Efficient Modular Exponentiation-Based Puzzles for Denial-of-Service Protection

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Executive Summary

Client puzzles are moderately-hard cryptographic problems - neither easy nor impossible to solve - that can be used as a counter-measure against denial of service attacks on network protocols. Puzzles based on modular exponentiation are attractive as they provide important properties such as non-parallelisability, deterministic solving time, and linear granularity. The authors propose an efficient client puzzle based on modular exponentiation. Their puzzle requires only a few modular multiplications for puzzle generation and verification. For a server under denial of service attack, this is a significant improvement as the best known non-parallelisable puzzle proposed by Karame and Capkun (ESORICS 2010) requires at least 2k-bit modular exponentiation, where k is a security parameter.

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