In this thesis we study two remotely related cryptographic primitives: homomorphic encryption and enhanced trapdoor permutations.
Our main result regarding homomorphic encryption shows that any private-key encryption scheme that is weakly homomorphic with respect to addition modulo 2, can be transformed into a public-key encryption scheme. The homomorphic feature referred to is a minimalistic one; that is, the length of a homomorphically generated encryption should be independent of the number of ciphertexts from which it was created. Our resulting public-key scheme is homomorphic in the following sense. If i+1 repeated applications of homomorphic operations can be applied to the private-key scheme, then i repeated applications can be applied to the public-key scheme.
In an independent part of the thesis, we study (enhanced) trapdoor permutations (TDPs). We note that in many setting and applications trapdoor permutations behave unexpectedly. In particular, a TDP may become easy to invert when the inverter is given auxiliary information about the element to be inverted (e.g., the random coins that sampled the element). Enhanced TDPs were defined in order to address the latter special case, but there are settings in which they apparently do not suffice (as demonstrated by the introduction of doubly-enhanced TDPs). We study the hardness of inverting TDP in natural settings, which reflect the security concerns that arise in various applications of TDPs to the construction of complex primitives (e.g., Oblivious Transfer and NIZK). For each such setting, we define a corresponding variant of the notion of an enhanced TDP such that this variant is hard to invert in that setting. This yields a taxonomy of variants, which lie between enhanced TDPs and doubly-enhanced TDPs. We explore this taxonomy and its relation to various applications.
Submitted to the Feinberg Graduate School of the Weizmann Institute of Science, September 2010.
Available: the thesis (in PDF file).
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