## CryptoDB

### Thomas Attema

#### Publications

**Year**

**Venue**

**Title**

2024

CIC

Communication-Efficient Multi-Party Computation for RMS Programs
Abstract

<p> Despite much progress, general-purpose secure multi-party computation (MPC) with active security may still be prohibitively expensive in settings with large input datasets. This particularly applies to the secure evaluation of graph algorithms, where each party holds a subset of a large graph. Recently, Araki et al. (ACM CCS '21) showed that dedicated solutions may provide significantly better efficiency if the input graph is sparse. In particular, they provide an efficient protocol for the secure evaluation of “message passing” algorithms, such as the PageRank algorithm. Their protocol's computation and communication complexity are both $\tilde{O}(M\cdot B)$ instead of the $O(M^2)$ complexity achieved by general-purpose MPC protocols, where $M$ denotes the number of nodes and $B$ the (average) number of incoming edges per node. On the downside, their approach achieves only a relatively weak security notion; $1$-out-of-$3$ malicious security with selective abort.</p><p> In this work, we show that PageRank can instead be captured efficiently as a restricted multiplication straight-line (RMS) program, and present a new actively secure MPC protocol tailored to handle RMS programs. In particular, we show that the local knowledge of the participants can be leveraged towards the first maliciously-secure protocol with communication complexity linear in $M$, independently of the sparsity of the graph. We present two variants of our protocol. In our communication-optimized protocol, going from semi-honest to malicious security only introduces a small communication overhead, but results in quadratic computation complexity $O(M^2)$. In our balanced protocol, we still achieve a linear communication complexity $O(M)$, although with worse constants, but a significantly better computational complexity scaling with $O(M\cdot B)$. Additionally, our protocols achieve security with identifiable abort and can tolerate up to $n-1$ corruptions. </p>

2023

PKC

On Homomorphic Secret Sharing from Polynomial-Modulus LWE
Abstract

Homomorphic secret sharing (HSS) is a form of secret sharing that supports the local evaluation of functions on the shares, with applications to multi-server private information retrieval, secure computation, and more.
Insisting on additive reconstruction, all known instantiations of HSS from "Learning with Error (LWE)"-type assumptions either have to rely on LWE with superpolynomial modulus, come with non-negligible error probability, and/or have to perform expensive ciphertext multiplications, resulting in bad concrete efficiency.
In this work, we present a new 2-party local share conversion procedure, which allows to locally convert noise encoded shares to non-noise plaintext shares such that the parties can detect whenever a (potential) error occurs and in that case resort to an alternative conversion procedure.
Building on this technique, we present the first HSS for branching programs from (Ring-)LWE with polynomial input share size which can make use of the efficient multiplication procedure of Boyle et al. (Eurocrypt 2019) and and has no correctness error. Our construction comes at the cost of a - on expectation - slightly increased output share size (which is insignificant compared to the input share size) and a more involved reconstruction procedure.
More concretely, we show that in the setting of 2-server private information retrieval we can choose ciphertext sizes of only a quarter of the size of the scheme of Boyle et al. at essentially no extra cost.

2023

TCC

Generalized Special-Sound Interactive Proofs and their Knowledge Soundness
Abstract

