Paper 2015/865

Card-based Cryptographic Protocols Using a Minimal Number of Cards

Alexander Koch, Stefan Walzer, and Kevin Härtel


Secure multiparty computation can be done with a deck of playing cards. For example, den Boer (EUROCRYPT ’89) devised his famous “five-card trick”, which is a secure two-party AND protocol using five cards. However, the output of the protocol is revealed in the process and it is therefore not suitable for general circuits with hidden intermediate results. To overcome this limitation, protocols in committed format, i.e., with concealed output, have been introduced, among them the six-card AND protocol of (Mizuki and Sone, FAW 2009). In their paper, the authors ask whether six cards are minimal for committed format AND protocols. We give a comprehensive answer to this problem: there is a four-card AND protocol with a runtime that is finite in expectation (i.e., a Las Vegas protocol), but no protocol with finite runtime. Moreover, we show that five cards are sufficient for finite runtime. In other words, improving on (Mizuki, Kumamoto, and Sone, ASIACRYPT 2012) “The Five-Card Trick can be done with four cards”, our results can be stated as “The Five-Card Trick can be done in committed format” and furthermore it “can be done with four cards in Las Vegas committed format”. By devising a Las Vegas protocol for any $k$-ary boolean function using $2k$ cards, we address the open question posed by (Nishida et al., TAMC 2015) on whether $2k+6$ cards are necessary for computing any $k$-ary boolean function. For this we use the shuffle abstraction as introduced in the computational model of card-based protocols in (Mizuki and Shizuya, Int. J. Inf. Secur., 2014). We augment this result by a discussion on implementing such general shuffle operations.

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Publication info
Published by the IACR in ASIACRYPT 2015
Card-based protocolsCommitted formatBoolean ANDSecure computationCryptography without computers
Contact author(s)
alexander koch @ kit edu
2015-11-02: revised
2015-09-08: received
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      author = {Alexander Koch and Stefan Walzer and Kevin Härtel},
      title = {Card-based Cryptographic Protocols Using a Minimal Number of Cards},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2015/865},
      year = {2015},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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