Fooling an unbounded adversary with a short key, repeatedly: The honey encryption perspective

Xinze Li, Qiang Tang, Zhenfeng Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


This article is motivated by the classical results from Shannon that put the simple and elegant one-time pad away from practice: key length has to be as large as message length and the same key could not be used more than once. In particular, we consider encryption algorithm to be defined relative to specific message distributions in order to trade for unconditional security. Such a notion named honey encryption (HE) was originally proposed for achieving best possible security for password based encryption where secrete key may have very small amount of entropy. Exploring message distributions as in HE indeed helps circumvent the classical restrictions on secret keys.We give a new and very simple honey encryption scheme satisfying the unconditional semantic security (for the targeted message distribution) in the standard model (all previous constructions are in the random oracle model, even for message recovery security only). Our new construction can be paired with an extremely simple yet “tighter” analysis, while all previous analyses (even for message recovery security only) were fairly complicated and require stronger assumptions. We also show a concrete instantiation further enables the secret key to be used for encrypting multiple messages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2nd Conference on Information-Theoretic Cryptography, ITC 2021
EditorsStefano Tessaro
PublisherSchloss Dagstuhl- Leibniz-Zentrum fur Informatik GmbH, Dagstuhl Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9783959771979
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event2nd Conference on Information-Theoretic Cryptography, ITC 2021 - Virtual, Bertinoro, Italy
Duration: Jul 23 2021Jul 26 2021

Publication series

NameLeibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, LIPIcs
ISSN (Print)1868-8969


Conference2nd Conference on Information-Theoretic Cryptography, ITC 2021
CityVirtual, Bertinoro

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software


  • Honey encryption
  • Information theoretic encryption
  • Unconditional security


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