Public-Key Cryptography in the Fine-Grained Setting 📺
Cryptography is largely based on unproven assumptions, which, while believable, might fail. Notably if $$P = NP$$, or if we live in Pessiland, then all current cryptographic assumptions will be broken. A compelling question is if any interesting cryptography might exist in Pessiland.A natural approach to tackle this question is to base cryptography on an assumption from fine-grained complexity. Ball, Rosen, Sabin, and Vasudevan [BRSV’17] attempted this, starting from popular hardness assumptions, such as the Orthogonal Vectors (OV) Conjecture. They obtained problems that are hard on average, assuming that OV and other problems are hard in the worst case. They obtained proofs of work, and hoped to use their average-case hard problems to build a fine-grained one-way function. Unfortunately, they proved that constructing one using their approach would violate a popular hardness hypothesis. This motivates the search for other fine-grained average-case hard problems.The main goal of this paper is to identify sufficient properties for a fine-grained average-case assumption that imply cryptographic primitives such as fine-grained public key cryptography (PKC). Our main contribution is a novel construction of a cryptographic key exchange, together with the definition of a small number of relatively weak structural properties, such that if a computational problem satisfies them, our key exchange has provable fine-grained security guarantees, based on the hardness of this problem. We then show that a natural and plausible average-case assumption for the key problem Zero-k-Clique from fine-grained complexity satisfies our properties. We also develop fine-grained one-way functions and hardcore bits even under these weaker assumptions.Where previous works had to assume random oracles or the existence of strong one-way functions to get a key-exchange computable in O(n) time secure against $$O(n^2)$$ adversaries (see [Merkle’78] and [BGI’08]), our assumptions seem much weaker. Our key exchange has a similar gap between the computation of the honest party and the adversary as prior work, while being non-interactive, implying fine-grained PKC.
Topology-Hiding Computation Beyond Semi-Honest Adversaries
Topology-hiding communication protocols allow a set of parties, connected by an incomplete network with unknown communication graph, where each party only knows its neighbors, to construct a complete communication network such that the network topology remains hidden even from a powerful adversary who can corrupt parties. This communication network can then be used to perform arbitrary tasks, for example secure multi-party computation, in a topology-hiding manner. Previously proposed protocols could only tolerate passive corruption. This paper proposes protocols that can also tolerate fail-corruption (i.e., the adversary can crash any party at any point in time) and so-called semi-malicious corruption (i.e., the adversary can control a corrupted party’s randomness), without leaking more than an arbitrarily small fraction of a bit of information about the topology. A small-leakage protocol was recently proposed by Ball et al. [Eurocrypt’18], but only under the unrealistic set-up assumption that each party has a trusted hardware module containing secret correlated pre-set keys, and with the further two restrictions that only passively corrupted parties can be crashed by the adversary, and semi-malicious corruption is not tolerated. Since leaking a small amount of information is unavoidable, as is the need to abort the protocol in case of failures, our protocols seem to achieve the best possible goal in a model with fail-corruption.Further contributions of the paper are applications of the protocol to obtain secure MPC protocols, which requires a way to bound the aggregated leakage when multiple small-leakage protocols are executed in parallel or sequentially. Moreover, while previous protocols are based on the DDH assumption, a new so-called PKCR public-key encryption scheme based on the LWE assumption is proposed, allowing to base topology-hiding computation on LWE. Furthermore, a protocol using fully-homomorphic encryption achieving very low round complexity is proposed.