Lattice-Based Zero-Knowledge Proofs of Knowledge

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The main goal of this dissertation is to develop new lattice-based cryptographic schemes. Most of the cryptographic protocols that each and every one of us use on a daily basis are only secure under the assumption that two mathematical problems, namely the discrete logarithm on elliptic curves and the factorization of products of two primes, are computationally hard. That is believed to be true for classical computers, but quantum computers would be able to solve these problems much more efficiently, demolishing the foundations of plenty of cryptographic constructions. This reveals the importance of post-quantum alternatives, cryptographic schemes whose security relies on different problems intractable for both classical and quantum computers. The most promising family of problems widely believed to be hard for quantum computers are lattice-based problems.

We increase the supply of lattice-based tools providing new Zero-Knowledge Proofs of Knowledge for the Ring Learning With Errors (RLWE) problem, perhaps the most popular lattice-based problem. Zero-knowledge proofs are protocols between a prover and a verifier where the prover convinces the verifier of the validity of certain statements without revealing any additional relevant information. Our proofs extend the literature of Stern-based proofs, following the techniques presented by Jacques Stern in 1994. His original idea involved a code-based problem, but it has been reiteratedly improved and generalized to be used with lattices.

We illustrate our proposal defining a variant of the commitment scheme, a cryptographic primitive that allows us to ensure some message was already determined at some point without revealing it until a future time, defined by Benhamouda et al. in ESORICS 2015, and proving in zero-knowledge the knowledge of a valid opening. Most importantly we also show how to prove that the message committed in one commitment is a linear combination, with some public coefficients, of the committed messages from two other commitments, again without revealing any further information about the messages. Finally, we also present a zero-knowledge proof analogous to the previous one but for multiplicative relations, something much more involved that allows us to prove any arithmetic circuit.

We give first an interactive version of these proofs and then show how to construct a non-interactive one. We diligently prove that both the commitment and the companion Zero-Knowledge Proofs of Knowledge are secure under the assumption of the hardness of the underlying lattice problems. Furthermore, we specifically develop such proofs so that the arising conditions can be directly used to compute parameters that satisfy them. This way we provide a general method to instantiate our commitment and proofs with any desired security level. Thanks to this practical approach we have been able to implement all the proposed schemes and benchmark the prototype im-plementation with actually secure parameters, which allows us to obtain meaningful results and compare its performance with the existing alternatives.

Moreover, provided that multiplication of polynomials in the quotient ring \(\mathbb{Z}_{p}[x]/\left\langle{}x^{n}+1\right\rangle{}\), with \(p\) prime and \(n\) a power of two, is the most basic operation when working with ideal lattices we comprehensively study what are the necessary and sufficient conditions needed for applying (a generalized version of) the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) to obtain an efficient multiplication algorithm in quotient rings as \(\mathbb{Z}_{m}[x]/\left\langle{}x^{n}-a\right\rangle{}\) (where we consider any positive integer \(m\) and generalize the quotient), as we think it is of independent interest. We believe such a theoretical analysis is fundamental to be able to determine when a given generalization can also be applied to design an efficient multiplication algorithm when the FFT is not defined for the ring we are considering. That is the case of the rings used for the commitment and proofs described before, where only a partial FFT is available.