International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Thomas Attema


Parallel Repetition of $(k_1,\dots,k_{\mu})$-Special-Sound Multi-Round Interactive Proofs
Thomas Attema Serge Fehr
In many occasions, the knowledge error $\kappa$ of an interactive proof is not small enough, and thus needs to be reduced. This can be done generically by repeating the interactive proof in parallel. While there have been many works studying the effect of parallel repetition on the {\em soundness error} of interactive proofs and arguments, the effect of parallel repetition on the {\em knowledge error} has largely remained unstudied. Only recently it was shown that the $t$-fold parallel repetition of {\em any} interactive protocol reduces the knowledge error from $\kappa$ down to $\kappa^t +\nu$ for any non-negligible term $\nu$. This generic result is suboptimal in that it does not give the knowledge error $\kappa^t$ that one would expect for typical protocols, and, worse, the knowledge error remains non-negligible. In this work we show that indeed the $t$-fold parallel repetition of any $(k_1,\dots,k_{\mu})$-special-sound multi-round public-coin interactive proof optimally reduces the knowledge error from $\kappa$ down to $\kappa^t$. At the core of our results is an alternative, in some sense more fine-grained, measure of quality of a dishonest prover than its success probability, for which we show that it characterizes when knowledge extraction is possible. This new measure then turns out to be very convenient when it comes to analyzing the parallel repetition of such interactive proofs. While parallel repetition reduces the knowledge error, it is easily seen to {\em increase} the {\em completeness error}. For this reason, we generalize our result to the case of $s$-out-of-$t$ threshold parallel repetition, where the verifier accepts if $s$ out of $t$ of the parallel instances are accepting. An appropriately chosen threshold $s$ allows both the knowledge error and completeness error to be reduced simultaneously.
Compressing Proofs of k-Out-Of-n Partial Knowledge 📺
Thomas Attema Ronald Cramer Serge Fehr
In a proof of partial knowledge, introduced by Cramer, Damg{\aa}rd and Schoenmakers (CRYPTO 1994), a prover knowing witnesses for some $k$-subset of $n$ given public statements can convince the verifier of this claim without revealing which $k$-subset. Their solution combines $\Sigma$-protocol theory and linear secret sharing, and achieves linear communication complexity for general $k,n$. Especially the ``one-out-of-$n$'' case $k=1$ has seen myriad applications during the last decades, e.g., in electronic voting, ring signatures, and confidential transaction systems. In this paper we focus on the discrete logarithm (DL) setting, where the prover claims knowledge of DLs of $k$-out-of-$n$ given elements. Groth and Kohlweiss (EUROCRYPT 2015) have shown how to solve the special case $k=1$ %, yet arbitrary~$n$, with {\em logarithmic} (in $n$) communication, instead of linear as prior work. However, their method takes explicit advantage of $k=1$ and does not generalize to $k>1$. Alternatively, an {\em indirect} approach for solving the considered problem is by translating the $k$-out-of-$n$ relation into a circuit and then applying communication-efficient circuit ZK. Indeed, for the $k=1$ case this approach has been highly optimized, e.g., in ZCash. Our main contribution is a new, simple honest-verifier zero-knowledge proof protocol for proving knowledge of $k$ out of $n$ DLs with {\em logarithmic} communication and {\em for general $k$ and $n$}, without requiring any generic circuit ZK machinery. Our solution puts forward a novel extension of the {\em compressed} $\Sigma$-protocol theory (CRYPTO 2020), which we then utilize to compress a new $\Sigma$-protocol for proving knowledge of $k$-out-of-$n$ DL's down to logarithmic size. The latter $\Sigma$-protocol is inspired by the CRYPTO 1994 approach, but a careful re-design of the original protocol is necessary for the compression technique to apply. Interestingly, {\em even for $k=1$ and general $n$} our approach improves prior {\em direct} approaches as it reduces prover complexity without increasing the communication complexity. Besides the conceptual simplicity, we also identify regimes of practical relevance where our approach achieves asymptotic and concrete improvements, e.g., in proof size and prover complexity, over the generic approach based on circuit-ZK. Finally, we show various extensions and generalizations of our core result. For instance, we extend our protocol to proofs of partial knowledge of Pedersen (vector) commitment openings, and/or to include a proof that the witness satisfies some additional constraint, and we show how to extend our results to non-threshold access structures.
