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1. ; (Ed.)
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2. (Ed.)
We initiate a systematic study of algorithms that are both differentially-private and run in sublinear time for several problems in which the goal is to estimate natural graph parameters. Our main result is a differentially-private $(1+\rho)$-approximation algorithm for the problem of computing the average degree of a graph, for every $\rho>0$. The running time of the algorithm is roughly the same (for sparse graphs) as its non-private version proposed by Goldreich and Ron (Sublinear Algorithms, 2005). We also obtain the first differentially-private sublinear-time approximation algorithms for the maximum matching size and the minimum vertex cover size of a graph. An overarching technique we employ is the notion of \emph{coupled global sensitivity} of randomized algorithms. Related variants of this notion of sensitivity have been used in the literature in ad-hoc ways. Here we formalize the notion and develop it as a unifying framework for privacy analysis of randomized approximation algorithms.
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3. Given a directed acyclic graph (DAG) G=(V,E), we say that G is (e,d)-depth-robust (resp. (e,d)-edge-depth-robust) if for any set S⊆V (resp. S⊆E) of at most |S|≤e nodes (resp. edges) the graph G−S contains a directed path of length d. While edge-depth-robust graphs are potentially easier to construct, many applications in cryptography require node depth-robust graphs with small indegree. We create a graph reduction that transforms an (e,d)-edge-depth-robust graph with m edges into a (e/2,d)-depth-robust graph with O(m) nodes and constant indegree. One immediate consequence of this result is the first construction of a provably (nloglognlogn,nlogn(logn)loglogn)-depth-robust graph with constant indegree. Our reduction crucially relies on ST-robust graphs, a new graph property we introduce which may be of independent interest. We say that a directed, acyclic graph with n inputs and n outputs is (k1,k2)-ST-robust if we can remove any k1 nodes and there exists a subgraph containing at least k2 inputs and k2 outputs such that each of the k2 inputs is connected to all of the k2 outputs. If the graph if (k1,n−k1)-ST-robust for all k1≤n we say that the graph is maximally ST-robust. We show how to construct maximally ST-robust graphs with constant indegree and O(n) nodes. Given a family M of ST-robust graphs and an arbitrary (e,d)-edge-depth-robust graph G we construct a new constant-indegree graph Reduce(G,M) by replacing each node in G with an ST-robust graph from M. We also show that ST-robust graphs can be used to construct (tight) proofs-of-space and (asymptotically) improved wide-block labeling functions.
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4. (Ed.)
A Proof of Sequential Work (PoSW) allows a prover to convince a resource-bounded verifier that the prover invested a substantial amount of sequential time to perform some underlying computation. PoSWs have many applications including time-stamping, blockchain design, and universally verifiable CPU benchmarks. Mahmoody, Moran, and Vadhan (ITCS 2013) gave the first construction of a PoSW in the random oracle model though the construction relied on expensive depth-robust graphs. In a recent breakthrough, Cohen and Pietrzak (EUROCRYPT 2018) gave an efficient PoSW construction that does not require expensive depth-robust graphs. In the classical parallel random oracle model, it is straightforward to argue that any successful PoSW attacker must produce a long ℋ-sequence and that any malicious party running in sequential time T-1 will fail to produce an ℋ-sequence of length T except with negligible probability. In this paper, we prove that any quantum attacker running in sequential time T-1 will fail to produce an ℋ-sequence except with negligible probability - even if the attacker submits a large batch of quantum queries in each round. The proof is substantially more challenging and highlights the power of Zhandry’s recent compressed oracle technique (CRYPTO 2019). We further extend this result to establish post-quantum security of a non-interactive PoSW obtained by applying the Fiat-Shamir transform to Cohen and Pietrzak’s efficient construction (EUROCRYPT 2018).
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5. (Ed.)
Memory hard functions (MHFs) are an important cryptographic primitive that are used to design egalitarian proofs of work and in the construction of moderately expensive key-derivation functions resistant to brute-force attacks. Broadly speaking, MHFs can be divided into two categories: data-dependent memory hard functions (dMHFs) and data-independent memory hard functions (iMHFs). iMHFs are resistant to certain side-channel attacks as the memory access pattern induced by the honest evaluation algorithm is independent of the potentially sensitive input e.g., password. While dMHFs are potentially vulnerable to side-channel attacks (the induced memory access pattern might leak useful information to a brute-force attacker), they can achieve higher cumulative memory complexity (CMC) in comparison than an iMHF. In particular, any iMHF that can be evaluated in N steps on a sequential machine has CMC at most 𝒪((N^2 log log N)/log N). By contrast, the dMHF scrypt achieves maximal CMC Ω(N^2) - though the CMC of scrypt would be reduced to just 𝒪(N) after a side-channel attack. In this paper, we introduce the notion of computationally data-independent memory hard functions (ciMHFs). Intuitively, we require that memory access pattern induced by the (randomized) ciMHF evaluation algorithm appears to be independent from the standpoint of a computationally bounded eavesdropping attacker - even if the attacker selects the initial input. We then ask whether it is possible to circumvent known upper bound for iMHFs and build a ciMHF with CMC Ω(N^2). Surprisingly, we answer the question in the affirmative when the ciMHF evaluation algorithm is executed on a two-tiered memory architecture (RAM/Cache). We introduce the notion of a k-restricted dynamic graph to quantify the continuum between unrestricted dMHFs (k=n) and iMHFs (k=1). For any ε > 0 we show how to construct a k-restricted dynamic graph with k=Ω(N^(1-ε)) that provably achieves maximum cumulative pebbling cost Ω(N^2). We can use k-restricted dynamic graphs to build a ciMHF provided that cache is large enough to hold k hash outputs and the dynamic graph satisfies a certain property that we call "amenable to shuffling". In particular, we prove that the induced memory access pattern is indistinguishable to a polynomial time attacker who can monitor the locations of read/write requests to RAM, but not cache. We also show that when k=o(N^(1/log log N)) , then any k-restricted graph with constant indegree has cumulative pebbling cost o(N^2). Our results almost completely characterize the spectrum of k-restricted dynamic graphs.
