On Minimal Assumptions for Sender-Deniable Public Key Encryption

TitleOn Minimal Assumptions for Sender-Deniable Public Key Encryption
Publication TypeBook Chapters
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsDachman-Soled D
EditorKrawczyk H
Book TitlePublic-Key Cryptography – PKC 2014
Series TitleLecture Notes in Computer Science
Pagination574 - 591
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
ISBN Number978-3-642-54630-3, 978-3-642-54631-0
KeywordsAlgorithm Analysis and Problem Complexity, black-box separation, Coding and Information Theory, Data Encryption, sender-deniable encryption, simulatable PKE, Systems and Data Security

The primitive of deniable encryption was introduced by Canetti et al. (CRYPTO, 1997). Deniable encryption is an encryption scheme with the added feature that after transmitting a message m, both sender and receiver may produce random coins showing that the transmitted ciphertext was an encryption of any message m′ in the message space. Deniable encryption is a key tool for constructing incoercible protocols, since it allows a party to send one message and later provide apparent evidence to a coercer that a different message was sent. In addition, deniable encryption may be used to obtain adaptively-secure multiparty computation (MPC) protocols and is secure under selective-opening attacks. Different flavors such as sender-deniable and receiver-deniable encryption, where only the sender or receiver produce fake random coins, have been considered. Recently, over 15 years after the primitive was first introduced, Sahai and Waters (IACR Cryptology ePrint Archive, 2013), gave the first construction of sender-deniable encryption schemes with super-polynomial security, where an adversary has negligible advantage in distinguishing real and fake openings. Their construction is based on the construction of an indistinguishability obfuscator for general programs recently introduced in a breakthrough result of Garg et al. (FOCS, 2013). Although feasibility has now been demonstrated, the question of determining the minimal assumptions necessary for sender-deniable encryption with super-polynomial security remains open. The primitive of simulatable public key encryption (PKE), introduced by Damgård and Nielsen (CRYPTO, 2000), is a public key encryption scheme with additional properties that allow oblivious sampling of public keys and ciphertexts. It is one of the low-level primitives used to construct adaptively-secure MPC protocols and was used by O’Neill et al. in their construction of bi-deniable encryption in the multi-distributional model (CRYPTO, 2011). Moreover, the original construction of sender-deniable encryption with polynomial security given by Canetti et al. can be instantiated with simulatable PKE. Thus, a natural question to ask is whether it is possible to construct sender-deniable encryption with super-polynomial security from simulatable PKE. In this work, we investigate the possibility of constructing sender-deniable public key encryption from simulatable PKE in a black-box manner. We show that there is no black-box construction of sender-deniable public key encryption with super-polynomial security from simulatable PKE. This indicates that improving on the original construction of Canetti et al. requires the use of non-black-box techniques, stronger assumptions, or interaction, thus giving some evidence that strong assumptions such as those used by Sahai and Waters are necessary.