International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Jiaxin Guan

ORCID: 0000-0003-1823-8845


On Sequential Functions and Fine-Grained Cryptography
Jiaxin Guan Hart Montgomery
A sequential function is, informally speaking, a function f for which a massively parallel adversary cannot compute "substantially" faster than an honest user with limited parallel computation power. Sequential functions form the backbone of many primitives that are extensively used in blockchains such as verifiable delay functions (VDFs) and time-lock puzzles. Despite this widespread practical use, there has been little work studying the complexity or theory of sequential functions. Our main result is a black-box oracle separation between sequential functions and one-way functions: in particular, we show the existence of an oracle O that implies a sequential function but not a one-way function. This seems surprising since sequential functions are typically constructed from very strong assumptions that imply one-way functions and also since time-lock puzzles are known to imply one-way functions (Bitansky et al., ITCS '16). We continue our exploration of the theory of sequential functions. We show that, informally speaking, the decisional, worst-case variant of a certain class of sequential function called a continuous iterative sequential function (CISF) is PSPACE-complete. A CISF is, in a nutshell, a sequential function f that can be written in the form f(k, x) = g^k (x) for some function g where k is an input determining the number of "rounds" the function is evaluated. We then show that more general forms of sequential functions are not contained in PSPACE relative to a random oracle. Given these results, we then ask if it is possible to build any interesting cryptographic primitives from sequential functions that are not one-way. It turns out that even if we assume just the existence of a CISF that is not one-way, we can build certain "fine-grained" cryptographic primitives where security is defined similarly to traditional primitives with the exception that it is only guaranteed for some (generally polynomial) amount of time. In particular, we show how to build "fine-grained" symmetric key encryption and "fine-grained" MACs from a CISF. We also show how to build fine-grained public-key encryption from a VDF with a few extra natural properties and indistinguishability obfucsation (iO) for null circuits. We do not assume one-way functions. Finally, we define a primitive that we call a commutative sequential function--essentially a sequential function that can be computed in sequence to get the same output in two different ways--and show that it implies fine-grained key exchange.
A Lower Bound on the Length of Signatures Based on Group Actions and Generic Isogenies
Dan Boneh Jiaxin Guan Mark Zhandry
We give the first black box lower bound for signature protocols that can be described as group actions, which include many based on isogenies. We show that, for a large class of signature schemes making black box use of a (potentially non-abelian) group action, the signature length must be $\Omega(\lambda^2/\log\lambda)$. Our class of signatures generalizes all known signatures that derive security exclusively from the group action, and our lower bound matches the state of the art, showing that the signature length cannot be improved without deviating from the group action framework.
Streaming Functional Encryption
Jiaxin Guan Alexis Korb Amit Sahai
We initiate the study of streaming functional encryption (sFE) which is designed for scenarios in which data arrives in a streaming manner and is computed on in an iterative manner as the stream arrives. Unlike in a standard functional encryption (FE) scheme, in an sFE scheme, we (1) do not require the entire data set to be known at encryption time and (2) allow for partial decryption given only a prefix of the input. More specifically, in an sFE scheme, we can sequentially encrypt each data point x_i in a stream of data x = x_1 . . . x_n as it arrives, without needing to wait for all n values. We can then generate function keys for streaming functions which are stateful functions that take as input a message x_i and a state st_i and output a value y_i and the next state st_{i+1}. For any k ≤ n, a user with a function key for a streaming function f can learn the first k output values y_1 . . . y_k where (y_i, st_{i+1}) = f (x_i, st_i) and st_1 = ⊥ given only ciphertexts for the first k elements x_1 . . . x_k. In this work, we introduce the notion of sFE and show how to construct it from FE. In particular, we show how to achieve a secure sFE scheme for P/Poly from a compact, secure FE scheme for P/Poly, where our security notion for sFE is similar to standard FE security except that we require all function queries to be made before the challenge ciphertext query. Furthermore, by combining our result with the FE construction of Jain, Lin, and Sahai (STOC, 2022), we show how to achieve a secure sFE scheme for P/Poly from the polynomial hardness of well-studied assumptions.
