Lower Bounds for Lattice-based Compact Functional Encryption


Functional encryption (FE) is a primitive where the holder of a master secret key can control which functions a user can evaluate on encrypted data. It is a powerful primitive that even implies indistinguishability obfuscation (iO), given sufficiently compact ciphertexts (Ananth-Jain, CRYPTO'15 and Bitansky-Vaikuntanathan, FOCS'15). However, despite being extensively studied, there are FE schemes, such as function-hiding inner-product FE (Bishop-Jain-Kowalczyk, AC'15, Abdalla-Catalano-Fiore-Gay-Ursu, CRYPTO’18) and compact quadratic FE (Baltico-Catalano-Fiore-Gay, Lin, CRYPTO’17), that can be only realized using pairings. This raises whether there are some mathematical barriers which hinder us from realizing these FE schemes from other assumptions. In this paper, we study the difficulty of constructing lattice-based compact FE. We generalize the impossibility results of Ünal (EC'20) for lattice-based function-hiding FE, and extend it to the case of compact FE. Concretely, we prove lower bounds for lattice-based compact FE schemes which meet some (natural) algebraic restrictions at encryption and decryption, and have messages and ciphertexts of constant dimensions. We see our results as important indications of why it is hard to construct lattice-based FE schemes for new functionalities, and which mathematical barriers have to be overcome.

43rd Annual International Conference on the Theory and Applications of Cryptographic Techniques (EUROCRYPT 2024)
Erkan Tairi
Erkan Tairi
Postdoctoral Researcher