Paper 2021/1176

Amortized Threshold Symmetric-key Encryption

Mihai Christodorescu, Sivanarayana Gaddam, Pratyay Mukherjee, and Rohit Sinha


Threshold cryptography enables cryptographic operations while keeping the secret keys distributed at all times. Agrawal et al. (CCS'18) propose a framework for Distributed Symmetric-key Encryption (DiSE). They introduce a new notion of Threshold Symmetric-key Encryption (TSE), in that encryption and decryption are performed by interacting with a threshold number of servers. However, the necessity for interaction on each invocation limits performance when encrypting large datasets, incurring heavy computation and communication on the servers. This paper proposes a new approach to resolve this problem by introducing a new notion called Amortized Threshold Symmetric-key Encryption (ATSE), which allows a "privileged" client (with access to sensitive data) to encrypt a large group of messages using a single interaction. Importantly, our notion requires a client to interact for decrypting each ciphertext, thus providing the same security (privacy and authenticity) guarantee as DiSE with respect to a "not-so-privileged" client. We construct an ATSE scheme based on a new primitive that we formalize as flexible threshold key-derivation (FTKD), which allows parties to interactively derive pseudorandom keys in different modes in a threshold manner. Our FTKD construction, which uses bilinear pairings, is based on a distributed variant of left/right constrained PRF by Boneh and Waters (Asiacrypt'13). Despite our use of bilinear maps, our scheme achieves significant speed-ups due to the amortized interaction. Our experiments show 40x lower latency and 30x more throughput in some settings.

Note: Added Page number

Available format(s)
Public-key cryptography
Publication info
Published elsewhere. MAJOR revision.ACM CCS 2021
Threshold CryptographyConstraint PRFDistributed PRF
Contact author(s)
pratyay85 @ gmail com
2021-09-17: revised
2021-09-14: received
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Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Mihai Christodorescu and Sivanarayana Gaddam and Pratyay Mukherjee and Rohit Sinha},
      title = {Amortized Threshold Symmetric-key Encryption},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2021/1176},
      year = {2021},
      doi = {10.1145/3460120.3485256},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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