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dc.contributor.advisorCanetti, Ranen_US
dc.contributor.authorPaneth, Omeren_US
dc.date.accessioned2019-04-08T14:30:43Z
dc.date.available2019-04-08T14:30:43Z
dc.date.issued2016
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/2144/34412
dc.description.abstractCode is said to be obfuscated if it is intentionally difficult for humans to understand. Obfuscating a program conceals its sensitive implementation details and protects it from reverse engineering and hacking. Beyond software protection, obfuscation is also a powerful cryptographic tool, enabling a variety of advanced applications. Ideally, an obfuscated program would hide any information about the original program that cannot be obtained by simply executing it. However, Barak et al. [CRYPTO 01] proved that for some programs, such ideal obfuscation is impossible. Nevertheless, Garg et al. [FOCS 13] recently suggested a candidate general-purpose obfuscator which is conjectured to satisfy a weaker notion of security called indistinguishability obfuscation. In this thesis, we study the feasibility and applicability of secure obfuscation: - What notions of secure obfuscation are possible and under what assumptions? - How useful are weak notions like indistinguishability obfuscation? Our first result shows that the applications of indistinguishability obfuscation go well beyond cryptography. We study the tractability of computing a Nash equilibrium vii of a game { a central problem in algorithmic game theory and complexity theory. Based on indistinguishability obfuscation, we construct explicit games where a Nash equilibrium cannot be found efficiently. We also prove the following results on the feasibility of obfuscation. Our starting point is the Garg at el. obfuscator that is based on a new algebraic encoding scheme known as multilinear maps [Garg et al. EUROCRYPT 13]. 1. Building on the work of Brakerski and Rothblum [TCC 14], we provide the first rigorous security analysis for obfuscation. We give a variant of the Garg at el. obfuscator and reduce its security to that of the multilinear maps. Specifically, modeling the multilinear encodings as ideal boxes with perfect security, we prove ideal security for our obfuscator. Our reduction shows that the obfuscator resists all generic attacks that only use the encodings' permitted interface and do not exploit their algebraic representation. 2. Going beyond generic attacks, we study the notion of virtual-gray-box obfusca- tion [Bitansky et al. CRYPTO 10]. This relaxation of ideal security is stronger than indistinguishability obfuscation and has several important applications such as obfuscating password protected programs. We formulate a security requirement for multilinear maps which is sufficient, as well as necessary for virtual-gray-box obfuscation. 3. Motivated by the question of basing obfuscation on ideal objects that are simpler than multilinear maps, we give a negative result showing that ideal obfuscation is impossible, even in the random oracle model, where the obfuscator is given access to an ideal random function. This is the first negative result for obfuscation in a non-trivial idealized model.en_US
dc.language.isoen_US
dc.subjectComputer scienceen_US
dc.titleFoundations and applications of program obfuscationen_US
dc.typeThesis/Dissertationen_US
dc.date.updated2019-02-05T20:09:10Z
etd.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen_US
etd.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
etd.degree.disciplineComputer Scienceen_US
etd.degree.grantorBoston Universityen_US


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