MLS Group Messaging: How Zero-Knowledge Can Secure Updates

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The Messaging Layer Security (MLS) protocol currently developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) aims at providing a secure group messaging solution. MLS aims for end-to-end security, including Forward Secrecy and Post Compromise Secrecy, properties well studied for one-to-one protocols. It proposes a tree-based regular asynchronous update of the group secrets, where a single user can alone perform a complete update. A main drawback is that a malicious user can create a denial of service attack by sending invalid update information. In this work, we propose a solution to prevent this kind of attacks, giving a checkpoint role to the server that transmits the messages. In our solution, the user sends to the server a proof that the update has been computed correctly, without revealing any information about this update. We use a Zero-Knowledge (ZK) protocol together with verifiable encryption as building blocks. As a main contribution, we provide two different ZK protocols to prove knowledge of the input of a pseudo random function implemented as a circuit, given an algebraic commitment of the output and the input.




Devigne, J., Duguey, C., & Fouque, P. A. (2021). MLS Group Messaging: How Zero-Knowledge Can Secure Updates. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) (Vol. 12973 LNCS, pp. 587–607). Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH.

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