From Laconic Zero-Knowledge to Public-Key Cryptography [chapter]

Itay Berman, Akshay Degwekar, Ron D. Rothblum, Prashant Nalini Vasudevan
2018 Lecture Notes in Computer Science  
Since its inception, public-key encryption (PKE) has been one of the main cornerstones of cryptography. A central goal in cryptographic research is to understand the foundations of public-key encryption and in particular, base its existence on a natural and generic complexity-theoretic assumption. An intriguing candidate for such an assumption is the existence of a cryptographically hard language L ∈ NP ∩ SZK. In this work we prove that public-key encryption can be based on the foregoing
more » ... ion, as long as the (honest) prover in the zeroknowledge protocol is efficient and laconic. That is, messages that the prover sends should be efficiently computable (given the NP witness) and short (i.e., of sufficiently sub-logarithmic length). Actually, our result is stronger and only requires the protocol to be zero-knowledge for an honest-verifier and sound against computationally bounded cheating provers. Languages in NP with such laconic zero-knowledge protocols are known from a variety of computational assumptions (e.g., Quadratic Residuocity, Decisional Diffie-Hellman, Learning with Errors, etc.). Thus, our main result can also be viewed as giving a unifying framework for constructing PKE which, in particular, captures many of the assumptions that were already known to yield PKE. We also show several extensions of our result. First, that a certain weakening of our assumption on laconic zero-knowledge is actually equivalent to PKE, thereby giving a complexity-theoretic characterization of PKE. Second, a mild strengthening of our assumption also yields a (2message) oblivious transfer protocol.
doi:10.1007/978-3-319-96878-0_23 fatcat:leuv3kr2ibf7pbjn2x4ck6iiei