Black-Box Constructions for Secure Computation

Yuval Ishai, Eyal Kushilevitz, Yehuda Lindell and Erez Petrank


It is well known that the secure computation of non-trivial functionalities in the setting of no honest majority requires computational assumptions. An interesting question that therefore arises relates to the way such computational assumptions are used. Specifically, can the secure protocol use the underlying primitive (e.g., one-way trapdoor permutation) in a black-box way, or must it be nonblack-box (by referring to the code that computes this primitive)? Despite the fact that many general constructions of cryptographic schemes (e.g., CPA-secure encryption) refer to the underlying primitive in a black-box way only, there are some constructions that are inherently nonblack-box. Indeed, all known constructions of protocols for general secure computation that are secure in the presence of a malicious adversary and without an honest majority use the underlying primitive in a nonblack-box way (requiring to prove in zero-knowledge statements that relate to the primitive).

In this paper, we study whether such nonblack-box use is essential. We present protocols that use only black-box access to a family of (enhanced) trapdoor permutations or to a homomorphic public-key encryption scheme. The result is a protocol whose communication complexity is independent of the computational complexity of the underlying primitive (e.g., a trapdoor permutation) and whose computational complexity grows only linearly with that of the underlying primitive. This is the first protocol to exhibit these properties.

Postscript, gzipped Postscript.

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