Cryptanalysis of Curl-P and Other Attacks on the IOTA Cryptocurrency

  • Ethan Heilman Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America
  • Neha Narula Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America
  • Garrett Tanzer Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America
  • James Lovejoy Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America
  • Michael Colavita Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America
  • Madars Virza Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America
  • Tadge Dryja Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America
Keywords: cryptocurrencies, signature forgeries, cryptographic hash functions, cryptanalysis

Abstract

We present attacks on the cryptography formerly used in the IOTA blockchain, including under certain conditions the ability to forge signatures. We developed practical attacks on IOTA’s cryptographic hash function Curl-P-27, allowing us to quickly generate short colliding messages. These collisions work even for messages of the same length. Exploiting these weaknesses in Curl-P-27, we broke the EUCMA security of the former IOTA Signature Scheme (ISS). Finally, we show that in a chosen-message setting we could forge signatures and multi-signatures of valid spending transactions (called bundles in IOTA).

Published
2020-09-28
How to Cite
Heilman, E., Narula, N., Tanzer, G., Lovejoy, J., Colavita, M., Virza, M., & Dryja, T. (2020). Cryptanalysis of Curl-P and Other Attacks on the IOTA Cryptocurrency. IACR Transactions on Symmetric Cryptology, 2020(3), 367-391. https://doi.org/10.13154/tosc.v2020.i3.367-391
Section
Articles