International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Yu-Hsuan Huang


Adaptive versus Static Multi-oracle Algorithms, and Quantum Security of a Split-key PRF
Jelle Don Serge Fehr Yu-Hsuan Huang
In the first part of the paper, we show a generic compiler that transforms any oracle algorithm that can query multiple oracles adaptively, i.e., can decide on which oracle to query at what point dependent on previous oracle responses, into a static algorithm that fixes these choices at the beginning of the execution. Compared to naive ways of achieving this, our compiler controls the blow up in query complexity for each oracle individually, and causes a very mild blow up only. In the second part of the paper, we use our compiler to show the security of the very efficient hash-based split-key PRF proposed by Giacon, Heuer and Poettering (PKC 2018), in the quantum random oracle model. Using a split-key PRF as the key-derivation function gives rise to a secure a KEM combiner. Thus, our result shows that the hash-based construction of Giacon et al. can be safely used in the context of quantum attacks, for instance to combine a well-established but only classically-secure KEM with a candidate KEM that is believed to be quantum-secure. Our security proof for the split-key PRF crucially relies on our adaptive-to-static compiler, but we expect our compiler to be useful beyond this particular application. Indeed, we discuss a couple of other, known results from the literature that would have profitted from our compiler, in that these works had to go though serious complications in oder to deal with adaptivity.
On the Compressed-Oracle Technique, and Post-Quantum Security of Proofs of Sequential Work 📺
We revisit the so-called compressed oracle technique, introduced by Zhandry for analyzing quantum algorithms in the quantum random oracle model (QROM). To start off with, we offer a concise exposition of the technique, which easily extends to the parallel-query QROM, where in each query-round the considered algorithm may make several queries to the QROM in parallel. This variant of the QROM allows for a more fine-grained query-complexity analysis. Our main technical contribution is a framework that simplifies the use of (the parallel-query generalization of) the compressed oracle technique for proving query complexity results. With our framework in place, whenever applicable, it is possible to prove quantum query complexity lower bounds by means of purely classical reasoning. More than that, for typical examples the crucial classical observations that give rise to the classical bounds are sufficient to conclude the corresponding quantum bounds. We demonstrate this on a few examples, recovering known results but also obtaining new results. Our main target is the hardness of finding a q-chain with fewer than q parallel queries, i.e., a sequence x_0, x_1, ..., x_q with x_i = H(x_{i-1}) for all 1 \leq i \leq q. The above problem of finding a hash chain is of fundamental importance in the context of proofs of sequential work. Indeed, as a concrete cryptographic application of our techniques, we prove quantum security of the ``Simple Proofs of Sequential Work'' by Cohen and Pietrzak.


Kai-Min Chung (1)
Jelle Don (1)
Serge Fehr (2)
Tai-Ning Liao (1)