A classic result in the theory of interactive proofs shows that a {\em special-sound} $\Sigma$-protocol is automatically a {\em proof of knowledge}. This result is very useful to have, since the latter property is typically tricky to prove from scratch, while the former is often easy to argue\,---\,{\em if} it is satisfied. While classic $\Sigma$-protocols often are special-sound, this is unfortunately not the case for many recently proposed, highly efficient interactive proofs, at least not in this strict sense. Motivated by this, the original result was recently generalized to $k$-special-sound $\Sigma$-protocols (for arbitrary, polynomially bounded $k$), and to multi-round versions thereof. This generalization is sufficient to analyze (e.g.) Bulletproofs-like protocols, but is still insufficient for many other examples.
In this work, we push the relaxation of the special soundness property to the extreme, by allowing an {\em arbitrary} access structure $\Gamma$ to specify for which subsets of challenges it is possible to compute a witness, when given correct answers to these challenges (for a fixed first message). Concretely, for any access structure $\Gamma$, we identify parameters $t_\Gamma$ and $\kappa_\Gamma$, and we show that any $\Gamma$-special-sound $\Sigma$-protocol is a proof of knowledge with knowledge error $\kappa_\Gamma$ if $t_\Gamma$ is polynomially bounded. Similarly for multi-round protocols.
We apply our general result to a couple of simple but important example protocols, where we obtain a tight knowledge error as an immediate corollary. Beyond these simple examples, we analyze the FRI protocol. Here, showing the general special soundness notion is non-trivial, but can be done (for a certain range of parameters) by recycling some of the techniques used to argue ordinary soundness of the protocol (as an IOP). Again as a corollary, we then derive that the FRI protocol, as an interactive proof by using a Merkle-tree commitment, has a knowledge extractor with almost optimal knowledge error, with the caveat that the extractor requires (expected) quasi-polynomial time.
% is a proof of knowledge with almost optimal knowledge error.
Finally, building up on the technique for the parallel repetition of $k$-special-sound $\Sigma$-protocols, we show the same strong parallel repetition result for $\Gamma$-special-sound $\Sigma$-protocol and its multi-round variant.

2023

JOFC

Fiat–Shamir Transformation of Multi-Round Interactive Proofs (Extended Version)
Abstract

The celebrated Fiat–Shamir transformation turns any public-coin interactive proof into a non-interactive one, which inherits the main security properties (in the random oracle model) of the interactive version. While originally considered in the context of 3-move public-coin interactive proofs, i.e., so-called $$\varSigma $$ Σ -protocols, it is now applied to multi-round protocols as well. Unfortunately, the security loss for a $$(2\mu + 1)$$ ( 2 μ + 1 ) -move protocol is, in general, approximately $$Q^\mu $$ Q μ , where Q is the number of oracle queries performed by the attacker. In general, this is the best one can hope for, as it is easy to see that this loss applies to the $$\mu $$ μ -fold sequential repetition of $$\varSigma $$ Σ -protocols, but it raises the question whether certain (natural) classes of interactive proofs feature a milder security loss. In this work, we give positive and negative results on this question. On the positive side, we show that for $$(k_1, \ldots , k_\mu )$$ ( k 1 , … , k μ ) -special-sound protocols (which cover a broad class of use cases), the knowledge error degrades linearly in Q , instead of $$Q^\mu $$ Q μ . On the negative side, we show that for t -fold parallel repetitions of typical $$(k_1, \ldots , k_\mu )$$ ( k 1 , … , k μ ) -special-sound protocols with $$t \ge \mu $$ t ≥ μ (and assuming for simplicity that t and Q are integer multiples of $$\mu $$ μ ), there is an attack that results in a security loss of approximately $$\frac{1}{2} Q^\mu /\mu ^{\mu +t}$$ 1 2 Q μ / μ μ + t .

2022

CRYPTO

Parallel Repetition of $(k_1,\dots,k_{\mu})$-Special-Sound Multi-Round Interactive Proofs
📺
Abstract

In many occasions, the knowledge error $\kappa$ of an interactive proof is not small enough, and thus needs to be reduced. This can be done generically by repeating the interactive proof in parallel. While there have been many works studying the effect of parallel repetition on the {\em soundness error} of interactive proofs and arguments, the effect of parallel repetition on the {\em knowledge error} has largely remained unstudied. Only recently it was shown that the $t$-fold parallel repetition of {\em any} interactive protocol reduces the knowledge error from $\kappa$ down to $\kappa^t +\nu$ for any non-negligible term $\nu$. This generic result is suboptimal in that it does not give the knowledge error $\kappa^t$ that one would expect for typical protocols, and, worse, the knowledge error remains non-negligible.
In this work we show that indeed the $t$-fold parallel repetition of any $(k_1,\dots,k_{\mu})$-special-sound multi-round public-coin interactive proof optimally reduces the knowledge error from $\kappa$ down to $\kappa^t$. At the core of our results is an alternative, in some sense more fine-grained, measure of quality of a dishonest prover than its success probability, for which we show that it characterizes when knowledge extraction is possible. This new measure then turns out to be very convenient when it comes to analyzing the parallel repetition of such interactive proofs.
While parallel repetition reduces the knowledge error, it is easily seen to {\em increase} the {\em completeness error}. For this reason, we generalize our result to the case of $s$-out-of-$t$ threshold parallel repetition, where the verifier accepts if $s$ out of $t$ of the parallel instances are accepting. An appropriately chosen threshold $s$ allows both the knowledge error and completeness error to be reduced simultaneously.