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6. (Ed.)
Constructions of locally decodable codes (LDCs) have one of two undesirable properties: low rate or high locality (polynomial in the length of the message). In settings where the encoder/decoder have already exchanged cryptographic keys and the channel is a probabilistic polynomial time (PPT) algorithm, it is possible to circumvent these barriers and design LDCs with constant rate and small locality. However, the assumption that the encoder/decoder have exchanged cryptographic keys is often prohibitive. We thus consider the problem of designing explicit and efficient LDCs in settings where the channel is slightly more constrained than the encoder/decoder with respect to some resource e.g., space or (sequential) time. Given an explicit function f that the channel cannot compute, we show how the encoder can transmit a random secret key to the local decoder using f(⋅) and a random oracle 𝖧(⋅). We then bootstrap the private key LDC construction of Ostrovsky, Pandey and Sahai (ICALP, 2007), thereby answering an open question posed by Guruswami and Smith (FOCS 2010) of whether such bootstrapping techniques are applicable to LDCs in channel models weaker than just PPT algorithms. Specifically, in the random oracle model we show how to construct explicit constant rate LDCs with locality of polylog in the security parameter against various resource constrained channels.
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7. (Ed.)
The cumulative pebbling complexity of a directed acyclic graph G is defined as cc(G) = min_P ∑_i |P_i|, where the minimum is taken over all legal (parallel) black pebblings of G and |P_i| denotes the number of pebbles on the graph during round i. Intuitively, cc(G) captures the amortized Space-Time complexity of pebbling m copies of G in parallel. The cumulative pebbling complexity of a graph G is of particular interest in the field of cryptography as cc(G) is tightly related to the amortized Area-Time complexity of the Data-Independent Memory-Hard Function (iMHF) f_{G,H} [Joël Alwen and Vladimir Serbinenko, 2015] defined using a constant indegree directed acyclic graph (DAG) G and a random oracle H(⋅). A secure iMHF should have amortized Space-Time complexity as high as possible, e.g., to deter brute-force password attacker who wants to find x such that f_{G,H}(x) = h. Thus, to analyze the (in)security of a candidate iMHF f_{G,H}, it is crucial to estimate the value cc(G) but currently, upper and lower bounds for leading iMHF candidates differ by several orders of magnitude. Blocki and Zhou recently showed that it is NP-Hard to compute cc(G), but their techniques do not even rule out an efficient (1+ε)-approximation algorithm for any constant ε>0. We show that for any constant c > 0, it is Unique Games hard to approximate cc(G) to within a factor of c. Along the way, we show the hardness of approximation of the DAG Vertex Deletion problem on DAGs of constant indegree. Namely, we show that for any k,ε >0 and given a DAG G with N nodes and constant indegree, it is Unique Games hard to distinguish between the case that G is (e_1, d_1)-reducible with e_1=N^{1/(1+2 ε)}/k and d_1=k N^{2 ε/(1+2 ε)}, and the case that G is (e_2, d_2)-depth-robust with e_2 = (1-ε)k e_1 and d_2= 0.9 N^{(1+ε)/(1+2 ε)}, which may be of independent interest. Our result generalizes a result of Svensson who proved an analogous result for DAGs with indegree 𝒪(N).
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8. Recent efforts in coding theory have focused on building codes for insertions and deletions, called insdel codes, with optimal trade-offs between their redundancy and their error-correction capabilities, as well as {\em efficient} encoding and decoding algorithms. In many applications, polynomial running time may still be prohibitively expensive, which has motivated the study of codes with {\em super-efficient} decoding algorithms. These have led to the well-studied notions of Locally Decodable Codes (LDCs) and Locally Correctable Codes (LCCs). Inspired by these notions, Ostrovsky and Paskin-Cherniavsky (Information Theoretic Security, 2015) generalized Hamming LDCs to insertions and deletions. To the best of our knowledge, these are the only known results that study the analogues of Hamming LDCs in channels performing insertions and deletions. Here we continue the study of insdel codes that admit local algorithms. Specifically, we reprove the results of Ostrovsky and Paskin-Cherniavsky for insdel LDCs using a different set of techniques. We also observe that the techniques extend to constructions of LCCs. Specifically, we obtain insdel LDCs and LCCs from their Hamming LDCs and LCCs analogues, respectively. The rate and error-correction capability blow up only by a constant factor, while the query complexity blows up by a poly log factor in the block length. Since insdel locally decodable/correctble codes are scarcely studied in the literature, we believe our results and techniques may lead to further research. In particular, we conjecture that constant-query insdel LDCs/LCCs do not exist.
