Nadia Heninger: Lattice Attacks against Weak ECDSA Signatures in Cryptocurrencies

Friday, February 8, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:00pm
Hewlett, G882
Nadia Heninger


We compute hundreds of Bitcoin private keys and dozens of Ethereum, Ripple, SSH, and HTTPS private keys by carrying out cryptanalytic attacks against digital signatures contained in public blockchains and Internet-wide scans. The ECDSA signature algorithm requires the generation of a per-message secret nonce. This nonce must be generated perfectly uniformly, or else an attacker can exploit the nonce biases to compute the long-term signing key. We use a lattice-based algorithm for solving the hidden number problem to efficiently compute private ECDSA keys that were used with biased signature nonces due to multiple apparent implementation vulnerabilities.