2022

TCC

Fiat-Shamir Transformation of Multi-Round Interactive Proofs
Abstract

The celebrated Fiat-Shamir transformation turns any public-coin interactive proof into a non-interactive one, which inherits the main security properties (in the random oracle model) of the interactive version. While originally considered in the context of 3-move public-coin interactive proofs, i.e., so-called $\Sigma$-protocols, it is now applied to multi-round protocols as well. Unfortunately, the security loss for a $(2\mu + 1)$-move protocol is, in general, approximately $Q^\mu$, where $Q$ is the number of oracle queries performed by the attacker. In general, this is the best one can hope for, as it is easy to see that this loss applies to the $\mu$-fold sequential repetition of $\Sigma$-protocols, but it raises the question whether certain (natural) classes of interactive proofs feature a milder security loss.
In this work, we give positive and negative results on this question. On the positive side, we show that for $(k_1, \ldots, k_\mu)$-special-sound protocols (which cover a broad class of use cases),
the knowledge error degrades linearly in $Q$, instead of $Q^\mu$. On the negative side, we show that for $t$-fold \emph{parallel repetitions} of typical $(k_1, \ldots, k_\mu)$-special-sound protocols with $t \geq \mu$ (and assuming for simplicity that $t$ and $Q$ are integer multiples of $\mu$),
there is an attack that results in a security loss of approximately~$\frac12 Q^\mu /\mu^{\mu+t}$.

2022

TCC

Vector Commitments over Rings and Compressed $\Sigma$-Protocols
Abstract

Compressed $\Sigma$-Protocol Theory (CRYPTO 2020) presents an ``alternative'' to Bulletproofs that achieves the same communication complexity while adhering more elegantly to existing $\Sigma$-protocol theory, which enables their techniques to be directly applicable to other widely used settings in the context of ``plug \& play'' algorithmics.
Unfortunately, their techniques are restricted to arithmetic circuits over \emph{prime} fields, which rules out the possibility of using more machine-friendly moduli such as powers of $2$, which have proven to improve efficiency in applications.
In this work we show that such techniques can be generalized to the case of arithmetic circuits modulo \emph{any} number.
This enables the use of powers of $2$, which can prove to be beneficial for efficiency, but it also facilitates the use of other moduli that might prove useful in different applications.
In order to achieve this, we first present an instantiation of the main building block of the theory of compressed $\Sigma$-protocols, namely compact vector commitments.
Our construction, which may be of independent interest, is homomorphic modulo \emph{any} positive integer $m$, a result that was not known in the literature before.
Second, we generalize Compressed $\Sigma$-Protocol Theory from finite fields to $\mathbb{Z}_m$.
The main challenge here is ensuring that there are large enough challenge sets as to fulfill the necessary soundness requirements, which is achieved by considering certain ring extensions.
Our techniques have direct application for example to verifiable computation on homomorphically encrypted data.

