I've read our recent question: "One-time pad using RSA and Diffie-Hellman functions" which asks about the security of a particular way to convert RSA and discrete exponentiation into a stream cipher. The approach didn't work out, as expected, knowing that it was an interview question.

Now, the following question came over me:
Is it (constructively) possible to create a stream cipher whose IND-CPA security can be directly reduced to a well-known number-theoretic assumption?

To be clear: I'd like to know (out of curiosity, no deployment intended) whether there exists a stream cipher which is as hard to break as CDH (or another assumption) with no other assumptions (no random oracles, no constructed PRPs like AES, no constructed PRFs like SHA-2, ...) and if such a stream cipher can exist , I'd also like to know how to build it (e.g. give a brief description please).

Example assumptions: "factoring is hard", "the RSA problem is hard", DLOG, CDH, DDH

  • $\begingroup$ I'm open for improvements to the title of the question and / or any parts of the question (please just suggest an edit then). $\endgroup$
    – SEJPM
    Apr 7, 2016 at 18:38
  • $\begingroup$ There are many examples, e.g., Blum-Goldwasser is based on "factoring is hard." More generally, any public-key encryption can be used to share a random seed for a stream cipher. Such a stream cipher can be built from any PRG, which can be built based on any of the assumptions you list. $\endgroup$ Apr 7, 2016 at 19:10
  • $\begingroup$ @ChrisPeikert, sounds like an answer too me... $\endgroup$
    – SEJPM
    Apr 7, 2016 at 19:12
  • $\begingroup$ I wonder if DualEC-DRBG fits the bill. $\endgroup$ Apr 7, 2016 at 19:18

1 Answer 1



one-way permutation ​ + ​ strong hard-core functions
pseudorandom generator
stream cipher

The keystream is concatenation of the strong hard-core function's values at
the iterates of the one-way permutation on the key. ​ ( k,f(k),f(f(k)),f(f(f(k))),... )


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