
13:00 – 13:30 Filip Zagorski “Improving security of remote voting”
13:30 – 14:30 Lunch
15:00 – Coffee break
14:30 – 17:00 Argument game

Links:
http://cyber.ee/en/news/e-enabled-elections-in-estonia-forum-on-research-and-development-in-2015/

Call for ideas to improve Estonian Internet voting

Estonian_internet_voting

Electronic Voting Committee invites those interested in Internet voting to attend the day of ideas event, which will take place on Thursday, 18 June, 2015 from 11:00 to 15:00 in the hall of commandant house at Toompea street 1, Tallinn.

I-voting in Estonia has been used already for 8 elections in 10 years. The system has been continuously developed, but since the time of the next regular elections is after little more than two years, it is an opportune time for introducing something larger and more substantial.

Hence the aim for the day of ideas: everyone will have the opportunity to present his ideas or thoughts on how to make i-voting even better, more secure, more transparent, more reliable, etc. – invited are both technical and organizational improvement proposals.

To have a smooth management of the event:
a) register your participation no later than 16 June by sending an e-mail to vvk dot ee.
b) describe in a few sentences the idea and give an estimate on the time needed for the presentation. If you wish, you can show the slides.

Invited are also those who do not have their ideas, but still would like to participate in the debate about the ideas.

Additional information: Tarvi Martens (Head of the Committee)

Presentations:

Sven Heiberg “What is possible for 2017”
Ivo Kubjas “Mixnets – why, what and how?
Arnis Paršovs “Homomorphic Tallying for Estonian Internet Voting”
Tanel Tammet “About e-election problems”
Ahto Truu “Data integrity detection KSI service”

Links:
http://www.vvk.ee/valimiste-korraldamine/vvk-uudised/kutse-ideepaev-e-haaletamise-parenduseks/
http://vvk.ee/valimiste-korraldamine/elektroonilise-haaletamise-komisjon/ideepaev-2015/

EVOTE2014: Verifiable Internet Voting in Estonia

estonian_internet_voting_protocol

Abstract
This paper introduces an extension to the Estonian Internet voting scheme allowing the voters to check the cast-as-intended and recorded-as-cast properties of their vote by using a mobile device. The scheme was used during the 2013 Estonian local municipal elections and the 2014 European Parliament elections. 3.43% and 4.04% of all Internet votes were verified, respectively. We will present the details of the protocol, discuss the security thereof and the results of implementation.

Links:
http://www.e-voting.cc/en/portfolio-item/proceedings-evote2014/