Exploring the Boundaries of Topology-Hiding Computation

  • Marshall BallEmail author
  • Elette Boyle
  • Tal Malkin
  • Tal Moran
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10822)


Topology-hiding computation (THC) is a form of multi-party computation over an incomplete communication graph that maintains the privacy of the underlying graph topology. In a line of recent works [Moran, Orlov & Richelson TCC’15, Hirt et al. CRYPTO’16, Akavia & Moran EUROCRYPT’17, Akavia et al. CRYPTO’17], THC protocols for securely computing any function in the semi-honest setting have been constructed. In addition, it was shown by Moran et al. that in the fail-stop setting THC with negligible leakage on the topology is impossible.

In this paper, we further explore the feasibility boundaries of THC.

  • We show that even against semi-honest adversaries, topology-hiding broadcast on a small (4-node) graph implies oblivious transfer; in contrast, trivial broadcast protocols exist unconditionally if topology can be revealed.

  • We strengthen the lower bound of Moran et al. identifying and extending a relation between the amount of leakage on the underlying graph topology that must be revealed in the fail-stop setting, as a function of the number of parties and communication round complexity: Any n-party protocol leaking \(\delta \) bits for \(\delta \in (0,1]\) must have \(\varOmega (n/\delta )\) rounds.

We then present THC protocols providing close-to-optimal leakage rates, for unrestricted graphs on n nodes against a fail-stop adversary controlling a dishonest majority of the n players. These constitute the first general fail-stop THC protocols. Specifically, for this setting we show:
  • A THC protocol that leaks at most one bit and requires \(O(n^2)\) rounds.

  • A THC protocol that leaks at most \(\delta \) bits for arbitrarily small non-negligible \(\delta \), and requires \(O(n^3/\delta )\) rounds.

These protocols also achieve full security (with no leakage) for the semi-honest setting. Our protocols are based on one-way functions and a (stateless) secure hardware box primitive. This provides a theoretical feasibility result, a heuristic solution in the plain model using general-purpose obfuscation candidates, and a potentially practical approach to THC via commodity hardware such as Intel SGX. Interestingly, even with such hardware, proving security requires sophisticated simulation techniques.


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Copyright information

© International Association for Cryptologic Research 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marshall Ball
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Elette Boyle
    • 2
  • Tal Malkin
    • 1
  • Tal Moran
    • 2
  1. 1.Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.IDC HerzliyaHerzliyaIsrael

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