Advances and impact of secure function evaluation

Vladimir Kolesnikov
2009 Bell Labs technical journal  
Secure function evaluation (SFE) is an area of cryptography concerned with the design of algorithms that allow mutually distrustful partners to evaluate desired functions on their inputs, while maximally preserving input privacy. With faster computers and networks, and continuous algorithm improvements, SFE has become within reach of practicality. The first largescale industrial application of SFE-the result of over 20 years of relevant research-has been successfully completed in Denmark, where
more » ... SFE was used to run a country-wide secure sugar beets auction. In this paper, we will provide a brief overview of SFE, the problem it solves, and its uses. We will describe several recent research advancements and argue that SFE is "the next big thing." © 2009 Alcatel-Lucent. sends a message to Bob, the message not only may be lost, it may also be read and, more importantly, modified by an adversary while in transit. While most Internet traffic is of little or no interest to attackers, a portion of it serves transactions of value and requires strong security. Protection against eavesdropping and interference with legitimate communication is relatively well understood and remains perhaps the most commonly used fruit of cryptography. However, even a perfectly secure communication system is only part of the solution. Imagine a situation where Alice participates in a transaction with Bob but does not completely trust him. This occurs in many settings where the participants may have conflicting interests, including contract signing or buy/sell transactions. Securing the communication channel cannot provide any assurance that Bob does not cheat. Can we protect Alice's (and everyone else's) interests in this setting? The study of secure function evaluation
doi:10.1002/bltj.20396 fatcat:b7lc7uklnrdkrisusa3z573jae