I am new in the field of cryptography, and I am having some troubles understanding a concept regarding the lattice dimension needed in the attack on ECDSA using several messages with L known bits of each nonce. In the paper "Recovering Secrets from Prefix-Dependant Leakage"

In Section 5 "Application to ECDSA", the authors stated that if we have a group of size n, and we are able to know k bits of the nonce of each signature, then the number of messages that we need (which is also the dimension of the lattice) is given by: d = n / (k - c), where c = log2(sqrt(πe/2)).

I am not understanding where did they get this relation from, neither where did the constant c come from. I have read many papers but couldn't really identify the origin.

I could be really thankful for your help. Thank you!

  • $\begingroup$ I believe it to be an heuristic bound, see appendix D of this paper $\endgroup$
    – Ruggero
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 8:14
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you so much ! This is exactly what I have been looking for ! @Ruggero $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 11:10

1 Answer 1


The constant is derived from the so-called Gaussian Heuristic, which is used to predict the expected length of the shortest vector of a random lattice. For the attack to work, one must ensure that the special vector that he is looking for will be the shortest, so that it can be found. We therefore compare the length of that to-be-found vector with the expected length of the shortest lattice vector.

from https://homepages.cwi.nl/~ducas/Thesis/thesis.pdf

  • $\begingroup$ Okay I think that I somehow got it . Thank you so much for the clarification ! @LeoDucas $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 11:12

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