2021

CRYPTO

Compressing Proofs of k-Out-Of-n Partial Knowledge
📺
Abstract

In a proof of partial knowledge, introduced by Cramer, Damg{\aa}rd and Schoenmakers (CRYPTO 1994), a prover knowing witnesses for some $k$-subset of $n$ given public statements can convince the verifier of this claim without revealing which $k$-subset.
Their solution combines $\Sigma$-protocol theory and linear secret sharing, and achieves linear communication complexity for general $k,n$.
Especially the ``one-out-of-$n$'' case $k=1$ has seen myriad applications during the last decades, e.g., in electronic voting, ring signatures, and confidential transaction systems.
In this paper we focus on the discrete logarithm (DL) setting, where the prover claims knowledge of DLs of $k$-out-of-$n$ given elements.
Groth and Kohlweiss (EUROCRYPT 2015) have shown how to solve the special case $k=1$ %, yet arbitrary~$n$,
with {\em logarithmic} (in $n$) communication, instead of linear as prior work. However, their method takes explicit advantage of $k=1$ and does not generalize to $k>1$.
Alternatively, an {\em indirect} approach for solving the considered problem is by translating the $k$-out-of-$n$ relation into a circuit and then applying communication-efficient circuit ZK. Indeed, for the $k=1$ case this approach has been highly optimized, e.g., in ZCash.
Our main contribution is a new, simple honest-verifier zero-knowledge proof protocol for proving knowledge of $k$ out of $n$ DLs with {\em logarithmic} communication and {\em for general $k$ and $n$}, without requiring any generic circuit ZK machinery.
Our solution puts forward a novel extension of the {\em compressed} $\Sigma$-protocol theory (CRYPTO 2020), which we then utilize to compress a new $\Sigma$-protocol for proving knowledge of $k$-out-of-$n$ DL's down to logarithmic size. The latter $\Sigma$-protocol is inspired by the CRYPTO 1994 approach, but a careful re-design of the original protocol is necessary for the compression technique to apply.
Interestingly, {\em even for $k=1$ and general $n$} our approach improves prior {\em direct} approaches as it reduces prover complexity without increasing the communication complexity.
Besides the conceptual simplicity,
we also identify regimes of
practical relevance where our approach achieves asymptotic and concrete improvements,
e.g., in proof size and prover complexity, over the generic approach based on circuit-ZK.
Finally, we show various extensions and generalizations of our core result. For instance, we extend our protocol to proofs of partial knowledge of Pedersen (vector) commitment openings, and/or to include a proof that the witness satisfies some additional constraint, and we show how to extend our results to non-threshold access structures.

2021

CRYPTO

A Compressed Sigma-Protocol Theory for Lattices
📺
Abstract

We show a \emph{lattice-based} solution for commit-and-prove transparent circuit zero-knowledge (ZK) with \emph{polylog-communication}, the \emph{first} not depending on PCPs.
We start from \emph{compressed $\Sigma$-protocol theory} (CRYPTO 2020), which is built around basic $\Sigma$-protocols for opening an arbitrary linear form on a long secret vector that is compactly committed to. These protocols are first compressed using a recursive ``folding-technique'' adapted from Bulletproofs, at the expense of logarithmic rounds. Proving in ZK that the secret vector satisfies a given constraint -- captured by a circuit -- is then by (blackbox) reduction to the linear case, via arithmetic secret-sharing techniques adapted from MPC. Commit-and-prove is also facilitated, i.e., when commitment(s) to the secret vector are created ahead of any circuit-ZK proof.
On several platforms (incl.\ DL) this leads to logarithmic communication. Non-interactive versions follow from Fiat-Shamir.
This abstract modular theory strongly suggests that it should somehow be supported by a lattice-platform \emph{as well}. However, when going through the motions and trying to establish low communication (on a SIS-platform), a certain significant lack in current understanding of multi-round protocols is exposed.
Namely, as opposed to the DL-case, the basic $\Sigma$-protocol in question typically has \emph{poly-small challenge} space. Taking into account the compression-step -- which yields \emph{non-constant} rounds -- and the necessity for parallelization to reduce error, there is no known tight result that the compound protocol admits an efficient knowledge extractor. We resolve the state of affairs here by a combination of two novel results which are fully general and of independent interest. The first gives a tight analysis of efficient knowledge extraction in case of non-constant rounds combined with poly-small challenge space, whereas the second shows that parallel repetition indeed forces rapid decrease of knowledge error.
Moreover, in our present context, arithmetic secret sharing is not defined over a large finite field but over a quotient of a number ring and this forces our careful adaptation of how the linearization techniques are deployed.
We develop our protocols in an abstract framework that is conceptually simple and can be flexibly instantiated. In particular, the framework applies to arbitrary rings and norms.

