Secure and fair two-party computation

M.S. Kiraz

Research output: ThesisPhd Thesis 1 (Research TU/e / Graduation TU/e)

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Consider several parties that do not trust each other, yet they wish to correctly compute some common function of their local inputs while keeping these inputs private. This problem is known as "Secure Multi-Party Computation", and was introduced by Andrew Yao in 1982. Secure multi-party computations have some real world examples like electronic auctions, electronic voting or fingerprinting. In this thesis we consider the case where there are only two parties involved. This is known as "Secure Two-Party Computation". If there is a trusted third party called Carol, then the problem is pretty straightforward. The participating parties could hand their inputs in Carol who can compute the common function correctly and could return the outputs to the corresponding parties. The goal is to achieve (almost) the same result when there is no trusted third party. Cryptographic protocols are designed in order to solve these kinds of problems. These protocols are analyzed within an appropriate model in which the behavior of parties is structured. The basic level is called the Semi-Honest Model where parties are assumed to follow the protocol specification, but later can derive additional information based on the messages which have been received so far. A more realistic model is the so-called Malicious Model. The common approach is to first analyze a protocol in the semi-honest model and then later extend it into the malicious model. Any cryptographic protocol for secure two-party computation must satisfy the following security requirements: correctness, privacy and fairness. It must guarantee the correctness of the result while preserving the privacy of the parties’ inputs, even if one of the parties is malicious and behaves arbitrarily throughout the protocol. It must also guarantee fairness. This roughly means that whenever a party aborts the protocol prematurely, he or she should not have any advantage over the other party in discovering the output. The main question for researchers is to construct new protocols that achieve the above mentioned goals for secure multi-party computation. Of course, such protocols must be secure in a given model, as well as be as efficient as possible. In 1986, Yao presented the first general protocol for secure two-party computation which was applicable only to the semi-honest model. He uses a tool called "Garbled Circuit". Yao’s protocol uses the underlying primitives ("Pseudorandom Generator" and "Oblivious Transfer") as blackboxes which lead to efficient results. After Yao’s work many variants and improvements have been proposed for the malicious model. In this thesis, we design several new protocols for secure two-party computation based on Yao’s garbled circuit. Before we present the details of our new designs, we first show several weaknesses, security flaws or problems with the existing protocols in the literature. We first work in the semi-honest model and then extend it into the malicious model by presenting new protocols. Finally we add fairness to our protocol. Oblivious transfer (OT) is a fundamental primitive in modern cryptography which is useful for implementing protocols for secure multi-party computation. We study several variants of oblivious transfer in this thesis. We present a new protocol for the so-called "Committed OT". This protocol is very efficient in the sense that it is quite good in comparison to the most efficient committed OT protocols in the literature. The abovementioned flaw with the use of OT can be fixed with our committed oblivious transfer protocol. Furthermore, it is more general than all previous protocols, and, therefore, it is of independent interest. We also deal with fairness in this thesis. For protocols based on garbled circuit, so far only Benny Pinkas has presented a protocol in the literature for achieving fairness. We show a subtle problem with this protocol where the privacy of the inputs of one party can be compromised. We also describe this problem in detail which is in fact related to the fairness, and finally propose a more efficient scheme that does achieve fairness.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Mathematics and Computer Science
  • van Tilborg, Henk, Promotor
  • Lange, Tanja, Promotor
  • Schoenmakers, L.A.M. (Berry), Copromotor
Award date27 Aug 2008
Place of PublicationEindhoven
Print ISBNs978-90-386-1369-7
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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