## CryptoDB

### Carsten Baum

#### Publications

**Year**

**Venue**

**Title**

2024

CRYPTO

Cheater Identification on a Budget: MPC with Identifiable Abort from Pairwise MACs
Abstract

Cheater identification in secure multi-party computation (MPC) allows the honest parties to agree upon the identity of a cheating party, in case the protocol aborts. In the context of a dishonest majority, this becomes especially critical, as it serves to thwart denial-of-service attacks and mitigate known impossibility results on ensuring fairness and guaranteed output delivery.
In this work, we present a new, lightweight approach to achieving identifiable abort in dishonest majority MPC. We avoid all of the heavy machinery used in previous works, instead relying on a careful combination of lightweight detection mechanisms and techniques from state-of-the-art protocols secure with (non-identifiable) abort.
At the core of our construction is a homomorphic, multi-receiver commitment scheme secure with identifiable abort. This commitment scheme can be constructed from cheap vector oblivious linear evaluation protocols based on learning parity with noise. To support cheater identification, we design a general compilation technique, similar to a compiler of Ishai et al. (Crypto 2014), but avoid its requirement for adaptive security of the underlying protocol. Instead, we rely on a different (and seemingly easier to achieve) property we call online extractability, which may be of independent interest. Our MPC protocol can be viewed as a version of the BDOZ MPC scheme (Bendlin et al., Eurocrypt 2011) based on pairwise information-theoretic MACs, enhanced to support cheater identification and a highly efficient preprocessing phase, essentially as efficient as the non-identifiable protocol of Le Mans (Rachuri \& Scholl, Crypto 2022).

2024

ASIACRYPT

One Tree to Rule Them All: Optimizing GGM Trees and OWFs for Post-Quantum Signatures
Abstract

The use of MPC-in-the-Head (MPCitH)-based zero-knowledge proofs of knowledge (ZKPoK) to prove knowledge of a preimage of a one-way function (OWF) is a popular approach towards constructing efficient post-quantum digital signatures. Starting with the Picnic signature scheme, many optimized MPCitH signatures using a variety of (candidate) OWFs have been proposed. Recently, Baum et al. (CRYPTO 2023) showed a fundamental improvement to MPCitH, called VOLE-in-the-Head (VOLEitH), which can generically reduce the signature size by at least a factor of two without decreasing computational performance or introducing new assumptions. Based on this, they designed the FAEST signature which uses AES as the underlying OWF. However, in comparison to MPCitH, the behavior of VOLEitH when using other OWFs is still unexplored.
In this work, we improve a crucial building block of the VOLEitH and MPCitH approaches, the so-called all-but-one vector commitment, thus decreasing the signature size of VOLEitH and MPCitH signature schemes. Moreover, by introducing a small Proof of Work into the signing procedure, we can improve the parameters of VOLEitH (further decreasing signature size) \emph{without} compromising the computational performance of the scheme.
Based on these optimizations, we propose three VOLEitH signature schemes FAESTER, KuMQuat, and MandaRain based on AES, MQ, and Rain, respectively. We carefully explore the parameter space for these schemes and implement each, showcasing their performance with benchmarks. Our experiments show that these three signature schemes outperform MPCitH-based competitors that use comparable OWFs, in terms of both signature size and signing/verification time.

2023

PKC

CRAFT: Composable Randomness Beacons and Output-Independent Abort MPC From Time
Abstract

Recently, time-based primitives such as time-lock puzzles (TLPs) and verifiable delay functions (VDFs) have received a lot of attention due to their power as building blocks for cryptographic protocols. However, even though exciting improvements on their efficiency and security (\textit{e.g.} achieving non-malleability) have been made, most of the existing constructions do not offer general composability guarantees and thus have limited applicability. Baum \textit{et al.} (EUROCRYPT 2021) presented in TARDIS the first (im)possibility results on constructing TLPs with Universally Composable (UC) security and an application to secure two-party computation with output-independent abort (OIA-2PC), where an adversary has to decide to abort \emph{before} learning the output. While these results establish the feasibility of UC-secure TLPs and applications, they are limited to the two-party scenario and suffer from complexity overheads. In this paper, we introduce the first UC constructions of VDFs and of the related notion of publicly verifiable TLPs (PV-TLPs). We use our new UC VDF to prove a folklore result on VDF-based randomness beacons used in industry and build an improved randomness beacon from our new UC PV-TLPs. We moreover construct the first multiparty computation protocol with punishable output-independent aborts (POIA-MPC), \textit{i.e.} MPC with OIA and financial punishment for cheating. Our novel POIA-MPC both establishes the feasibility of (non-punishable) OIA-MPC and significantly improves on the efficiency of state-of-the-art OIA-2PC and (non-OIA) MPC with punishable aborts.

