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CS Special Seminar: Russell W.F. Lai "Bringing Pairing-based Cryptography to the Post-Quantum World"

This talk is arranged at the Department of Computer Science.
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Bringing Pairing-based Cryptography to the Post-Quantum World

Russell W.F. Lai
Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg
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Wednesday, 9 March at 10:15
via Zoom: request the link by email [email protected]
Note! the link will be sent by email to CS staff.

Abstract: Secure system designers face the following dilemma when picking cryptographic building blocks: Should they choose a pairing-based construction, which is the most concretely efficient, but is vulnerable to the looming threat of quantum computers? Or should they instead choose a lattice-based construction, which is significantly more computationally expensive, but is widely believed to be secure against quantum adversaries? Such questions trouble, for example, developers of anonymous cryptocurrencies today, who seek efficient and future-proof zero-knowledge succinct argument systems, which allow a prover to convince a verifier that they know a witness to an NP statement by writing down a short proof. Despite around two decades of advances in each of pairing-based and lattice-based cryptography, techniques developed in the two areas are largely disjoint, impeding the design of best-of-both-worlds solutions for many security goals.

In this talk, I will present my research vision of bridging the worlds of pairing-based and lattice-based cryptography, which I aim to pursue in the coming years. I will begin by overviewing the necessary background for understanding the above dilemma, then proceed to demonstrate the potential and feasibility of this research direction by presenting a preliminary result -- the first lattice-based succinct non-interactive argument system which qualitatively matches its state-of-the-art pairing-based counterparts. The construction stems from a general technical toolkit that is being developed to translate pairing-based schemes and computational assumptions to lattice-based ones.

Bio: Russell W. F. Lai is a post-doctoral researcher in cryptography at the Chair of Applied Cryptography of the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, where he obtained a PhD in computer science earlier in 2022. His research interests include succinct zero-knowledge argument systems, decentralised anonymous systems such as anonymous cryptocurrencies, homomorphic secret sharing, and password-based cryptography. His works are published in top-tier venues in cryptography (e.g. CRYPTO), security (e.g. CCS), and privacy (PoPETs).

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