To my humble opinion, please correct me if I'm wrong, RSA-PSS (PKCS#1 ver 2.1) advantage over RSA as described in PKCS#1 ver. 1.5 is in its security proofs. Does this proof and the advantage is still there even if the "salt" in the RSA-PSS scheme is constant over all messages, or it conditioned in generating a random salt each and every signature? That is, does the security proof of RSA-PSS assumes random salt over messages?

Even if we make RSASSA-PSS deterministic by fixing its seed, it remains with a security proof in the Random Oracle Model per Full Domain Hashing (Jean-Sébastien Coron, On the Exact Security of Full Domain Hashing, in proceedings of Crypto 2000). We can't say the same for RSASSA-PKCS1-v1_5, because a lot of the message representative is fixed.

In practice, a better argument to use deterministic RSASSA-PSS rather than RSASSA-PKCS1-v1_5 is that vulnerable implementations of verification of RSASSA-PKCS1-v1_5 abound, when I know no vulnerable implementation of RSASSA-PSS verification (regardless of randomization), and this is less likely to happen accidentally.

However a practical argument against RSASSA-PSS is that it requires careful specification of the hash and the mask generation function: even if the later is almost universally MGF1, that could be with another hash (e.g. stuck to SHA-1) depending on implementations.

  • 1
    Could you give an example on how RSASSA-PKCS1-v1_5 is vulnerable and an example? Or should I ask this in a separate question? Maarten. – Maarten Bodewes Dec 4 at 14:46
  • @Maarten Bodewes: RSASSA-PKCS1-v1_5 as specified has no known vulnerability. Some incorrect implementations of its signature verification step are vulnerable. Example among dozens: CVE-2014-9934. For something more detailed, a questions seems in order, but I do not know if it is for or – fgrieu Dec 4 at 14:55
  • Yeah, if you skip validating the padding in its entirety then it may be vulnerable :P The incompetence of some people in the field is just astonishing. Goodness gracious. Thanks anyway. I'll leave it at that. – Maarten Bodewes Dec 4 at 15:13

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.