2023

CRYPTO

Publicly Verifiable Zero-Knowledge and Post-Quantum Signatures From VOLE-in-the-Head
Abstract

We present a new method for transforming zero-knowledge protocols in the designated verifier setting into public-coin protocols, which can be made non-interactive and publicly verifiable.
Our transformation applies to a large class of ZK protocols based on oblivious transfer.
In particular, we show that it can be applied to recent, fast protocols based on vector oblivious linear evaluation (VOLE), with a technique we call VOLE-in-the-head, upgrading these protocols to support public verifiability.
Our resulting ZK protocols have linear proof size, and are simpler, smaller and faster than related approaches based on MPC-in-the-head.
To build VOLE-in-the-head while supporting both binary circuits and large finite fields, we develop several new technical tools.
One of these is a new proof of security for the SoftSpokenOT protocol (Crypto 2022), which generalizes it to produce certain types of VOLE correlations over large fields.
Secondly, we present a new ZK protocol that is tailored to take advantage of this form of VOLE, which leads to a publicly verifiable VOLE-in-the-head protocol with only 2x more communication than the best, designated-verifier VOLE-based protocols.
We analyze the soundness of our approach when made non-interactive using the Fiat-Shamir transform, using round-by-round soundness.
As an application of the resulting NIZK, we present FAEST, a post-quantum signature scheme based on AES.
FAEST is the first AES-based signature scheme to be smaller than SPHINCS+, with signature sizes between 5.6 and 6.6kB at the 128-bit security level.
Compared with the smallest version of SPHINCS+ (7.9kB), FAEST verification is slower, but the signing times are between 8x and 40x faster.

2022

CRYPTO

Moz$\mathbb{Z}_{2^k}$zarella: Efficient Vector-OLE and Zero-Knowledge Proofs Over $\mathbb{Z}_{2^k}$
📺
Abstract

Zero-knowledge proof systems are usually designed to support computations for circuits over $\mathbb{F}_2$ or $\mathbb{F}_p$ for large $p$, but not for computations over $\mathbb{Z}_{2^k}$, which all modern CPUs operate on. Although $\mathbb{Z}_{2^k}$-arithmetic can be emulated using prime moduli, this comes with an unavoidable overhead. Recently, Baum et al. (CCS 2021) suggested a candidate construction for a designated-verifier zero-knowledge proof system that natively runs over $\mathbb{Z}_{2^k}$. Unfortunately, their construction requires preprocessed random vector oblivious linear evaluation (VOLE) to be instantiated over $\mathbb{Z}_{2^k}$. Currently, it is not known how to efficiently generate such random VOLE in large quantities.
In this work, we present a maliciously secure, VOLE extension protocol that can turn a short seed-VOLE over $\mathbb{Z}_{2^k}$ into a much longer, pseudorandom VOLE over the same ring. Our construction borrows ideas from recent protocols over finite fields, which we non-trivially adapt to work over $\mathbb{Z}_{2^k}$. Moreover, we show that the approach taken by the QuickSilver zero-knowledge proof system (Yang et al. CCS 2021) can be generalized to support computations over $\mathbb{Z}_{2^k}$. This new VOLE-based proof system, which we call QuarkSilver, yields better efficiency than the previous zero-knowledge protocols suggested by Baum et al. Furthermore, we implement both our VOLE extension and our zero-knowledge proof system, and show that they can generate 13-50 million VOLEs per second for 64 to 256 bit rings, and evaluate 1.3 million 64 bit multiplications per second in zero-knowledge.

