International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Thibauld Feneuil


Syndrome Decoding in the Head: Shorter Signatures from Zero-Knowledge Proofs 📺
Thibauld Feneuil Antoine Joux Matthieu Rivain
Zero-knowledge proofs of knowledge are useful tools to design signature schemes. The ongoing effort to build a quantum computer motivates the cryptography community to develop new secure cryptographic protocols based on quantum-hard cryptographic problems. One of the few directions is code-based cryptography for which the strongest problem is the syndrome decoding (SD) for random linear codes. This problem is known to be NP-hard and the cryptanalysis state of the art has been stable for many years. A zero-knowledge protocol for this problem was pioneered by Stern in 1993. Since its publication, many articles proposed optimizations, implementation, or variants. In this paper, we introduce a new zero-knowledge proof for the syndrome decoding problem on random linear codes. Instead of using permutations like most of the existing protocols, we rely on the MPC-in-the-head paradigm in which we reduce the task of proving the low Hamming weight of the SD solution to proving some relations between specific polynomials. We propose a 5-round zero-knowledge protocol that proves the knowledge of a vector x such that y=Hx and \wt(x) <= w and which achieves a soundness error closed to 1/N for an arbitrary N. While turning this protocol into a signature scheme, we achieve a signature size of 11-12 KB for a 128-bit security when relying on the hardness of the SD problem on binary fields. Using bigger fields (like \F_{2^8}), we can produce fast signatures of around 8 KB. This allows us to outperform Picnic3 and to be competitive with SPHINCS+, both post-quantum signature candidates in the ongoing NIST standardization effort. Moreover, our scheme outperforms all the existing code-based signature schemes for the common ``signature size + public key size'' metric.
Zero-Knowledge Protocols for the Subset Sum Problem from MPC-in-the-Head with Rejection
We propose (honest verifier) zero-knowledge arguments for the modular subset sum problem. Previous combinatorial approaches, notably one due to Shamir, yield arguments with cubic communication complexity (in the security parameter). More recent methods, based on the MPC-in-the-head technique, also produce arguments with cubic communication complexity. We improve this approach by using a secret-sharing over small integers (rather than modulo q) to reduce the size of the arguments and remove the prime modulus restriction. Since this sharing may reveal information on the secret subset, we introduce the idea of rejection to the MPC-in-the-head paradigm. Special care has to be taken to balance completeness and soundness and preserve zero-knowledge of our arguments. We combine this idea with two techniques to prove that the secret vector (which selects the subset) is well made of binary coordinates. Our new protocols achieve an asymptotic improvement by producing arguments of quadratic size. This improvement is also practical: for a 256-bit modulus q, the best variant of our protocols yields 13KB arguments while previous proposals gave 1180KB arguments, for the best general protocol, and 122KB, for the best protocol restricted to prime modulus. Our techniques can also be applied to vectorial variants of the subset sum problem and in particular the inhomogeneous short integer solution (ISIS) problem for which they provide an efficient alternative to state-of-the-art protocols when the underlying ring is not small and NTT-friendly. We also show the application of our protocol to build efficient zero-knowledge arguments of plaintext and/or key knowledge in the context of fully-homomorphic encryption. When applied to the TFHE scheme, the obtained arguments are more than 20 times smaller than those obtained with previous protocols. Eventually, we use our technique to construct an efficient digital signature scheme based on a pseudo-random function due to Boneh, Halevi, and Howgrave-Graham.