A Verifiable and Practical Lattice-Based Decryption Mix Net with External Auditing
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Mix nets are often used to provide privacy in modern security protocols, through shuffling. Some of the most important applications, such as secure electronic voting, require mix nets that are verifiable. In the literature, numerous techniques have been proposed to make mix nets verifiable. Some of them have also been employed for securing real political elections. With the looming possibility of quantum computers and their threat to cryptosystems based on classical hardness assumptions, there is significant pressure to migrate mix nets to post-quantum alternatives. At present, no verifiable and practical post-quantum mix net with external auditing is available as a drop-in replacement of existing constructions. In this paper, we give the first such construction. We propose a verifiable decryption mix net which solely employs practical lattice-based primitives. We formally prove that our mix net provides a high level of verifiability, and even accountability which guarantees that misbehaving mix servers can also be identified. Verification is executed by a (temporarily trusted) public auditor whose role can easily be distributed. To demonstrate practicality for real-world systems, we provide detailed performance benchmarks on our stand-alone implementation based only on the most conservative lattice hardness assumptions.