Advances in Cryptology — CRYPTO ’96

Volume 1109 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 283-297


Algorithms for Black-Box Fields and their Application to Cryptography

extended abstract
  • Dan BonehAffiliated withPrinceton University
  • , Richard J. LiptonAffiliated withPrinceton University


We introduce the notion of a black box field and present several algorithms for manipulating such fields. Black box fields arise naturally in cryptography and our algorithms have several cryptographic implications. First, our results show that any algebraically homomorphic cryptosystem can be broken in sub-exponential time. The existence of such cryptosystems was posed as an open problem in [12]. Second we show that over elliptic (or hyperelliptic) curves the hardness of computing discrete-log implies the security of the Diffie-Hellman protocol. This provable security of the Diffie-Hellman protocol over elliptic curves demonstrates an additional advantage of elliptic curve cryptosystems over conventional ones. Finally, we prove that manipulating black box fields over the rationals is as hard as factoring integers.