International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Paper: Incompressible Encodings

Tal Moran , IDC Herzliya
Daniel Wichs , Northeastern and NTT Research
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Conference: CRYPTO 2020
Abstract: An incompressible encoding can probabilistically encode some data $m$ into a codeword $c$, which is not much larger. Anyone can decode $c$ to recover the original data $m$. However, $c$ cannot be efficiently compressed, even if the original data $m$ is given to the decompression procedure for free. In other words, $c$ is a representation of $m$, yet is computationally incompressible even given $m$. An incompressible encoding is composable if many encodings cannot be simultaneously compressed into anything sufficiently smaller than their concatenation. A recent work of Damgard, Ganesh and Orlandi (CRYPTO '19) defined a variant of incompressible encodings and gave an applications to ``proofs of replicated storage''. They constructed incompressible encodings in an ideal permutation model over a structured domain, but it was left open if they can be constructed under standard assumptions, or even in the more basic random-oracle model. In this work, we give new constructions, negative results and applications of incompressible encodings: * We construct incompressible encodings in the common random string (CRS) model under the Decisional Composite Residuosity (DCR) or Learning with Errors (LWE) assumptions. However, the construction has several drawbacks: (1) it is not composable, (2) it only achieves selective security, and (3) the CRS is as long as the data $m$. * We leverage the above construction to also get a scheme in the random-oracle model, under the same assumptions, that avoids all of the above drawbacks. Furthermore, it is significantly more efficient than the prior ideal-model construction. * We give black-box separations, showing that incompressible encodings in the plain model cannot be proven secure under any standard hardness assumption, and incompressible encodings in the CRS model must inherently suffer from all of the drawbacks above. * We give a new application to ``big-key cryptography in the bounded-retrieval model'', where secret keys are made intentionally huge to make them hard to exfiltrate. Using incompressible encodings, we can get all the security benefits of a big key without wasting storage space, by having the key to encode useful data.
Video from CRYPTO 2020
  title={Incompressible Encodings},
  author={Tal Moran and Daniel Wichs},