Identifying Cheaters without an Honest Majority

  • Yuval Ishai
  • Rafail Ostrovsky
  • Hakan Seyalioglu
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7194)


Motivated by problems in secure multiparty computation (MPC), we study a natural extension of identifiable secret sharing to the case where an arbitrary number of players may be corrupted. An identifiable secret sharing scheme is a secret sharing scheme in which the reconstruction algorithm, after receiving shares from all players, either outputs the correct secret or publicly identifies the set of all cheaters (players who modified their original shares) with overwhelming success probability. This property is impossible to achieve without an honest majority. Instead, we settle for having the reconstruction algorithm inform each honest player of the correct set of cheaters. We show that this new notion of secret sharing can be unconditionally realized in the presence of arbitrarily many corrupted players. We demonstrate the usefulness of this primitive by presenting several applications to MPC without an honest majority.

  • Complete primitives for MPC. We present the first unconditional construction of a complete primitive for fully secure function evaluation whose complexity does not grow with the complexity of the function being evaluated. This can be used for realizing fully secure MPC using small and stateless tamper-proof hardware. A previous completeness result of Gordon et al. (TCC 2010) required the use of cryptographic signatures.

  • Applications to partial fairness. We eliminate the use of cryptography from the online phase of recent protocols for multiparty coin-flipping and MPC with partial fairness (Beimel et al., Crypto 2010 and Crypto 2011). This is a corollary of a more general technique for unconditionally upgrading security against fail-stop adversaries with preprocessing to security against malicious adversaries.

Finally, we complement our positive results by a negative result on identifying cheaters in unconditionally secure MPC. It is known that MPC without an honest majority can be realized unconditionally in the OT-hybrid model, provided that one settles for “security with abort” (Kilian, 1988). That is, the adversary can decide whether to abort the protocol after learning the outputs of corrupted players. We show that such protocols cannot be strengthened so that all honest players agree on the identity of a corrupted player in the event that the protocol aborts, even if a broadcast primitive can be used. This is contrasted with the computational setting, in which this stronger notion of security can be realized under standard cryptographic assumptions (Goldreich et al., 1987).


Secret Sharing Access Structure Secret Sharing Scheme Oblivious Transfer Byzantine Agreement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuval Ishai
    • 1
  • Rafail Ostrovsky
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hakan Seyalioglu
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceTechnionIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUCLAUSA
  3. 3.Department of MathematicsUCLAUSA

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