Towards Accountability in CRS Generation

Prabhanjan Ananth, Gilad Asharov, Hila Dahari, Vipul Goyal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


It is well known that several cryptographic primitives cannot be achieved without a common reference string (CRS). Those include, for instance, non-interactive zero-knowledge for NP, or maliciously secure computation in fewer than four rounds. The security of those primitives heavily relies upon on the assumption that the trusted authority, who generates the CRS, does not misuse the randomness used in the CRS generation. However, we argue that there is no such thing as an unconditionally trusted authority and every authority must be held accountable for any trust to be well-founded. Indeed, a malicious authority can, for instance, recover private inputs of honest parties given transcripts of the protocols executed with respect to the CRS it has generated. While eliminating trust in the trusted authority may not be entirely feasible, can we at least move towards achieving some notion of accountability? We propose a new notion in which, if the CRS authority releases the private inputs of protocol executions to others, we can then provide a publicly-verifiable proof that certifies that the authority misbehaved. We study the feasibility of this notion in the context of non-interactive zero knowledge and two-round secure two-party computation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Cryptology – EUROCRYPT 2021 - 40th Annual International Conference on the Theory and Applications of Cryptographic Techniques, Proceedings
EditorsAnne Canteaut, François-Xavier Standaert
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages31
ISBN (Print)9783030778828
StatePublished - 2021
Event40th Annual International Conference on the Theory and Applications of Cryptographic Techniques, EUROCRYPT 2021 - Zagreb, Croatia
Duration: 17 Oct 202121 Oct 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12698 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference40th Annual International Conference on the Theory and Applications of Cryptographic Techniques, EUROCRYPT 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Gilad Asharov is sponsored by the Israel Science Foundation (grant No. 2439/20), and by the BIU Center for Research in Applied Cryptography and Cyber Security in conjunction with the Israel National Cyber Bureau in the Prime Minister’s Office. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sk lodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 891234. Hila Dahari is a fellow of the Ariane de Rothschild Women Doctoral Program and supported in part by grants from the Israel Science Foundation (No. 950/15 and 2686/20) and by the Simons Foundation Collaboration on the Theory of Algorithmic Fairness. Vipul Goyal is supported in part by the NSF award 1916939, DARPA SIEVE program, a gift from Ripple, a DoE NETL award, a JP Morgan Faculty Fellowship, a PNC center for financial services innovation award, and a Cylab seed funding award.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, International Association for Cryptologic Research.


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