International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research

IACR News item: 24 September 2021

Andreas Erwig, Sebastian Faust, Siavash Riahi
ePrint Report ePrint Report
A $(t,n)$-public key threshold cryptosystem allows distributing the execution of a cryptographic task among a set of $n$ parties by splitting the secret key required for the computation into $n$ shares. A subset of at least $t+1$ honest parties is required to execute the task of the cryptosystem correctly, while security is guaranteed as long as at most $t < \frac{n}{2}$ parties are corrupted. Unfortunately, traditional threshold cryptosystems do not scale well, when executed at large-scale (e.g., in the Internet-environment). In such settings, a possible approach is to select a subset of $n$ players (called a committee) out of the entire universe of $N\gg n$ parties to run the protocol. If done naively, however, this means that the adversary's corruption power does not scale with $N$ as otherwise, the adversary would be able to corrupt the entire committee. A beautiful solution for this problem is given by Benhamouda et al. (TCC 2020) who present a novel form of secret sharing, where the efficiency of the protocol is \emph{independent} of $N$, but the adversarial corruption power \emph{scales} with $N$. They achieve this through a novel mechanism that guarantees that parties in a committee stay anonymous until they start to interact within the protocol.

In this work, we initiate the study of large-scale threshold cryptosystems. We present novel protocols for distributed key generation, threshold encryption, and signature schemes that guarantee security in large-scale environments with complexity independent of $N$. One of our key contributions is to show how to generically transform threshold encryption and signature schemes, which are secure against static adversaries (and satisfy certain additional properties), to secure threshold cryptosystems that offer strong security in the large-scale setting.

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