Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2016/147

Annihilation Attacks for Multilinear Maps: Cryptanalysis of Indistinguishability Obfuscation over GGH13

Eric Miles and Amit Sahai and Mark Zhandry

Abstract: In this work, we present a new class of polynomial-time attacks on the original multilinear maps of Garg, Gentry, and Halevi (2013). Previous polynomial-time attacks on GGH13 were “zeroizing” attacks that generally required the availability of low-level encodings of zero. Most significantly, such zeroizing attacks were not applicable to candidate indistinguishability obfuscation (iO) schemes. iO has been the subject of intense study.

To address this gap, we introduce annihilation attacks, which attack multilinear maps using non-linear polynomials. Annihilation attacks can work in situations where there are no low-level encodings of zero. Using annihilation attacks, we give the first polynomial-time cryptanalysis of candidate iO schemes over GGH13. More specifically, we exhibit two simple programs that are functionally equivalent, and show how to efficiently distinguish between the obfuscations of these two programs.

Given the enormous applicability of iO, it is important to devise iO schemes that can avoid attack. We discuss some initial directions for safeguarding against annihilating attacks.

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Original Publication (in the same form): IACR-CRYPTO-2016

Date: received 16 Feb 2016, last revised 7 Jun 2016

Contact author: amitsahai at gmail com

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Version: 20160607:192003 (All versions of this report)

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