## CryptoDB

### Mor Weiss

#### Publications

**Year**

**Venue**

**Title**

2021

JOFC

Is There an Oblivious RAM Lower Bound for Online Reads?
Abstract

Oblivious RAM (ORAM), introduced by Goldreich (STOC 1987) and Ostrovsky (STOC 1990), can be used to read and write to memory in a way that hides which locations are being accessed. The best known ORAM schemes have an $$O(\log n)$$ O ( log n ) overhead per access, where $$n$$ n is the data size. The work of Goldreich and Ostrovsky (JACM 1996) gave a lower bound, showing that this is optimal for ORAM schemes that operate in a “balls and bins” model, where memory blocks can only be shuffled between different locations but not manipulated otherwise (and the server is used solely as remote storage). The lower bound even extends to weaker settings such as offline ORAM, where all of the accesses to be performed need to be specified ahead of time, and read-only ORAM, which only allows reads but not writes. But can we get lower bounds for general ORAM, beyond “balls and bins”? The work of Boyle and Naor (ITCS 2016) shows that this is unlikely in the offline setting. In particular, they construct an offline ORAM with $$o(\log n)$$ o ( log n ) overhead assuming the existence of small sorting circuits. Although we do not have instantiations of the latter, ruling them out would require proving new circuit lower bounds. On the other hand, the recent work of Larsen and Nielsen (CRYPTO 2018) shows that there indeed is an $$\Omega (\log n)$$ Ω ( log n ) lower bound for general online ORAM. This still leaves the question open for online read-only ORAM or for read/write ORAM where we want very small overhead for the read operations. In this work, we show that a lower bound in these settings is also unlikely. In particular, our main result is a construction of online ORAM, in which the server is used solely as remote storage, where reads (but not writes ) have an $$o(\log n)$$ o ( log n ) overhead, assuming the existence of small sorting circuits as well as very good locally decodable codes (LDCs) . Although we do not have instantiations of either of these with the required parameters, ruling them out is beyond current lower bounds.

2020

EUROCRYPT

The Price of Active Security in Cryptographic Protocols
📺
Abstract

We construct the first actively-secure Multi-Party Computation (MPC) protocols with an \emph{arbitrary} number of parties in the dishonest majority setting, for an \emph{arbitrary} field $\FF$ with \emph{constant communication overhead} over the ``passive-GMW'' protocol (Goldreich, Micali and Wigderson, STOC `87). Our protocols rely on passive implementations of Oblivious Transfer (OT) in the boolean setting and Oblivious Linear function Evaluation (OLE) in the arithmetic setting. Previously, such protocols were only known over sufficiently large fields (Genkin et al. STOC `14) or a constant number of parties (Ishai et al. CRYPTO `08).
Conceptually, our protocols are obtained via a new compiler from a passively-secure protocol for a distributed multiplication functionality $\cF_\mult$, to an actively-secure protocol for general functionalities. Roughly, $\cF_\mult$ is parameterized by a linear-secret sharing scheme $\cS$, where it takes $\cS$-shares of two secrets and returns $\cS$-shares of their product.
We show that our compilation is concretely efficient for sufficiently large fields, resulting in an overhead of 2 when securely computing natural circuits. Our compiler has two additional benefits: (1) it can rely on \emph{any} passive implementation of $\cF_\mult$, which, besides the standard implementation based on OT (for boolean) and OLE (for arithmetic) allows us to rely on implementations based on threshold cryptosystems (Cramer et al. Eurocrypt `01); and (2) it can rely on weaker-than-passive (i.e., imperfect/leaky) implementations, which in some parameter regimes yield actively-secure protocols with overhead less than 2.
Instantiating this compiler with an ``honest-majority'' implementations of $\cF_\mult$, we obtain the first honest-majority protocol with optimal corruption threshold for boolean circuits with constant communication overhead over the best passive protocol (Damg{\aa}rd and Nielsen, CRYPTO `07).

