International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Pravesh Kothari


Public-Key Encryption, Local Pseudorandom Generators, and the Low-Degree Method
Alon Rosen Andrej Bogdanov Pravesh Kothari
The low-degree method postulates that no efficient algorithm outperforms low-degree polynomials in certain hypothesis-testing tasks. It has been used to understand computational indistinguishability in high-dimensional statistics. We explore the use of the low-degree method in the context of cryptography. To this end, we apply it in the design and analysis of a new public-key encryption scheme whose security is based on Goldreich's pseudorandom generator. The scheme is a combination of two proposals of Applebaum, Barak, and Wigderson, and inherits desirable features from both.
Sum-of-Squares Meets Program Obfuscation, Revisited
We develop attacks on the security of variants of pseudo-random generators computed by quadratic polynomials. In particular we give a general condition for breaking the one-way property of mappings where every output is a quadratic polynomial (over the reals) of the input. As a corollary, we break the degree-2 candidates for security assumptions recently proposed for constructing indistinguishability obfuscation by Ananth, Jain and Sahai (ePrint 2018) and Agrawal (ePrint 2018). We present conjectures that would imply our attacks extend to a wider variety of instances, and in particular offer experimental evidence that they break assumption of Lin-Matt (ePrint 2018).Our algorithms use semidefinite programming, and in particular, results on low-rank recovery (Recht, Fazel, Parrilo 2007) and matrix completion (Gross 2009).