We implemented (a simplified version of) the branching-program obfuscator due to Gentry et al. (GGH15), which is itself a variation of the first obfuscation candidate by Garg et al. (GGHRSW13). To keep within the realm of feasibility, we had to give up on some aspects of the construction, specifically the “multiplicative bundling” factors that protect against mixed-input attacks. Hence our implementation can only support read-once branching programs.
To be able to handle anything more than just toy problems, we developed a host of algorithmic and code-level optimizations. These include new variants of discrete Gaussian sampler and lattice trapdoor sampler, efficient matrix-manipulation routines, and many tradeoffs. We expect that these optimizations will find other uses in lattice-based cryptography beyond just obfuscation.
Our implementation is the first obfuscation attempt using the GGH15 graded encoding scheme, offering performance advantages over other graded encoding methods when obfuscating finite-state machines with many states. In out most demanding setting, we were able to obfuscate programs with input length of 20 nibbles (80 bits) and over 100 states, which seems out of reach for prior implementations. Although further optimizations are surely possible, we do not expect any implementation of current schemes to be able to handle much larger parameters.
Program obfuscation is a powerful security primitive with many applications. White-box cryptography studies a particular subset of program obfuscation targeting keyed pseudorandom functions (PRFs), a core component of systems such as mobile payment and digital rights management. Although the white-box obfuscators currently used in practice do not come with security proofs and are thus routinely broken, recent years have seen an explosion of cryptographic techniques for obfuscation, with the goal of avoiding this build-and-break cycle.
In this work, we explore in detail cryptographic program obfuscation and the related primitive of multi-input functional encryption (MIFE). In particular, we extend the 5Gen framework (CCS 2016) to support circuit-based MIFE and program obfuscation, implementing both existing and new constructions. We then evaluate and compare the efficiency of these constructions in the context of PRF obfuscation.
As part of this work we (1) introduce a novel instantiation of MIFE that works directly on functions represented as arithmetic circuits, (2) use a known transformation from MIFE to obfuscation to give us an obfuscator that performs better than all prior constructions, and (3) develop a compiler for generating circuits optimized for our schemes. Finally, we provide detailed experiments, demonstrating, among other things, the ability to obfuscate a PRF with a 64-bit key and 12 bits of input (containing 62k gates) in under 4 hours, with evaluation taking around 1 hour. This is by far the most complex function obfuscated to date.
Program obfuscation is a popular cryptographic construct with a wide range of uses such as IP theft prevention. Although cryptographic solutions for program obfuscation impose impractically high overheads, a recent breakthrough leveraging trusted hardware has shown promise. However, the existing solution is based on special-purpose trusted hardware, restricting its use-cases to a limited few.
In this paper, we first study if such obfuscation is feasible based on commodity trusted hardware, Intel SGX, and we observe that certain important security considerations are not afforded by commodity hardware. In particular, we found that existing obfuscation/obliviousness schemes are insecure if directly applied to Intel SGX primarily due to side-channel limitations. To this end, we present OBFUSCURO, the first system providing program obfuscation using commodity trusted hardware, Intel SGX. The key idea is to leverage ORAM operations to perform secure code execution and data access. Initially, OBFUSCURO transforms the regular program layout into a side-channel-secure and ORAM-compatible layout. Then, OBFUSCURO ensures that its ORAM controller performs data oblivious accesses in order to protect itself from all memory-based side-channels. Furthermore, OBFUSCURO ensures that the program is secure from timing attacks by ensuring that the program always runs for a pre-configured time interval. Along the way, OBFUSCURO also introduces a systematic optimization such as register-based ORAM stash. We provide a thorough security analysis of OBFUSCURO along with empirical attack evaluations showing that OBFUSCURO can protect the SGX program execution from being leaked by access pattern-based and timing-based channels. We also provide a detailed performance benchmark results in order to show the practical aspects of OBFUSCURO.
Program obfuscation is a central primitive in cryptography, and has important real-world applications in protecting software from IP theft. However, well known results from the cryptographic literature have shown that software only virtual black box (VBB) obfuscation of general programs is impossible. In this paper we propose HOP, a system (with matching theoretic analysis) that achieves simulation-secure obfuscation for RAM programs, using secure hardware to circumvent previous impossibility results. To the best of our knowledge, HOP is the first implementation of a provably secure VBB obfuscation scheme in any model under any assumptions.
HOP trusts only a hardware single-chip processor. We present a theoretical model for our complete hardware design and prove its security in the UC framework. Our goal is both provable security and practicality. To this end, our theoretic analysis accounts for all optimizations used in our practical design, including the use of a hardware Oblivious RAM (ORAM), hardware scratchpad memories, instruction scheduling techniques and context switching. We then detail a prototype hardware implementation of HOP. The complete design requires 72% of the area of a V7485t Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) chip. Evaluated on a variety of benchmarks, HOP achieves an overhead of 8x-76x relative to an insecure system. Compared to all prior (not implemented) work that strives to achieve obfuscation, HOP improves performance by more than three orders of magnitude. We view this as an important step towards deploying obfuscation technology in practice.