Circuit Structures for Improving Efficiency of Security and Privacy Tools

Samee Zahur and David Evans
34th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy ("Oakland")
San Francisco, CA
19-22 May 2013


Several techniques in computer security, including generic protocols for secure computation and symbolic execution, depend on implementing algorithms in static circuits. Despite substantial improvements in recent years, tools built using these techniques remain too slow for most practical uses. They require transforming arbitrary programs into either Boolean logic circuits, constraint sets on Boolean variables, or other equivalent representations, and the costs of using these tools scale directly with the size of the input circuit. Hence, techniques for more efficient circuit constructions have benefits across these tools. We show efficient circuit constructions for various simple but commonly used data structures including stacks, queues, and associative maps. While current practice requires effectively copying the entire structure for each operation, our techniques take advantage of locality and batching to provide amortized costs that scale polylogarithmically in the size of the structure. We demonstrate how many common array usage patterns can be significantly improved with the help of these circuit structures. We report on experiments using our circuit structures for both generic secure computation using garbled circuits and automated test input generation using symbolic execution, and demonstrate order of magnitude improvements for both applications.

Keywords: secure two-party computation, static circuits, amortized analysis, privacy-preserving protocols.


Full paper (15 pages): [PDF]