Paper 2016/272

Spooky Encryption and its Applications

Yevgeniy Dodis, Shai Halevi, Ron D. Rothblum, and Daniel Wichs


Consider a setting where inputs $x_1,\ldots,x_n$ are encrypted under independent public keys. Given the ciphertexts $\{c_i = Enc(pk_i,x_i)\}_i$, Alice outputs ciphertexts $c'_1,\ldots,c'_n$ that decrypt to $y_1,\ldots,y_n$ respectively. What relationships between the $x_i$'s and $y_i$'s can Alice induce? Motivated by applications to delegating computations, Dwork, Langberg, Naor, Nissim and Reingold (unpublished manuscript, 2004) showed that a semantically secure scheme disallows signaling in this setting, meaning that $y_i$ cannot depend on $x_j$ for $j \neq i$ . On the other hand if the scheme is homomorphic then any local (component-wise) relationship is achievable, meaning that each $y_i$ can be an arbitrary function of $x_i$. However, there are also relationships which are neither signaling nor local. Dwork et al. asked if it is possible to have encryption schemes that support such ``spooky'' relationships. Answering this question is the focus of our work. Our first result shows that, under the LWE assumption, there exist encryption schemes supporting a large class of ``spooky'' relationships, which we call additive function sharing (AFS) spooky. In particular, for any polynomial-time function $f$, Alice can ensure that $y_1,\ldots,y_n$ are random subject to $\sum_{i=1}^n y_i = f(x_1,\ldots,x_n)$. For this result, the public keys all depend on common public randomness. Our second result shows that, assuming sub-exponentially hard indistinguishability obfuscation (iO) (and additional more standard assumptions), we can remove the common randomness and choose the public keys completely independently. Furthermore, in the case of $n=2$ inputs, we get a scheme that supports an even larger class of spooky relationships. We discuss several implications of AFS-spooky encryption. Firstly, it gives a strong counter-example to a method proposed by Aiello et al. (ICALP, 2000) for building arguments for NP from homomorphic encryption. Secondly, it gives a simple 2-round multi-party computation protocol where, at the end of the first round, the parties can locally compute an additive secret sharing of the output. Lastly, it immediately yields a function secret sharing (FSS) scheme for all functions. We also define a notion of spooky-free encryption, which ensures that no spooky relationship is achievable. We show that any non-malleable encryption scheme is spooky-free. Furthermore, we can construct spooky-free homomorphic encryption schemes from SNARKs, and it remains an open problem whether it is possible to do so from falsifiable assumptions.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Preprint. MINOR revision.
Spooky EncryptionDelegationHomomorphic EncryptionFunction Secret Sharing
Contact author(s)
ronr @ csail mit edu
2016-03-10: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Yevgeniy Dodis and Shai Halevi and Ron D.  Rothblum and Daniel Wichs},
      title = {Spooky Encryption and its Applications},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2016/272},
      year = {2016},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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