Today: Computing on Encrypted Data, Wed., April 22nd

Guest lecture by Vinod Vaikuntanathan


Traditional encryption is "all-or-nothing": put the secret message in a locked box, send it to the person. If he has the key he can decrypt, otherwise he can't do anything.

Non-malleable encryption: if adversary intercepts ciphertext he cannot do anything (flip bits, etc) or learn anything from it.

Encryption for cloud computing

You want to compute a function F over the encrypted data of an user. But the user wants its privacy.

Fully homomorphic encryption (FHE), by Rivest, Adleman, Dertouzos (1978):

Cloud                           user

They had no solution for FHE, just an idea that it might be possible.

Classes of computation:

Gentry, 2009 introduced the first FHE construction.


If we have addition and multiplication, then we have FHE.

For over 30 years we knew how to do addition and multiplication, but within different encryption schemes => no FHE


We've seen it before in class.

Enc(m1): (g^r1, y^r1*m1)
Enc(m2): (g^r2, y^r2*m1)
Enc(m2*m2): (g^(r2*r1), y^(r2*r1)*m1*m2)


Public key: N = pq, y = non-square mod N Secret key: factorization of N

In Z_N* some numbers can be written as squares and others can't.


Enc(0): r^2 mod N
Enc(1): y* r^2 mod N

Computationally hard to distinguish between squares and non-squares in Z_N*, unless you know the factorization of N

XOR homomorphic, just multiply the ciphertexts:

Other HE schemes

Additive for numbers larger than 1 bit

Additions + a single multiplication

How to construct an FHE scheme

Step 1: Somewhat homomorphic encryption (SwHE): We know how to do additions and just one multiplications. Can we extend it to 10 multiplications? Or more?

Step 2: Bootstrapping theorem (Gentry 2009): Says that "homomorphic-enough" encryption =>* FHE

Homomorphic-enough means that the scheme can evaluate a deep enough circuit. Deep enough means the scheme can evaluate its own decryption circuits (plus some). Note that decryption circuits are well-defined and don't have unbounded loops.

Step 3: Depth boosting / Modulus reduction: Takes a SwHE scheme that can compute log(n) circuits and boosts it to O(n) circuits.

The NTRU encryption scheme

Central characters: ring (add and multiply) of polynomials modulo q of bounded degree (when you multiply two polynomials, the degree grows, but reduction modulo q helps reduce it)

Polynomials of degree less than n

Example (q = 11):

Ring: R_q := Z_q[X] / (x^n + 1)

    sample two "small" polynomials, `f, g \in R_q` with coefficients `<= B` ,
    s.t. `f=1 mod 2`

    secret key = f, public key = h = 2g/f
    (sample again if f has no inverse)
    (multiplying the public key by f, almost "kills" h in the sense
     that the product is small)

Encryption(m \in {0,1}): 
    sample "small" polynomials s,e \in R_q
    output C = hs + m (mod q, x^n+1)
        (s sort of randomizes the encryption)
    is this semantically secure? you have to add randomness cleverly.
    if m = 0, (hs + m) * h^-1 = s + m*h^-1 = s (small)
    if m = 1, (hs + m) * h^-1 = s + m*h^-1 = s + h^-1 (not small)
      => not semantically secure

    output C = hs + 2e + m (mod q, x^n+1)
        (s sort of randomizes the encryption)
    if m = 0, (hs + 2e + m) * h^-1 = s + 2eh^-1 + m*h^-1 (large)
    if m = 1, (hs + 2e + m) * h^-1 = s + 2eh^-1 + m*h^-1 (large)


    output fC (mod q, X^n+1) mod 2
    fC = f(hs + 2e + m) = 2(gs + fe) + fm (mod q, x^n+1)
    (can't just take the mod 2 of this because ((mod q) mod 2) does not commute)

    this polynomial has small coefficients though, so the mod q has no effect
    if |2(gs+fe) + fm)| < q/2, taking mod 2 gives m

You can show that this scheme is as secure as solving the shortest vector problem on lattices (SVP)

Note that there's no factoring, no discrete logarithm. This relies on the fact that if I give you a bunch of linear equations for ciphertexts in this scheme, it is hard to extract the secret or the messages.

\vecS = (s1, ..., sn) \in Z_2^n

I can give you:
\veca1, a1 \cdot s
\veca1, am \cdot s

Your goal is to find s. You can do this with Gaussian elimination.

However, if I give you noisy equations with e_i, where P(e_i = 1) = p:
\veca1, a1 \cdot s + e_1
\veca1, am \cdot s + e_m

The only solution is to check all possible assignments of \vecS and see
if the distribution of the e_i's you get out matches P(e_i)

Additive homomorphism for NTRU:

c1 = hs1 + 2e1 + m1
c2 = hs2 + 2e2 + m2
c1+c2 = h(s1+s2) + 2(e1+e2) + m1+m2

Note that you cannot do too many additions because e needs to be a small polynomial => this is a SwHE scheme

What happens when I decrypt these ciphertexts?

fc1 = 2E1 + fm1
fc2 = 2E2 + fm2

What about decrypting the sum?

f(c1+c2) = 2(E1+E2) + f(m1+m2)
f(c1+c2) = 2(E1+E2) + f(m1+m2)


f(c1*c2) = 2(E1m2 + E2m1 + 2E1E2) + f^2(m1*m2)
=> I need to use a different secret (f^2) to retrieve m1 * m2

Problem: these errors grow, and they cannot grow beyond a certain amount (q/2 or q/4 or the wraparound will not allow you to decrypt)

Let's look at addition:

f(c1+c2) = 2(E1+E2) + f(m1+m2)
the noise is at most 2*B, if E1 < B and E2 < B

f(c1*c2) = 2(E1m2 + E2m1 + 2E1E2) + f^2(m1*m2)
norm of E1E2 is at most nB^2 (due to the reduction in R_q)

after d levels, noise is (nB)^(2^d)

if noise <= q/2 <= B * 2^(n^\epsilon) we re good
=> d <= log(log q) - log(log nB) <=~ \epsilon log(n) - log(log(n))

The bootstrapping method

Theorem: If you can homomorphically evaluate circuits of depth d and the depth of your decryption circuit < d then you can convert it into an FHE scheme.

How? What is the best possible noise reduction algorithm that you can think of? DECRYPTION!!

You encrypt your data, server computes, gets too much noise, now server needs to decrypt! But that would break security! The next best thing: "homomorphic decryption": I have a scheme which can compute circuits of small depths, and the decryption algorithm is of small depth => Can decrypt "homomorphically" => get back a reencrypted plain text. But I would need the secret key to know the decryption circuit. Maybe the encrypted secret key suffices.

Assume you can use the public key to encrypt the secret key (circular secure).

TODO: kind of weird how the Dec(ctext, sk) is turned into Dec(ctext, enc_pk(sk))

We need the noise we get out of the homomorphic decryption to be independent of the noise in the input ciphertext.