International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Roman Walch


From Farfalle to Megafono via Ciminion: The PRF Hydra for MPC Applications
The area of multi-party computation (MPC) has recently increased in popularity and number of use cases. At the current state of the art, Ciminion, a Farfalle-like cryptographic function, achieves the best performance in MPC applications involving symmetric primitives. However, it has a critical weakness. Its security highly relies on the independence of its subkeys, which is achieved by using an expensive key schedule. Many MPC use cases involving symmetric pseudo-random functions (PRFs) rely on secretly shared symmetric keys, and hence the expensive key schedule must also be computed in MPC. As a result, Ciminion's performance is significantly reduced in these use cases. In this paper we solve this problem. Following the approach introduced by Ciminion's designers, we present a novel primitive in symmetric cryptography called Megafono. Megafono is a keyed extendable PRF, expanding a fixed-length input to an arbitrary-length output. Similar to Farfalle, an initial keyed permutation is applied to the input, followed by an expansion layer, involving the parallel application of keyed ciphers. The main novelty regards the expansion of the intermediate/internal state for "free", by appending the sum of the internal states of the first permutation to its output. The combination of this and other modifications, together with the impossibility for the attacker to have access to the input state of the expansion layer, make Megafono very efficient in the target application. As a concrete example, we present the PRF Hydra, an instance of Megafono based on the Hades strategy and on generalized versions of the Lai--Massey scheme. Based on an extensive security analysis, we implement Hydra in an MPC framework. The results show that it outperforms all MPC-friendly schemes currently published in the literature.
Horst Meets Fluid-SPN: Griffin for Zero-Knowledge Applications
Zero-knowledge (ZK) applications form a large group of use cases in modern cryptography, and recently gained in popularity due to novel proof systems. For many of these applications, cryptographic hash functions are used as the main building blocks, and they often dominate the overall performance and cost of these approaches. Therefore, in the last years several new hash functions were built in order to reduce the cost in these scenarios, including Poseidon and Rescue among others. These hash functions often look very different from more classical designs such as AES or SHA-2. For example, they work natively over prime fields rather than binary ones. At the same time, for example Poseidon and Rescue share some common features, such as being SPN schemes and instantiating the nonlinear layer with invertible power maps. While this allows the designers to provide simple and strong arguments for establishing their security, it also introduces crucial limitations in the design, which may affect the performance in the target applications. In this paper, we propose the Horst construction, in which the addition in a Feistel scheme (x, y) -> (y + F(x), x) is extended via a multiplication, i.e., (x, y) -> (y * G(x) + F(x), x). By carefully analyzing the performance metrics in SNARK and STARK protocols, we show how to combine an expanding Horst scheme with a Rescue-like SPN scheme in order to provide security and better efficiency in the target applications. We provide an extensive security analysis for our new design Griffin and a comparison with all current competitors.
Pasta: A Case for Hybrid Homomorphic Encryption
The idea of hybrid homomorphic encryption (HHE) is to drastically reduce bandwidth requirements when using homomorphic encryption (HE) at the cost of more expensive computations in the encrypted domain. To this end, various dedicated schemes for symmetric encryption have already been proposed. However, it is still unclear if those ideas are already practically useful, because (1) no cost-benefit analysis was done for use cases and (2) very few implementations are publicly available. We address this situation in several ways. We build an open-source benchmarking r framework, we explore properties of the respective HHE proposals. It turns out that even medium-sized use cases are infeasible, especially when involving integer arithmetic. Next, we propose Pasta, a cipher thoroughly optimized for integer HHE use cases. Pasta is designed to minimize the multiplicative depth, while also leveraging the structure of two state-of-the-art integer HE schemes (BFV and BGV) to minimize the homomorphic evaluation latency. Using our new benchmarking environment, we extensively evaluate Pasta in SEAL and HElib and compare its properties to 8 existing ciphers in two use cases. Our evaluations show that Pasta outperforms its competitors for HHE both in terms of homomorphic evaluation time and noise consumption, showing its efficiency for applications in real-world HE use cases. Concretely, Pasta outperforms Agrasta by a factor of up to 82, Masta by a factor of up to 6 and Hera up to a factor of 11 when applied to the two use cases.