2021

ASIACRYPT

Compressed Sigma-Protocols for Bilinear Group Arithmetic Circuits and Application to Logarithmic Transparent Threshold Signatures
📺
Abstract

Lai et al. (CCS 2019) have shown how Bulletproof’s arithmetic circuit zero-knowledge protocol (Bootle et al., EUROCRYPT 2016 and B{\"u}nz et al., S\&P 2018) can be generalized to work for bilinear group arithmetic circuits directly, i.e., without requiring these circuits to be translated into arithmetic circuits.
In a nutshell, a bilinear group arithmetic circuit is a standard arithmetic circuit augmented with special gates capturing group exponentiations or pairings. Such circuits are highly relevant, e.g., in the context of zero-knowledge statements over pairing-based languages. As expressing these special gates in terms of a standard arithmetic circuit results in a significant overhead in circuit size, an approach to zero-knowledge via standard arithmetic circuits may incur substantial additional costs. The approach due to Lai et al. shows how to avoid this by integrating additional zero-knowledge techniques into the Bulletproof framework so as to handle the special gates very efficiently.
We take a different approach by generalizing {\em Compressed $\Sigma$-Protocol Theory} (CRYPTO 2020) from arithmetic circuit relations to bilinear group arithmetic circuit relations. Besides its conceptual simplicity, our approach has the practical advantage of reducing the communication costs of Lai et al.'s protocol by roughly a multiplicative factor $3$.
Finally, we show an application of our results which may be of independent interest. We construct the first $k$-out-of-$n$ threshold signature scheme (TSS) that allows for transparent setup {\em and} that yields threshold signatures of size logarithmic in $n$. The threshold signature hides the identities of the $k$ signers and the threshold $k$ can be dynamically chosen at aggregation time.

2020

CRYPTO

Compressed Sigma-Protocol Theory and Practical Application to Plug & Play Secure Algorithmics
📺
Abstract

Sigma-Protocols provide a well-understood basis for secure algorithmics. Recently, Bulletproofs (Bootle et al., EUROCRYPT 2016, and Bünz et al., S&P 2018) have been proposed as a drop-in replacement in case of zero-knowledge (ZK) for arithmetic circuits, achieving logarithmic communication instead of linear. Its pivot is an ingenious, logarithmic-size proof of knowledge BP for certain quadratic relations. However, reducing ZK for general relations to it forces a somewhat cumbersome ``reinvention'' of cryptographic protocol theory.
We take a rather different viewpoint and reconcile Bulletproofs with Sigma-Protocol Theory such that (a) simpler circuit ZK is developed within established theory, while (b) achieving exactly the same logarithmic communication.
The natural key here is linearization. First, we repurpose BPs as a blackbox compression mechanism for standard Sigma-Protocols handling ZK proofs of general linear relations (on compactly committed secret vectors); our pivot. Second, we reduce the case of general nonlinear relations to blackbox applications of our pivot via a novel variation on arithmetic secret sharing based techniques for Sigma-Protocols (Cramer et al., ICITS 2012). Orthogonally, we enhance versatility by enabling scenarios not previously addressed, e.g., when a secret input is dispersed across several commitments. Standard implementation platforms leading to logarithmic communication follow from a Discrete-Log assumption or a generalized Strong-RSA assumption. Also, under a Knowledge-of-Exponent Assumption (KEA) communication drops to constant, as in ZK-SNARKS.
All in all, our theory should more generally be useful for modular (``plug & play'') design of practical cryptographic protocols; this is further evidenced by our separate work (2020) on proofs of partial knowledge.

2020

CRYPTO

Practical Product Proofs for Lattice Commitments
📺
Abstract

We construct a practical lattice-based zero-knowledge argument for proving multiplicative relations between committed values. The underlying commitment scheme that we use is the currently most efficient one of Baum et al. (SCN 2018), and the size of our multiplicative proof is only slightly larger than of the one for just proving knowledge of the committed values. We additionally improve on the results of Lyubashevsky and Seiler (Eurocrypt 2018) to show that the above-mentioned techniques can work over rings $Z_q[X]/(X^d+1)$ where $X^d+1$ splits into low-degree factors, which is a property necessary for many applications. In particular, we use Fourier analysis to show that the NTT coefficients of random small-norm challenges are not concentrated on any particular value.

#### Coauthors

- Thomas Attema (12)
- Pedro Capitão (2)
- Ignacio Cascudo (1)
- Ronald Cramer (5)
- Ivan Damgård (1)
- Vincent Dunning (1)
- Daniel Escudero (1)
- Serge Fehr (5)
- Michael Klooß (2)
- Lisa Kohl (3)
- Vadim Lyubashevsky (1)
- Matthieu Rambaud (1)
- Nicolas Resch (1)
- Gregor Seiler (1)
- Aron van Baarsen (1)
- Stefan van den Berg (1)