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9. Memory-hard functions (MHFs) are a key cryptographic primitive underlying the design of moderately expensive password hashing algorithms and egalitarian proofs of work. Over the past few years several increasingly stringent goals for an MHF have been proposed including the requirement that the MHF have high sequential space-time (ST) complexity, parallel space-time complexity, amortized area-time (aAT) complexity and sustained space complexity. Data-Independent Memory Hard Functions (iMHFs) are of special interest in the context of password hashing as they naturally resist side-channel attacks. iMHFs can be specified using a directed acyclic graph (DAG) $G$ with $N=2^n$ nodes and low indegree and the complexity of the iMHF can be analyzed using a pebbling game. Recently, Alwen et al. [CCS'17] constructed an DAG called DRSample which has aAT complexity at least $\Omega\left( N^2/\log N\right)$. Asymptotically DRSample outperformed all prior iMHF constructions including Argon2i, winner of the password hashing competition (aAT cost $\mathcal{O}\left(N^{1.767}\right)$), though the constants in these bounds are poorly understood. We show that the the greedy pebbling strategy of Boneh et al. [ASIACRYPT'16] is particularly effective against DRSample e.g., the aAT cost is $\mathcal{O}\left( N^2/\log N\right)$. In fact, our empirical analysis {\em reverses} the prior conclusion of Alwen et al. that DRSample provides stronger resistance to known pebbling attacks for practical values of $N \leq 2^{24}$. We construct a new iMHF candidate (DRSample+BRG) by using the bit-reversal graph to extend DRSample. We then prove that the construction is asymptotically optimal under every MHF criteria, and we empirically demonstrate that our iMHF provides the best resistance to {\em known} pebbling attacks. For example, we show that any parallel pebbling attack either has aAT cost $\omega(N^2)$ or requires at least $\Omega(N)$ steps with $\Omega(N/\log N)$ pebbles on the DAG. This makes our construction the first practical iMHF with a strong sustained space-complexity guarantee and immediately implies that any parallel pebbling has aAT complexity $\Omega(N^2/\log N)$. We also prove that any sequential pebbling (including the greedy pebbling attack) has aAT cost $\Omega\left( N^2\right)$ and, if a plausible conjecture holds, any parallel pebbling has aAT cost $\Omega(N^2 \log \log N/\log N)$ --- the best possible bound for an iMHF. We implement our new iMHF and demonstrate that it is just as fast as Argon2. Along the way we propose a simple modification to the Argon2 round function which increases an attacker's aAT cost by nearly an order of magnitude without increasing running time on a CPU. Finally, we give a pebbling reduction which proves that in the parallel random oracle model (PROM) the cost of evaluating an iMHF like Argon2i or DRSample+BRG is given by the pebbling cost of the underlying DAG. Prior pebbling reductions assumed that the iMHF round function concatenates input labels before hashing and did not apply to practical iMHFs such as Argon2i, DRSample or DRSample+BRG where input labels are instead XORed together.
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10. ; (Ed.)
Memory-hard functions (MHF) are functions whose evaluation cost is dominated by memory cost. MHFs are egalitarian, in the sense that evaluating them on dedicated hardware (like FPGAs or ASICs) is not much cheaper than on off-the-shelf hardware (like x86 CPUs). MHFs have interesting cryptographic applications, most notably to password hashing and securing blockchains. Alwen and Serbinenko [STOC'15] define the cumulative memory complexity (cmc) of a function as the sum (over all time-steps) of the amount of memory required to compute the function. They advocate that a good MHF must have high cmc. Unlike previous notions, cmc takes into account that dedicated hardware might exploit amortization and parallelism. Still, cmc has been critizised as insufficient, as it fails to capture possible time-memory trade-offs, as memory cost doesn't scale linearly, functions with the same cmc could still have very different actual hardware cost. In this work we address this problem, and introduce the notion of sustained-memory complexity, which requires that any algorithm evaluating the function must use a large amount of memory for many steps. We construct functions (in the parallel random oracle model) whose sustained-memory complexity is almost optimal: our function can be evaluated using n steps and O(n/log(n)) memory, in each step making one query to the (fixed-input length) random oracle, while any algorithm that can make arbitrary many parallel queries to the random oracle, still needs Ω(n/log(n)) memory for Ω(n) steps. Our main technical contribution is the construction is a family of DAGs on n nodes with constant indegree with high "sustained-space complexity", meaning that any parallel black-pebbling strategy requires Ω(n/log(n)) pebbles for at least Ω(n) steps.
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