Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2009/604

Composition of Zero-Knowledge Proofs with Efficient Provers

Eleanor Birrell and Salil Vadhan

Abstract: We revisit the composability of different forms of zero-knowledge proofs when the honest prover strategy is restricted to be polynomial time (given an appropriate auxiliary input). Our results are: \begin{enumerate} \item When restricted to efficient provers, the original Goldwasser--Micali--Rackoff (GMR) definition of zero knowledge (STOC `85), here called \emph{plain zero knowledge}, is closed under a constant number of sequential compositions (on the same input). This contrasts with the case of unbounded provers, where Goldreich and Krawczyk (ICALP `90, SICOMP `96) exhibited a protocol that is zero knowledge under the GMR definition, but for which the sequential composition of 2 copies is not zero knowledge.

\item If we relax the GMR definition to only require that the simulation is indistinguishable from the verifier's view by uniform polynomial-time distinguishers, with no auxiliary input beyond the statement being proven, then again zero knowledge is not closed under sequential composition of 2 copies.

\item We show that auxiliary-input zero knowledge with efficient provers is not closed under {\em parallel} composition of 2 copies under the assumption that there is a secure key agreement protocol (in which it is easy to recognize valid transcripts). Feige and Shamir (STOC `90) gave similar results under the seemingly incomparable assumptions that (a) the discrete logarithm problem is hard, or (b) $\UP\not\subseteq \BPP$ and one-way functions exist. \end{enumerate}

Category / Keywords: foundations / zero knowledge

Publication Info: Extended Abstract to appear in the Theory of Cryptography Conference, 2010.

Date: received 7 Dec 2009

Contact author: eleanor at cs cornell edu

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Version: 20091209:221204 (All versions of this report)

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