I know how to do Cramer-Shoup with cyclic groups. But how do I do it in elliptic curve cryptography (ECC)?

Cramer-Shoup with cyclic groups

Following was taken from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cramer%E2%80%93Shoup_cryptosystem

Key Generation

  • Alice generates an efficient description of a cyclic group $G$ of order $q$ with two distinct, random generators $g_1, g_2$.
  • Alice chooses five random values $({x}_{1}, {x}_{2}, {y}_{1}, {y}_{2}, z)$ from $\{0, \ldots, q-1\}$.
  • Alice computes $c = {g}_{1}^{x_1} g_{2}^{x_2}, d = {g}_{1}^{y_1} g_{2}^{y_2}, h = {g}_{1}^{z}$.
  • Alice publishes $(c, d, h)$, along with the description of $G, q, g_1, g_2$, as her public key. Alice retains $(x_1, x_2, y_1, y_2, z)$ as her secret key. The group can be shared between users of the system.


To encrypt a message $m$ to Alice under her public key $(G,q,g_1,g_2,c,d,h)$,

  • Bob converts $m$ into an element of $G$.
  • Bob chooses a random $k$ from $\{0, \ldots, q-1\}$, then calculates:
    • $u_1 = {g}_{1}^{k}, u_2 = {g}_{2}^{k}$
    • $e = h^k m$
    • $\alpha = H(u_1, u_2, e)$, where ''H''() is a universal one-way hash function (or a collision-resistant cryptographic hash function, which is a stronger requirement).
    • $v = c^k d^{k\alpha}$
  • Bob sends the ciphertext $(u_1, u_2, e, v)$ to Alice.


To decrypt a ciphertext $(u_1, u_2, e, v)$ with Alice's secret key $(x_1, x_2, y_1, y_2, z)$,

  • Alice computes $\alpha = H(u_1, u_2, e) \,$ and verifies that ${u}_{1}^{x_1} u_{2}^{x_2} ({u}_{1}^{y_1} u_{2}^{y_2})^{\alpha} = v \,$. If this test fails, further decryption is aborted and the output is rejected.
  • Otherwise, Alice computes the plaintext as $m = e / ({u}_{1}^{z}) \,$.

The decryption stage correctly decrypts any properly-formed ciphertext, since

$ {u}_{1}^{z} = {g}_{1}^{k z} = h^k \,$, and $m = e / h^k. \,$

If the space of possible messages is larger than the size of $G$, then Cramer–Shoup may be used in a hybrid cryptosystem to improve efficiency on long messages.


  • How to convert Cramer-Shoup into ECC?
  • How do I prove the security of ECC Cramer-Shoup?


Cramer, Ronald, and Victor Shoup (1998). “A practical public key cryptosystem provably secure against adaptive chosen ciphertext attack.” Advances in Cryptology—CRYPTO'98, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 1462, ed. Hugo Krawczyk. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 13–25.

Crosspost: https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/3643951/elliptic-curve-public-key-encryption-schemes-cramer-shoup


1 Answer 1


How to convert Cramer-Shoup into ECC?

Because Cramer-Shoup restricts itself to using only group operations (and never using a single value as both a scalar and a group member), it can translate directly into elliptic curve group operations. What you quoted are the operations listed in multiplicative form, and so:

  • When the protocol says to select a cyclic group $G$ of order $q$, you'd pick an elliptic curve, with $q$ being the order of the large prime subgroup.

  • When the protocol specifies $g^x$, this is the point multiplication of $g$ times the scalar $x$, that is, what is more typically written as $x \cdot g = \underbrace{g+g+...+g}_{x\text{ times}}$

  • When the protocol specifies $gh$, this is point addition of $g$ and $h$, which is more typically written as $g+h$

  • When the protocol specifies $g/h$, this is point subtraction of $g$ and $h$, which is more typically written as $g-h$

For example, the original has $c = g_1^{x_1} g_2^{x_2}$; this would be understood as (written in additive notation) $c = x_1\cdot g_1 + x_2 \cdot g_2$. That is, you perform the point multiplication of the scalar $x_1$ with the point $g_1$, and you perform the point multiplication of $x_2$ with the point $g_2$, and then you add the two resulting points.

The hardest part would be the conversion of $m$ into an elliptic curve point. Of course, you can avoid the issue entirely if you're doing hybrid crypto (just pick a valid point $m$ randomly, and then use $KDF(m)$ as the transmitted symmetric key). If that doesn't work for your scenario, one alternative method is to encode the value $m$ into some of the bits of the $x$ coordinate, and they try random settings of the remaining bits until you get a valid $x$ coordinate (e.g. if you're using a Weierstrass curve with $p>3$, then $x^3 + ax + b$ is a quadratic residue); then, select the $y$ coordinate from the two possibilities randomly.

How do I prove the security of ECC Cramer-Shoup?

The proof in the original Cramer-Shoup paper assumed that the Decisional Diffie-Hellman problem was hard in the group; as long as you select a curve where that is also hard (pairing friendly curves are not an option), the original proof would apply.


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