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[theory-seminar] "Beyond the Csiszár-Körner Bound: Best-Possible Wiretap Coding via Obfuscation" ? Amit Sahai (Thu, 31-Mar @ 4:00pm)

Joachim Neu jneu at
Wed Mar 30 17:29:50 PDT 2022

Unfortunately, this talk was postponed to Thu, 12 May.

On Fri, 2022-03-25 at 13:01 -0700, Joachim Neu wrote:
> Beyond the Csiszár-Körner Bound: Best-Possible Wiretap Coding via
> Obfuscation
> Amit Sahai – Professor, UCLA
> Thu, 31-Mar / 4:00pm / Packard 101 (in person) 
>  Please join us for coffee and snacks at 3:30pm in the Grove outside
> Packard (near Bytes' outdoor seating). The talk will be streamed on
> Zoom for those unable to attend in person:
> Abstract
> A wiretap coding scheme (Wyner, Bell Syst. Tech. J. 1975) enables
> Alice to reliably communicate a message m to an honest Bob by sending
> an encoding c over a noisy channel chB, while at the same time hiding
> m from Eve who receives c over another noisy channel chE.
> Wiretap coding is clearly impossible when chB is a degraded version
> of chE, in the sense that the output of chB can be simulated using
> only the output of chE. A classic work of Csiszár and Körner (IEEE
> Trans. Inf. Theory, 1978) shows that the converse does not hold. This
> follows from their full characterization of the channel pairs (chB,
> chE) that enable information-theoretic wiretap coding.
> In this work, we show that in fact the converse does hold when
> considering computational security; that is, wiretap coding against a
> computationally bounded Eve is possible if and only if chB is not a
> degraded version of chE. Our construction assumes the existence of
> virtual black-box (VBB) obfuscation of specific classes of ``evasive”
> functions that generalize fuzzy point functions, and can be
> heuristically instantiated using indistinguishability obfuscation.
> Finally, our solution has the appealing feature of being universal in
> the sense that Alice’s algorithm depends only on chB and not on chE.
> Joint work with Yuval Ishai, Alexis Korb, and Paul Lou.
> Bio
> Amit Sahai is a Simons Investigator (2021), Fellow of the ACM (2018)
> and a Fellow of the IACR (2019). He is also a Fellow of the Royal
> Society of Arts (2021), and Advisor to the Prison Mathematics
> Project. He is the incumbent of the Symantec Endowed Chair in
> Computer Science. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT
> in 2000. From 2000 to 2004, he was on the faculty at Princeton
> University; in 2004 he joined the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering,
> where he currently holds the position of Professor of Computer
> Science. He serves as an editor of J. Cryptology (Springer-Nature).
> His research interests are in security and cryptography, and
> theoretical computer science more broadly. He is the co-inventor of
> Attribute-Based Encryption, Functional Encryption, and
> Indistinguishability Obfuscation. He has published more than 150
> original technical research papers at venues such as the ACM
> Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC), CRYPTO, and the Journal of
> the ACM. He has given a number of invited talks at institutions such
> as MIT, Stanford, and Berkeley, including the 2004 Distinguished
> Cryptographer Lecture Series at NTT Labs, Japan. Professor Sahai is
> the recipient of numerous honors; he was named an Alfred P. Sloan
> Foundation Research Fellow in 2002, received an Okawa Research Grant
> Award in 2007, a Xerox Foundation Faculty Award in 2010, a Google
> Faculty Research Award in 2010, a 2012 Pazy Memorial Award, a 2016
> ACM CCS Test of Time Award, a 2019 AWS Machine Learning Research
> Award, a 2020 IACR Test of Time Award (Eurocrypt), and a STOC 2021
> Best Paper Award. For his contributions to the conception and
> development of indistinguishability obfusction, he was awarded the
> 2022 Held Prize by the National Academy of Sciences. For his
> teaching, he was given the 2016 Lockheed Martin Excellence in
> Teaching Award from the Samueli School of Engineering at UCLA. His
> research has been covered by several news agencies including the BBC
> World Service, Quanta Magazine, Wired, and IEEE Spectrum.
> This talk is hosted by the ISL Colloquium. To receive talk
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