International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Janno Siim


Snarky Ceremonies 📺
Succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge (SNARKs) have found numerous applications in the blockchain setting and elsewhere. The most efficient SNARKs require a distributed ceremony protocol to generate public parameters, also known as a structured reference string (SRS). Our contributions are two-fold: \begin{compactitem} \item We give a security framework for non-interactive zero-knowledge arguments with a ceremony protocol. \item We revisit the ceremony protocol of Groth's SNARK [Bowe et al., 2017]. We show that the original construction can be simplified and optimized, and then prove its security in our new framework. Importantly, our construction avoids the random beacon model used in the original work. \end{compactitem}
Verifiably-Extractable OWFs and Their Applications to Subversion Zero-Knowledge 📺
An extractable one-way function (EOWF), introduced by Canetti and Dakdouk (ICALP 2008) and generalized by Bitansky et al. (SIAM Journal on Computing vol. 45), is an OWF that allows for efficient extraction of a preimage for the function. We study (generalized) EOWFs that have a public image verification algorithm. We call such OWFs verifiably-extractable and show that several previously known constructions satisfy this notion. We study how such OWFs relate to subversion zero-knowledge (Sub-ZK) NIZKs by using them to generically construct a Sub-ZK NIZK from a NIZK satisfying certain additional properties, and conversely show how to obtain them from any Sub-ZK NIZK. Prior to our work, the Sub-ZK property of NIZKs was achieved using concrete knowledge assumptions.
On Subversion-Resistant SNARKs
While NIZK arguments in the CRS model are widely studied, the question of what happens when the CRS is subverted has received little attention. In ASIACRYPT 2016, Bellare, Fuchsbauer, and Scafuro showed the first negative and positive results, proving also that it is impossible to achieve subversion soundness and (even non-subversion) zero knowledge at the same time. On the positive side, they constructed a sound and subversion-zero knowledge (Sub-ZK) non-succinct NIZK argument for NP. We consider the practically very relevant case of zk-SNARKs. We make Groth’s zk-SNARK for Circuit-SAT from EUROCRYPT 2016 computationally knowledge-sound and perfectly composable Sub-ZK with minimal changes. We only require the CRS trapdoor to be extractable and the CRS to be publicly verifiable. To achieve the latter, we add some new elements to the CRS and construct an efficient CRS verification algorithm. We also provide a definitional framework for knowledge-sound and Sub-ZK SNARKs.
On QA-NIZK in the BPK Model 📺
Recently, Bellare et al. defined subversion-resistance (security in the case the CRS creator may be malicious) for NIZK. In particular, a Sub-ZK NIZK is zero-knowledge, even in the case of subverted CRS. We study Sub-ZK QA-NIZKs, where the CRS can depend on the language parameter. First, we observe that subversion zero-knowledge (Sub-ZK) in the CRS model corresponds to no-auxiliary-string non-black-box NIZK in the Bare Public Key model, and hence, the use of non-black-box techniques is needed to obtain Sub-ZK. Second, we give a precise definition of Sub-ZK QA-NIZKs that are (knowledge-)sound if the language parameter but not the CRS is subverted and zero-knowledge even if both are subverted. Third, we prove that the most efficient known QA-NIZK for linear subspaces by Kiltz and Wee is Sub-ZK under a new knowledge assumption that by itself is secure in (a weaker version of) the algebraic group model. Depending on the parameter setting, it is (knowledge-)sound under different non-falsifiable assumptions, some of which do not belong to the family of knowledge assumptions.