Multi-Instance Randomness Extraction and Security against Bounded-Storage Mass Surveillance
Consider a state-level adversary who observes and stores large amounts of encrypted data from all users on the Internet, but does not have the capacity to store it all. Later, it may target certain "persons of interest" in order to obtain their decryption keys. We would like to guarantee that, if the adversary's storage capacity is only (say) 1% of the total encrypted data size, then even if it can later obtain the decryption keys of arbitrary users, it can only learn something about the contents of (roughly) 1% of the ciphertexts, while the rest will maintain full security. This can be seen as an extension of incompressible cryptography (Dziembowski CRYPTO '06, Guan, Wichs and Zhandry EUROCRYPT '22) to the multi-user setting. We provide solutions in both the symmetric key and public key setting with various trade-offs in terms of computational assumptions and efficiency. As the core technical tool, we study an information-theoretic problem which we refer to as "multi-instance randomness extraction". Suppose $X_1$, $\ldots$, $X_t$ are correlated random variables whose total joint min-entropy rate is $\alpha$, but we know nothing else about their individual entropies. We choose $t$ random and independent seeds $S_1,\ldots, S_t$ and attempt to individually extract some small amount of randomness $Y_i = Ext(X_i; S_i)$ from each $X_i$. We'd like to say that roughly an $\alpha$-fraction of the extracted outputs $Y_i$ should be indistinguishable from uniform even given all the remaining extracted outputs and all the seeds. We show that this indeed holds for specific extractors based on Hadamard and Reed-Muller codes.
Incompressible Cryptography 📺
Incompressible encryption allows us to make the ciphertext size flexibly large and ensures that an adversary learns nothing about the encrypted data, even if the decryption key later leaks, unless she stores essentially the entire ciphertext. Incompressible signatures can be made arbitrarily large and ensure that an adversary cannot produce a signature on any message, even one she has seen signed before, unless she stores one of the signatures essentially in its entirety. In this work, we give simple constructions of both incompressible public-key encryption and signatures under minimal assumptions. Furthermore, large incompressible ciphertexts (resp. signatures) can be decrypted (resp. verified) in a streaming manner with low storage. In particular, these notions strengthen the related concepts of disappearing encryption and signatures, recently introduced by Guan and Zhandry (TCC 2021), whose previous constructions relied on sophisticated techniques and strong, non-standard assumptions. We extend our constructions to achieve an optimal "rate", meaning the large ciphertexts (resp. signatures) can contain almost equally large messages, at the cost of stronger assumptions.
Disappearing Cryptography in the Bounded Storage Model 📺
Jiaxin Guan Mark Zhandry
In this work, we study disappearing cryptography in the bounded storage model. Here, a component of the transmission, say a ciphertext, a digital signature, or even a program, is streamed bit by bit. The stream is too large for anyone to store in its entirety, meaning the transmission effectively disappears once the stream stops. We first propose the notion of online obfuscation, capturing the goal of disappearing programs in the bounded storage model. We give a negative result for VBB security in this model, but propose candidate constructions for a weaker security goal, namely VGB security. We then demonstrate the utility of VGB online obfuscation, showing that it can be used to generate disappearing ciphertexts and signatures. All of our applications are not possible in the standard model of cryptography, regardless of computational assumptions used.
Simple Schemes in the Bounded Storage Model 📺
Jiaxin Guan Mark Zhandry
The bounded storage model promises unconditional security proofs against computationally unbounded adversaries, so long as the adversary’s space is bounded. In this work, we develop simple new constructions of two-party key agreement, bit commitment, and oblivious transfer in this model. In addition to simplicity, our constructions have several advantages over prior work, including an improved number of rounds and enhanced correctness. Our schemes are based on Raz’s lower bound for learning parities.
Return of GGH15: Provable Security Against Zeroizing Attacks
The GGH15 multilinear maps have served as the foundation for a number of cutting-edge cryptographic proposals. Unfortunately, many schemes built on GGH15 have been explicitly broken by so-called “zeroizing attacks,” which exploit leakage from honest zero-test queries. The precise settings in which zeroizing attacks are possible have remained unclear. Most notably, none of the current indistinguishability obfuscation (iO) candidates from GGH15 have any formal security guarantees against zeroizing attacks.In this work, we demonstrate that all known zeroizing attacks on GGH15 implicitly construct algebraic relations between the results of zero-testing and the encoded plaintext elements. We then propose a “GGH15 zeroizing model” as a new general framework which greatly generalizes known attacks.Our second contribution is to describe a new GGH15 variant, which we formally analyze in our GGH15 zeroizing model. We then construct a new iO candidate using our multilinear map, which we prove secure in the GGH15 zeroizing model. This implies resistance to all known zeroizing strategies. The proof relies on the Branching Program Un-Annihilatability (BPUA) Assumption of Garg et al. [TCC 16-B] (which is implied by PRFs in $$\mathsf {NC}^1$$ secure against $$\mathsf {P}/\mathsf {poly}$$) and the complexity-theoretic p-Bounded Speedup Hypothesis of Miles et al. [ePrint 14] (a strengthening of the Exponential Time Hypothesis).