2021

EUROCRYPT

TARDIS: A Foundation of Time-Lock Puzzles in UC
📺
Abstract

Time-based primitives like time-lock puzzles (TLP) are finding widespread use in practical protocols, partially due to the surge of interest in the blockchain space where TLPs and related primitives are perceived to solve many problems. Unfortunately, the security claims are often shaky or plainly wrong since these primitives are used under composition. One reason is that TLPs are inherently not UC secure and time is tricky to model and use in the UC model. On the other hand, just specifying standalone notions of the intended task, left alone correctly using standalone notions like non-malleable TLPs only, might be hard or impossible for the given task. And even when possible a standalone secure primitive is harder to apply securely in practice afterwards as its behavior under composition is unclear. The ideal solution would be a model of TLPs in the UC framework to allow simple modular proofs. In this paper we provide a foundation for proving composable security of practical protocols using time-lock puzzles and related timed primitives in the UC model. We construct UC-secure TLPs based on random oracles and show that using random oracles is necessary. In order to prove security, we provide a simple and abstract way to reason about time in UC protocols. Finally, we demonstrate the usefulness of this foundation by constructing applications that are interesting in their own right, such as UC-secure two-party computation with output-independent abort.

2021

PKC

Banquet: Short and Fast Signatures from AES
📺
Abstract

In this work we introduce Banquet, a digital signature scheme with post-quantum security, constructed using only symmetric-key primitives. The design is based on the MPC-in-head paradigm also used by Picnic (CCS 2017) and BBQ (SAC 2019). Like BBQ, Banquet uses only standardized primitives, namely AES and SHA-3, but signatures are more than 50\% shorter, making them competitive with Picnic (which uses a non-standard block cipher to improve performance). The MPC protocol in Banquet uses a new technique to verify correctness of the AES S-box computations, which is efficient because the cost is amortized with a batch verification strategy.
Our implementation and benchmarks also show that both signing and verification can be done in under 10ms on a current x64 CPU. We also explore the parameter space to show the range of trade-offs that are possible with the Banquet design, and show that Banquet can nearly match the signature sizes possible with Picnic (albeit with slower, but still practical run times) or have speed within a factor of two of Picnic (at the cost of larger signatures).

2021

CRYPTO

Mac'n'Cheese: Zero-Knowledge Proofs for Boolean and Arithmetic Circuits with Nested Disjunctions
📺
Abstract

Zero knowledge proofs are an important building block in many cryptographic applications.
Unfortunately, when the proof statements become very large, existing
zero-knowledge proof systems easily reach their limits: either the computational
overhead, the memory footprint, or the required bandwidth exceed levels that
would be tolerable in practice.
We present an interactive zero-knowledge proof system for boolean and
arithmetic circuits, called Mac'n'Cheese, with a focus on supporting large
circuits. Our work follows the commit-and-prove paradigm instantiated using
information-theoretic MACs based on vector oblivious linear evaluation to
achieve high efficiency. We additionally show how to optimize disjunctions,
with a general OR transformation for proving the disjunction of $m$
statements that has communication complexity proportional to the longest
statement (plus an additive term logarithmic in $m$). These disjunctions can
further be \emph{nested}, allowing efficient proofs about complex statements
with many levels of disjunctions. We also show how to make Mac'n'Cheese
non-interactive (after a preprocessing phase) using the Fiat-Shamir
transform, and with only a small degradation in soundness.
We have implemented the online phase of Mac'n'Cheese and achieve a runtime of 144~ns per AND
gate and 1.5~$\mu$s per multiplication gate in $\mathbb{F}_{2^{61}-1}$ when run over a network
with a 95~ms latency and a bandwidth of 31.5~Mbps. In addition, we show that
the disjunction optimization improves communication as expected: when
proving a boolean circuit with eight branches and each branch containing
roughly 1 billion multiplications, Mac'n'Cheese requires only 75 more bytes to
communicate than in the single branch case.

2020

PKC

Concretely-Efficient Zero-Knowledge Arguments for Arithmetic Circuits and Their Application to Lattice-Based Cryptography
📺
Abstract

In this work we present a new interactive Zero-Knowledge Argument of knowledge for general arithmetic circuits. Our protocol is based on the “MPC-in-the-head”-paradigm of Ishai et al. (STOC 2009) and follows the recent “MPC-in-the-head with Preprocessing” as proposed by Katz, Kolesnikov and Wang (ACM CCS 2018). However, in contrast to Katz et al. who used the “cut-and-choose” approach for pre-processing, we show how to incorporate the well-known “sacrificing” paradigm into “MPC-in-the-head”, which reduces the proof size when working over arithmetic circuits. Our argument system uses only lightweight symmetric-key primitives and utilizes a simplified version of the so-called SPDZ-protocol. Based on specific properties of our protocol we then show how it can be used to construct an efficient Zero-Knowledge Argument of Knowledge for instances of the Short Integer Solution (SIS) problem. We present different protocols that are tailored to specific uses of SIS, while utilizing the advantages of our scheme. In particular, we present a variant of our argument system that allows the parties to sample the circuit “on the fly”, which may be of independent interest. We furthermore implemented our Zero-Knowledge argument for SIS and show that using our protocols it is possible to run a complete interactive proof, even for general SIS instances which result in a circuit with $${>}10^6$$ gates, in less than 0.5 s .

