Paper 2016/1146

Preventing Adaptive Key Recovery Attacks on the Gentry-Sahai-Waters Leveled Homomorphic Encryption Scheme

Zengpeng Li, Steven D. Galbraith, and Chunguang Ma


A major open problem is to protect leveled homomorphic encryption from adaptive attacks that allow an adversary to learn the private key. The only positive results in this area are by Loftus, May, Smart and Vercauteren. They use a notion of "valid ciphertexts" and obtain an IND-CCA1 scheme under a strong knowledge assumption, but they also show their scheme is not secure under a natural adaptive attack based on a "ciphertext validity oracle". However, due to recent cryptanalysis their scheme is no longer considered secure. The main contribution of this paper is to explore a new approach to achieving this goal, which does not rely on a notion of "valid ciphertexts". The idea is to generate a "one-time" private key every time the decryption algorithm is run, so that even if an attacker can learn some bits of the one-time private key from each decryption query, this does not allow them to compute a valid private key. This is the full version of the paper. The short version, which appeared in Provsec 2016, presented a variant of the Gentry-Sahai-Waters (GSW) levelled homomorphic encryption scheme. Damien Stehle pointed out an attack on our variant of this scheme that had not been anticipated in the Provsec paper; we explain the attack in this full version. This version of the paper also contains a new "dual" version of the GSW scheme. We give an explanation of why the known attacks no longer break the system. It remains an open problem to develop a scheme for which one can prove IND-CCA1 security.

Available format(s)
Public-key cryptography
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Major revision. ProvSec 2016
Levelled homomorphic encryptionadaptive attacks
Contact author(s)
s galbraith @ auckland ac nz
lizengpeng @ hrbeu edu cn
2016-12-21: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Zengpeng Li and Steven D.  Galbraith and Chunguang Ma},
      title = {Preventing Adaptive Key Recovery Attacks on the Gentry-Sahai-Waters Leveled Homomorphic Encryption Scheme},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2016/1146},
      year = {2016},
      doi = {10.1007/978-3-319-47422-9_22},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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