[cryptography] SPDZ, a practical protocol for Multi-Party Computation
eugen at leitl.org
Wed Sep 11 07:21:29 EDT 2013
Breakthrough in cryptography could result in more secure computing
Tags: computer science, research, security, cryptography
Nigel Smart, Professor of Cryptology
New research to be presented at the 18th European Symposium on Research in
Computer Security (ESORICS 2013) this week could result in a sea change in
how to secure computations.
The collaborative work between the University of Bristol and Aarhus
University (Denmark) will be presented by Bristol PhD student Peter Scholl
from the Department of Computer Science.
The paper, entitled 'Practical covertly secure MPC for dishonest majority -
or: Breaking the SPDZ limits', builds upon earlier joint work between Bristol
and Aarhus and fills in the missing pieces of the jigsaw from the groups
prior work that was presented at the CRYPTO conference in Santa Barbara last
The SPDZ protocol (pronounced "Speedz") is a co-development between Bristol
and Aarhus and provides the fastest protocol known to implement a theoretical
idea called "Multi-Party Computation".
The idea behind Multi-Party Computation is that it should enable two or more
people to compute any function of their choosing on their secret inputs,
without revealing their inputs to either party. One example is an election,
voters want their vote to be counted but they do not want their vote made
The protocol developed by the universities turns Multi-Party Computation from
a theoretical tool into a practical reality. Using the SPDZ protocol the team
can now compute complex functions in a secure manner, enabling possible
applications in the finance, drugs and chemical industries where computation
often needs to be performed on secret data.
Nigel Smart, Professor of Cryptology in the University of Bristol's
Department of Computer Science and leader on the project, said: "We have
demonstrated our protocol to various groups and organisations across the
world, and everyone is impressed by how fast we can actually perform secure
"Only a few years ago such a theoretical idea becoming reality was considered
Alice in Wonderland style over ambitious hope. However, we in Bristol
realised around five years ago that a number of advances in different areas
would enable the pipe dream to be achieved. It is great that we have been
able to demonstrate our foresight was correct."
The University of Bristol is now starting to consider commercialising the
protocol via a company Dyadic Security Limited, co-founded by Professor Smart
and Professor Yehuda Lindell from Bar-Ilan University in Israel.
Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by the
University of Bristol
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