CEILIDH is a public key cryptosystem based on the discrete logarithm problem in algebraic torus. This idea was first introduced by Alice Silverberg and Karl Rubin in 2003. The main advantage of those schemes is the reduced size of the keys for the same security than the basic schemes.

The name CEILIDH comes from the Scots Gaelic word ceilidh which means a traditional Scottish Gathering.



  • Let q be a prime power.
  • An integer n is chosen such that :
    • The torus T_n has an explicit rational parametrization.
    • \Phi_n(q) is divisible by a big prime l where \Phi_n is the n^{th} Cyclotomic polynomial.
  • Let m=\phi(n) where \phi is the Euler function.
  • Let \rho : T_n(\mathbb{F}_q) \rightarrow {\mathbb{F}_q}^m a birational map and its inverse \psi.
  • Choose \alpha \in T_n of order l and let g=\rho(\alpha)).

Key agreement schemeEdit

This Scheme is based on the Diffie-Hellman key agreement.

  • Alice choses a random number a\ \pmod{\Phi_n(q)}.
  • She computes P_A= \rho(\psi(g)^a) \in \mathbb{F}_q^m and sends it to Bob.
  • Bob choses a random number b\ \pmod{\Phi_n(q)}.
  • He computes P_B= \rho(\psi(g)^b) \in \mathbb{F}_q^m and sends it to Alice.
  • Alice computes \rho(\psi(P_B))^a) \in \mathbb{F}_q^m
  • Bob computes \rho(\psi(P_A))^b) \in \mathbb{F}_q^m

\psi o \phi is the identity, thus we have : \rho(\psi(P_B))^a) = \rho(\psi(P_A))^b) = \rho(\psi(g)^{ab}) which is the shared secret of Alice and Bob.

Encryption schemeEdit

This scheme is based on the ElGamal encryption.

  • Key Generation
    • Alice choses a random number a\ \pmod{ \Phi_n(q)} as her private key.
    • The resulting public key is P_A= \rho(\psi(g)^a) \in \mathbb{F}_q^m.
  • Encryption
    • The message M is an element of \mathbb{F}_q^m.
    • Bob choses a random integer k in the range 1\leq k \leq l-1.
    • Bob computes \gamma = \rho(\psi(g)^k) \in \mathbb{F}_q^m and \delta = \rho(\psi(M)\psi(P_A)^k) \in \mathbb{F}_q^m.
    • Bob sends the ciphertext (\gamma,\delta) to Alice.
  • Decryption
    • Alice computes M = \rho(\psi(\delta)\psi(\gamma)^{-a}).


The CEILIDH scheme is based on the ElGamal scheme and thus has similar security properties.

If the computational Diffie-Hellman assumption holds the underlying cyclic group G, then the encryption function is one-way[1].

If the decisional Diffie-Hellman assumption (DDH) holds in G, then CEILIDH achieves semantic security.[1] Semantic security is not implied by the computational Diffie-Hellman assumption alone[2]. See decisional Diffie-Hellman assumption for a discussion of groups where the assumption is believed to hold.

CEILIDH encryption is unconditionally malleable, and therefore is not secure under chosen ciphertext attack. For example, given an encryption (c_1, c_2) of some (possibly unknown) message m, one can easily construct a valid encryption (c_1, 2 c_2) of the message 2m.

See alsoEdit



  1. 1.0 1.1 CRYPTUTOR, "Elgamal encryption scheme"
  2. M. Abdalla, M. Bellare, P. Rogaway, "DHAES, An encryption scheme based on the Diffie-Hellman Problem" (Appendix A)
  • Karl Rubin, Alice Silverberg: Torus-Based Cryptography. CRYPTO 2003: 349–365

External linksEdit

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