2019

EUROCRYPT

Private Anonymous Data Access
📺
Abstract

We consider a scenario where a server holds a huge database that it wants to make accessible to a large group of clients. After an initial setup phase, clients should be able to read arbitrary locations in the database while maintaining privacy (the server does not learn which locations are being read) and anonymity (the server does not learn which client is performing each read). This should hold even if the server colludes with a subset of the clients. Moreover, the run-time of both the server and the client during each read operation should be low, ideally only poly-logarithmic in the size of the database and the number of clients. We call this notion Private Anonymous Data Access (PANDA). PANDA simultaneously combines aspects of Private Information Retrieval (PIR) and Oblivious RAM (ORAM). PIR has no initial setup, and allows anybody to privately and anonymously access a public database, but the server’s run-time is linear in the data size. On the other hand, ORAM achieves poly-logarithmic server run-time, but requires an initial setup after which only a single client with a secret key can access the database. The goal of PANDA is to get the best of both worlds: allow many clients to privately and anonymously access the database as in PIR, while having an efficient server as in ORAM.In this work, we construct bounded-collusion PANDA schemes, where the efficiency scales linearly with a bound on the number of corrupted clients that can collude with the server, but is otherwise poly-logarithmic in the data size and the total number of clients. Our solution relies on standard assumptions, namely the existence of fully homomorphic encryption, and combines techniques from both PIR and ORAM. We also extend PANDA to settings where clients can write to the database.

2019

CRYPTO

On the Plausibility of Fully Homomorphic Encryption for RAMs
📺
Abstract

We initiate the study of fully homomorphic encryption for RAMs (RAM-FHE). This is a public-key encryption scheme where, given an encryption of a large database D, anybody can efficiently compute an encryption of P(D) for an arbitrary RAM program P. The running time over the encrypted data should be as close as possible to the worst case running time of P, which may be sub-linear in the data size.A central difficulty in constructing a RAM-FHE scheme is hiding the sequence of memory addresses accessed by P. This is particularly problematic because an adversary may homomorphically evaluate many programs over the same ciphertext, therefore effectively “rewinding” any mechanism for making memory accesses oblivious.We identify a necessary prerequisite towards constructing RAM-FHE that we call rewindable oblivious RAM (rewindable ORAM), which provides security even in this strong adversarial setting. We show how to construct rewindable ORAM using symmetric-key doubly efficient PIR (SK-DEPIR) (Canetti-Holmgren-Richelson, Boyle-Ishai-Pass-Wootters: TCC ’17). We then show how to use rewindable ORAM, along with virtual black-box (VBB) obfuscation for specific circuits, to construct RAM-FHE. The latter primitive can be heuristically instantiated using existing indistinguishability obfuscation candidates. Overall, we obtain a RAM-FHE scheme where the multiplicative overhead in running time is polylogarithmic in the database size N. Our basic scheme is single-hop, but we also extend it to obtain multi-hop RAM-FHE with overhead
$$N^\epsilon $$
for arbitrarily small
$$\epsilon >0$$
.We view our work as the first evidence that RAM-FHE is likely to exist.

2019

TCC

Permuted Puzzles and Cryptographic Hardness
Abstract

A permuted puzzle problem is defined by a pair of distributions
$$\mathcal{D}_0,\mathcal{D}_1$$
over
$$\varSigma ^n$$
. The problem is to distinguish samples from
$$\mathcal{D}_0,\mathcal{D}_1$$
, where the symbols of each sample are permuted by a single secret permutation
$$\pi $$
of [n].The conjectured hardness of specific instances of permuted puzzle problems was recently used to obtain the first candidate constructions of Doubly Efficient Private Information Retrieval (DE-PIR) (Boyle et al. & Canetti et al., TCC’17). Roughly, in these works the distributions
$$\mathcal{D}_0,\mathcal{D}_1$$
over
$${\mathbb F}^n$$
are evaluations of either a moderately low-degree polynomial or a random function. This new conjecture seems to be quite powerful, and is the foundation for the first DE-PIR candidates, almost two decades after the question was first posed by Beimel et al. (CRYPTO’00). However, while permuted puzzles are a natural and general class of problems, their hardness is still poorly understood.We initiate a formal investigation of the cryptographic hardness of permuted puzzle problems. Our contributions lie in three main directions:
Rigorous formalization. We formalize a notion of permuted puzzle distinguishing problems, extending and generalizing the proposed permuted puzzle framework of Boyle et al. (TCC’17).Identifying hard permuted puzzles. We identify natural examples in which a one-time permutation provably creates cryptographic hardness, based on “standard” assumptions. In these examples, the original distributions
$$\mathcal{D}_0,\mathcal{D}_1$$
are easily distinguishable, but the permuted puzzle distinguishing problem is computationally hard. We provide such constructions in the random oracle model, and in the plain model under the Decisional Diffie-Hellman (DDH) assumption. We additionally observe that the Learning Parity with Noise (LPN) assumption itself can be cast as a permuted puzzle.Partial lower bound for the DE-PIR problem. We make progress towards better understanding the permuted puzzles underlying the DE-PIR constructions, by showing that a toy version of the problem, introduced by Boyle et al. (TCC’17), withstands a rich class of attacks, namely those that distinguish solely via statistical queries.

