On the (In)Security of SNARKs in the Presence of Oracles

Conference paper

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-662-53641-4_5

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9985)
Cite this paper as:
Fiore D., Nitulescu A. (2016) On the (In)Security of SNARKs in the Presence of Oracles. In: Hirt M., Smith A. (eds) Theory of Cryptography. TCC 2016. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 9985. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg


In this work we study the feasibility of knowledge extraction for succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge (SNARKs) in a scenario that, to the best of our knowledge, has not been analyzed before. While prior work focuses on the case of adversarial provers that may receive (statically generated) auxiliary information, here we consider the scenario where adversarial provers are given access to an oracle. For this setting we study if and under what assumptions such provers can admit an extractor. Our contribution is mainly threefold.

First, we formalize the question of extraction in the presence of oracles by proposing a suitable proof of knowledge definition for this setting. We call SNARKs satisfying this definition O-SNARKs. Second, we show how to use O-SNARKs to obtain formal and intuitive security proofs for three applications (homomorphic signatures, succinct functional signatures, and SNARKs on authenticated data) where we recognize an issue while doing the proof under the standard proof of knowledge definition of SNARKs. Third, we study whether O-SNARKs exist, providing both negative and positive results. On the negative side, we show that, assuming one way functions, there do not exist O-SNARKs in the standard model for every signing oracle family (and thus for general oracle families as well). On the positive side, we show that when considering signature schemes with appropriate restrictions on the message length O-SNARKs for the corresponding signing oracles exist, based on classical SNARKs and assuming extraction with respect to specific distributions of auxiliary input.

Copyright information

© International Association for Cryptologic Research 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IMDEA Software InstituteMadridSpain
  2. 2.CNRS, ENS, INRIA, PSLParisFrance

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