A Compressed Sigma-Protocol Theory for Lattices 📺
Thomas Attema Ronald Cramer Lisa Kohl
We show a \emph{lattice-based} solution for commit-and-prove transparent circuit zero-knowledge (ZK) with \emph{polylog-communication}, the \emph{first} not depending on PCPs. We start from \emph{compressed $\Sigma$-protocol theory} (CRYPTO 2020), which is built around basic $\Sigma$-protocols for opening an arbitrary linear form on a long secret vector that is compactly committed to. These protocols are first compressed using a recursive ``folding-technique'' adapted from Bulletproofs, at the expense of logarithmic rounds. Proving in ZK that the secret vector satisfies a given constraint -- captured by a circuit -- is then by (blackbox) reduction to the linear case, via arithmetic secret-sharing techniques adapted from MPC. Commit-and-prove is also facilitated, i.e., when commitment(s) to the secret vector are created ahead of any circuit-ZK proof. On several platforms (incl.\ DL) this leads to logarithmic communication. Non-interactive versions follow from Fiat-Shamir. This abstract modular theory strongly suggests that it should somehow be supported by a lattice-platform \emph{as well}. However, when going through the motions and trying to establish low communication (on a SIS-platform), a certain significant lack in current understanding of multi-round protocols is exposed. Namely, as opposed to the DL-case, the basic $\Sigma$-protocol in question typically has \emph{poly-small challenge} space. Taking into account the compression-step -- which yields \emph{non-constant} rounds -- and the necessity for parallelization to reduce error, there is no known tight result that the compound protocol admits an efficient knowledge extractor. We resolve the state of affairs here by a combination of two novel results which are fully general and of independent interest. The first gives a tight analysis of efficient knowledge extraction in case of non-constant rounds combined with poly-small challenge space, whereas the second shows that parallel repetition indeed forces rapid decrease of knowledge error. Moreover, in our present context, arithmetic secret sharing is not defined over a large finite field but over a quotient of a number ring and this forces our careful adaptation of how the linearization techniques are deployed. We develop our protocols in an abstract framework that is conceptually simple and can be flexibly instantiated. In particular, the framework applies to arbitrary rings and norms.
Compressed Sigma-Protocols for Bilinear Group Arithmetic Circuits and Application to Logarithmic Transparent Threshold Signatures 📺
Lai et al. (CCS 2019) have shown how Bulletproof’s arithmetic circuit zero-knowledge protocol (Bootle et al., EUROCRYPT 2016 and B{\"u}nz et al., S\&P 2018) can be generalized to work for bilinear group arithmetic circuits directly, i.e., without requiring these circuits to be translated into arithmetic circuits. In a nutshell, a bilinear group arithmetic circuit is a standard arithmetic circuit augmented with special gates capturing group exponentiations or pairings. Such circuits are highly relevant, e.g., in the context of zero-knowledge statements over pairing-based languages. As expressing these special gates in terms of a standard arithmetic circuit results in a significant overhead in circuit size, an approach to zero-knowledge via standard arithmetic circuits may incur substantial additional costs. The approach due to Lai et al. shows how to avoid this by integrating additional zero-knowledge techniques into the Bulletproof framework so as to handle the special gates very efficiently. We take a different approach by generalizing {\em Compressed $\Sigma$-Protocol Theory} (CRYPTO 2020) from arithmetic circuit relations to bilinear group arithmetic circuit relations. Besides its conceptual simplicity, our approach has the practical advantage of reducing the communication costs of Lai et al.'s protocol by roughly a multiplicative factor $3$. Finally, we show an application of our results which may be of independent interest. We construct the first $k$-out-of-$n$ threshold signature scheme (TSS) that allows for transparent setup {\em and} that yields threshold signatures of size logarithmic in $n$. The threshold signature hides the identities of the $k$ signers and the threshold $k$ can be dynamically chosen at aggregation time.
Compressed Sigma-Protocol Theory and Practical Application to Plug & Play Secure Algorithmics 📺
Thomas Attema Ronald Cramer
Sigma-Protocols provide a well-understood basis for secure algorithmics. Recently, Bulletproofs (Bootle et al., EUROCRYPT 2016, and Bünz et al., S&P 2018) have been proposed as a drop-in replacement in case of zero-knowledge (ZK) for arithmetic circuits, achieving logarithmic communication instead of linear. Its pivot is an ingenious, logarithmic-size proof of knowledge BP for certain quadratic relations. However, reducing ZK for general relations to it forces a somewhat cumbersome ``reinvention'' of cryptographic protocol theory. We take a rather different viewpoint and reconcile Bulletproofs with Sigma-Protocol Theory such that (a) simpler circuit ZK is developed within established theory, while (b) achieving exactly the same logarithmic communication. The natural key here is linearization. First, we repurpose BPs as a blackbox compression mechanism for standard Sigma-Protocols handling ZK proofs of general linear relations (on compactly committed secret vectors); our pivot. Second, we reduce the case of general nonlinear relations to blackbox applications of our pivot via a novel variation on arithmetic secret sharing based techniques for Sigma-Protocols (Cramer et al., ICITS 2012). Orthogonally, we enhance versatility by enabling scenarios not previously addressed, e.g., when a secret input is dispersed across several commitments. Standard implementation platforms leading to logarithmic communication follow from a Discrete-Log assumption or a generalized Strong-RSA assumption. Also, under a Knowledge-of-Exponent Assumption (KEA) communication drops to constant, as in ZK-SNARKS. All in all, our theory should more generally be useful for modular (``plug & play'') design of practical cryptographic protocols; this is further evidenced by our separate work (2020) on proofs of partial knowledge.
Practical Product Proofs for Lattice Commitments 📺
We construct a practical lattice-based zero-knowledge argument for proving multiplicative relations between committed values. The underlying commitment scheme that we use is the currently most efficient one of Baum et al. (SCN 2018), and the size of our multiplicative proof is only slightly larger than of the one for just proving knowledge of the committed values. We additionally improve on the results of Lyubashevsky and Seiler (Eurocrypt 2018) to show that the above-mentioned techniques can work over rings $Z_q[X]/(X^d+1)$ where $X^d+1$ splits into low-degree factors, which is a property necessary for many applications. In particular, we use Fourier analysis to show that the NTT coefficients of random small-norm challenges are not concentrated on any particular value.