2020

CRYPTO

Efficient Constant-Round MPC with Identifiable Abort and Public Verifiability
📺
Abstract

Recent years have seen a tremendous growth in the interest in se-
cure multiparty computation (MPC) and its applications. While much progress
has been made concerning its efficiency, many current, state-of-the-art protocols
are vulnerable to Denial of Service attacks, where a cheating party may prevent
the honest parties from learning the output of the computation, whilst remaining
anonymous. The security model of identifiable abort aims to prevent these at-
tacks, by allowing honest parties to agree upon the identity of a cheating party,
who can then be excluded in the future. Several existing MPC protocols offer
security with identifiable abort against a dishonest majority of corrupted parties.
However, all of these protocols have a round complexity that scales linearly with
the depth of the circuit (and are therefore unsuitable for use in high latency net-
works) or use cryptographic primitives or techniques that have a high computa-
tional overhead.
In this work, we present the first efficient MPC protocols with identifiable abort
in the dishonest majority setting, which run in a constant number of rounds and
make only black-box use of cryptographic primitives. Our main construction is
built from highly efficient primitives in a careful way to achieve identifiability
at a low cost. In particular, we avoid the use of public-key operations outside of
a setup phase, incurring a relatively low overhead on top of the fastest currently
known constant-round MPC protocols based on garbled circuits. Our construction
also avoids the use of adaptively secure primitives and heavy zero-knowledge
machinery, which was inherent in previous works. In addition, we show how to
upgrade our protocol to achieve public verifiability using a public bulletin board,
allowing any external party to verify correctness of the computation or identify a
cheating party.

2018

CRYPTO

Sub-linear Lattice-Based Zero-Knowledge Arguments for Arithmetic Circuits
📺
Abstract

We propose the first zero-knowledge argument with sub-linear communication complexity for arithmetic circuit satisfiability over a prime
$${p}$$
whose security is based on the hardness of the short integer solution (SIS) problem. For a circuit with
$${N}$$
gates, the communication complexity of our protocol is
$$O\left( \sqrt{{N}{\lambda }\log ^3{{N}}}\right) $$
, where
$${\lambda }$$
is the security parameter. A key component of our construction is a surprisingly simple zero-knowledge proof for pre-images of linear relations whose amortized communication complexity depends only logarithmically on the number of relations being proved. This latter protocol is a substantial improvement, both theoretically and in practice, over the previous results in this line of research of Damgård et al. (CRYPTO 2012), Baum et al. (CRYPTO 2016), Cramer et al. (EUROCRYPT 2017) and del Pino and Lyubashevsky (CRYPTO 2017), and we believe it to be of independent interest.

#### Program Committees

- Crypto 2022
- PKC 2022
- Asiacrypt 2022

#### Coauthors

- Carsten Baum (13)
- Ward Beullens (1)
- Jonathan Bootle (1)
- Lennart Braun (2)
- Andrea Cerulli (1)
- Ivan Damgård (1)
- Bernardo David (2)
- Cyprien Delpech de Saint Guilhem (1)
- Rafael del Pino (1)
- Rafael Dowsley (2)
- Jens Groth (1)
- Cyprien Delpech de Saint Guilhem (1)
- Daniel Kales (1)
- Ravi Kishore (1)
- Michael Klooß (1)
- Kasper Green Larsen (1)
- Vadim Lyubashevsky (1)
- Alex J. Malozemoff (1)
- Nikolas Melissaris (1)
- Shibam Mukherjee (1)
- Alexander Munch-Hansen (1)
- Michael Nielsen (1)
- Jesper Buus Nielsen (2)
- Ariel Nof (1)
- Sabine Oechsner (2)
- Emmanuela Orsini (5)
- Rahul Rachuri (1)
- Sebastian Ramacher (1)
- Christian Rechberger (1)
- Marc B. Rosen (1)
- Lawrence Roy (2)
- Peter Scholl (8)
- Eduardo Soria-Vazquez (1)
- Greg Zaverucha (1)