Limits on the power of garbling techniques for public-key encryption

Sanjam Garg, Mohammad Hajiabadi, Mohammad Mahmoody, Ameer Mohammed

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    7 Scopus citations


    Understanding whether public-key encryption can be based on one-way functions is a fundamental open problem in cryptography. The seminal work of Impagliazzo and Rudich [STOC’89] shows that black-box constructions of public-key encryption from one-way functions are impossible. However, this impossibility result leaves open the possibility of using non-black-box techniques for achieving this goal. One of the most powerful classes of non-black-box techniques, which can be based on one-way functions (OWFs) alone, is Yao’s garbled circuit technique [FOCS’86]. As for the non-black-box power of this technique, the recent work of Döttling and Garg [CRYPTO’17] shows that the use of garbling allows us to circumvent known black-box barriers in the context of identity-based encryption. We prove that garbling of circuits that have OWF (or even random oracle) gates in them are insufficient for obtaining public-key encryption. Additionally, we show that this model also captures (non-interactive) zero-knowledge proofs for relations with OWF gates. This indicates that currently known OWF-based non-black-box techniques are perhaps insufficient for realizing public-key encryption.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationAdvances in Cryptology – CRYPTO 2018 - 38th Annual International Cryptology Conference, 2018, Proceedings
    EditorsHovav Shacham, Alexandra Boldyreva
    PublisherSpringer Verlag
    Number of pages30
    ISBN (Print)9783319968773
    StatePublished - 2018
    Event38th Annual International Cryptology Conference, CRYPTO 2018 - Santa Barbara, United States
    Duration: Aug 19 2018Aug 23 2018

    Publication series

    NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
    Volume10993 LNCS
    ISSN (Print)0302-9743
    ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


    Conference38th Annual International Cryptology Conference, CRYPTO 2018
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CitySanta Barbara

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Theoretical Computer Science
    • Computer Science(all)


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