2018

PKC

Multi-Key Searchable Encryption, Revisited
Abstract

We consider a setting where users store their encrypted documents on a remote server and can selectively share documents with each other. A user should be able to perform keyword searches over all the documents she has access to, including the ones that others shared with her. The contents of the documents, and the search queries, should remain private from the server.This setting was considered by Popa et al. (NSDI ’14) who developed a new cryptographic primitive called Multi-Key Searchable Encryption (MKSE), together with an instantiation and an implementation within a system called Mylar, to address this goal. Unfortunately, Grubbs et al. (CCS ’16) showed that the proposed MKSE definition fails to provide basic security guarantees, and that the Mylar system is susceptible to simple attacks. Most notably, if a malicious Alice colludes with the server and shares a document with an honest Bob then the privacy of all of Bob’s search queries is lost.In this work we revisit the notion of MKSE and propose a new strengthened definition that rules out the above attacks. We then construct MKSE schemes meeting our definition. We first give a simple and efficient construction using only pseudorandom functions. This construction achieves our strong security definition at the cost of increasing the server storage overhead relative to Mylar, essentially replicating the document each time it is shared. We also show that high server storage overhead is not inherent, by giving an alternate (albeit impractical) construction that manages to avoid it using obfuscation.

2018

TCC

Is There an Oblivious RAM Lower Bound for Online Reads?
Abstract

Oblivious RAM (ORAM), introduced by Goldreich and Ostrovsky (JACM 1996), can be used to read and write to memory in a way that hides which locations are being accessed. The best known ORAM schemes have an
$$O(\log n)$$
overhead per access, where
$$n$$
is the data size. The work of Goldreich and Ostrovsky gave a lower bound showing that this is optimal for ORAM schemes that operate in a “balls and bins” model, where memory blocks can only be shuffled between different locations but not manipulated otherwise. The lower bound even extends to weaker settings such as offline ORAM, where all of the accesses to be performed need to be specified ahead of time, and read-only ORAM, which only allows reads but not writes. But can we get lower bounds for general ORAM, beyond “balls and bins”?The work of Boyle and Naor (ITCS ’16) shows that this is unlikely in the offline setting. In particular, they construct an offline ORAM with
$$o(\log n)$$
overhead assuming the existence of small sorting circuits. Although we do not have instantiations of the latter, ruling them out would require proving new circuit lower bounds. On the other hand, the recent work of Larsen and Nielsen (CRYPTO ’18) shows that there indeed is an
$$\varOmega (\log n)$$
lower bound for general online ORAM.This still leaves the question open for online read-only ORAM or for read/write ORAM where we want very small overhead for the read operations. In this work, we show that a lower bound in these settings is also unlikely. In particular, our main result is a construction of online ORAM where reads (but not writes) have an
$$o(\log n)$$
overhead, assuming the existence of small sorting circuits as well as very good locally decodable codes (LDCs). Although we do not have instantiations of either of these with the required parameters, ruling them out is beyond current lower bounds.

#### Program Committees

- Crypto 2021
- Crypto 2019
- Eurocrypt 2019
- PKC 2018
- TCC 2018

#### Coauthors

- Elette Boyle (1)
- Daniel Genkin (2)
- Ariel Hamlin (3)
- Carmit Hazay (1)
- Justin Holmgren (2)
- Yuval Ishai (4)
- Rafail Ostrovsky (1)
- Abhi Shelat (1)
- Muthuramakrishnan Venkitasubramaniam (1)
- Daniel Wichs (5)
- Guang Yang (1)