Paper 2022/658

Unclonable Polymers and Their Cryptographic Applications

Ghada Almashaqbeh, University of Connecticut
Ran Canetti, Boston University
Yaniv Erlich, Eleven Therapeutics and IDC Herzliya
Jonathan Gershoni, Tel Aviv University
Tal Malkin, Columbia University
Itsik Pe’er, Columbia University
Anna Roitburd-Berman, Tel Aviv University
Eran Tromer, Columbia University, Tel Aviv University

We propose a mechanism for generating and manipulating protein polymers to obtain a new type of consumable storage that exhibits intriguing cryptographic "self-destruct" properties, assuming the hardness of certain polymer-sequencing problems. To demonstrate the cryptographic potential of this technology, we first develop a formalism that captures (in a minimalistic way) the functionality and security properties provided by the technology. Next, using this technology, we construct and prove security of two cryptographic applications that are currently obtainable only via trusted hardware that implements logical circuitry (either classical or quantum). The first application is a password-controlled secure vault where the stored data is irrecoverably erased once a threshold of unsuccessful access attempts is reached. The second is (a somewhat relaxed version of) one-time programs, namely a device that allows evaluating a secret function only a limited number of times before self-destructing, where each evaluation is made on a fresh user-chosen input. Finally, while our constructions, modeling, and analysis are designed to capture the proposed polymer-based technology, they are sufficiently general to be of potential independent interest.

Available format(s)
Cryptographic protocols
Publication info
A major revision of an IACR publication in EUROCRYPT 2022
Unclonable polymers consumable memory devices obfuscation bounded-execution programs
Contact author(s)
ghada @ uconn edu
canetti @ bu edu
erlichya @ gmail com
gershoni @ tauex tau ac il
tal @ cs columbia edu
itsik @ cs columbia edu
roitburda @ gmail com
tromer @ cs columbia edu
2022-06-01: revised
2022-05-27: received
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Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Ghada Almashaqbeh and Ran Canetti and Yaniv Erlich and Jonathan Gershoni and Tal Malkin and Itsik Pe’er and Anna Roitburd-Berman and Eran Tromer},
      title = {Unclonable Polymers and Their Cryptographic Applications},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2022/658},
      year = {2022},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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