Date: 11 Aug 2000

Long-Lived Broadcast Encryption

Abstract

In a broadcast encryption scheme, digital content is encrypted to ensure that only privileged users can recover the content from the encrypted broadcast. Key material is usually held in a “tamper-resistant,” replaceable, smartcard. A coalition of users may attack such a system by breaking their smartcards open, extracting the keys, and building “pirate decoders” based on the decryption keys they extract. In this paper we suggest the notion of long-lived broadcast encryption as a way of adapting broadcast encryption to the presence of pirate decoders and maintaining the security of broadcasts to privileged users while rendering all pirate decoders useless. When a pirate decoder is detected in a long-lived encryption scheme, the keys it contains are viewed as compromised and are no longer used for encrypting content. We provide both empirical and theoretical evidence indicating that there is a long-lived broadcast encryption scheme that achieves a steady state in which only a small fraction of cards need to be replaced in each epoch. That is, for any fraction β, the parameter values may be chosen in such a way to ensure that eventually, at most β of the cards must be replaced in each epoch.

Long-lived broadcast encryption schemes are a more comprehensive solution to piracy than traitor-tracing schemes, because the latter only seek to identify the makers of pirate decoders and don’t deal with how to maintain secure broadcasts once keys have been compromised. In addition, long-lived schemes are a more efficient long-term solution than revocation schemes, because their primary goal is to minimize the amount of recarding that must be done in the long term.