Paper 2010/120

Universal One-Way Hash Functions and Average Case Complexity via Inaccessible Entropy

Iftach Haitner, Thomas Holenstein, Omer Reingold, Salil Vadhan, and Hoeteck Wee


This paper revisits the construction of Universally One-Way Hash Functions (UOWHFs) from any one-way function due to Rompel (STOC 1990). We give a simpler construction of UOWHFs which also obtains better efficiency and security. The construction exploits a strong connection to the recently introduced notion of *inaccessible entropy* (Haitner et al. STOC 2009). With this perspective, we observe that a small tweak of any one-way function f is already a weak form of a UOWHF: Consider F(x, i) that outputs the i-bit long prefix of f(x). If F were a UOWHF then given a random x and i it would be hard to come up with x' \neq x such that F(x, i) = F(x', i). While this may not be the case, we show (rather easily) that it is hard to sample x' with almost full entropy among all the possible such values of x'. The rest of our construction simply amplifies and exploits this basic property. With this and other recent works we have that the constructions of three fundamental cryptographic primitives (Pseudorandom Generators, Statistically Hiding Commitments and UOWHFs) out of one-way functions are to a large extent unified. In particular, all three constructions rely on and manipulate computational notions of entropy in similar ways. Pseudorandom Generators rely on the well-established notion of pseudoentropy, whereas Statistically Hiding Commitments and UOWHFs rely on the newer notion of inaccessible entropy. In an additional result, we use the notion of inaccessible entropy for reproving the seminal result of Impagliazzo and Levin (FOCS 1989): a reduction from "uniform distribution" average case complexity problems to ones with arbitrary (though polynomial samplable one) distributions.

Note: Updated full version of a Eurocrypt 2010 paper.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Major revision. Eurocrypt 2010
Contact author(s)
hoeteck @ alum mit edu
2014-12-11: revised
2010-03-05: received
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Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Iftach Haitner and Thomas Holenstein and Omer Reingold and Salil Vadhan and Hoeteck Wee},
      title = {Universal One-Way Hash Functions and Average Case Complexity via Inaccessible Entropy},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2010/120},
      year = {2010},
      doi = {10.1007/978-3-642-13190-5_31},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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