 Cryptography

# Understanding Lindell's proof of (semi-honest) oblivous transfer

In Lindell's tutorial "How to simulate it" [2016/046], section 4.3, he gives a semi-honest protocol for oblivious transfer, based on enhanced trapdoor permutations and a corresponding hard-core predicate. I don't understand some details in the proof and hope somebody can explain it to me.

He gives the following definition: $$B$$ is a hard-core predicate of a trapdoor permutation $$f_\alpha$$ if:

for every non-uniform PPT adversary $$A$$ there exists a negligible function $$\mu(n)$$ such that for all $$n$$: $$\Pr[A(1^n, \alpha, r) = B(\alpha, f_\alpha^{-1}(S(\alpha; r)))] \leq \frac{1}{2} + \mu(n),$$

where $$\alpha$$ is an index in the collection of functions $$\{f_ \alpha\}$$ and $$S$$ samples (almost uniformly) in the range/domain of $$f_\alpha$$.

Protocol 4.2 computes OT-functionality $$((b_0,b_1), \sigma) \mapsto (\lambda, b_\sigma)$$ as follows:

• $$P_1$$ sends index $$\alpha$$ of a trapdoor function $$f_\alpha$$, where $$P_1$$ knows the trapdoor but $$P_2$$ does not.
• $$P_2$$ samples random $$x_\sigma$$ and $$y_{1-\sigma}$$, computes $$y_\sigma=f_\alpha(x_\sigma)$$, and sends $$(y_0, y_1)$$.
• $$P_1$$ uses the trapdoor to compute $$x_0$$ and $$x_1$$, then sends $$B(\alpha, x_0) \oplus b_0$$ and $$B(\alpha, x_1) \oplus b_1$$.
• $$P_2$$ computes $$B(\alpha, x_\sigma)$$ and can therefore output $$b_\sigma$$.

Part of the proof of security (Theorem 4.3) constructs a simulator $$S_2$$ for corrupt party $$P_2$$ (the recipient), by showing that if you can distinguish the output of $$S_2$$ from that of $$P_2$$, you can use that to construct an algorithm $$A$$ that breaks the assumption that $$B$$ is a hard-core predicate, summarized as follows:

Algorithm $$A$$ [...] receives $$(1^n, \alpha, r)$$ for input. $$A$$'s aim is to guess $$B(\alpha, S(\alpha; r))$$.

However, there is no guessing because you can simply compute $$B(\alpha, S(\alpha; r))$$, right?

The final equation of the proof computes $$\Pr[A(1^n, \alpha, r) = B(\alpha, x)]$$, but it is unclear to me here what $$x$$ is in this expression (the preceding paragraph only mentions how to sample $$x_\sigma$$). Given the definition of the hard-core predicate, I would have expected to see $$f_\alpha^{-1}$$ in this part of the proof. ## Solution

The answer is that it's me and not you. There was a typo in the proof and indeed $$x$$ referred to here is $$f^{-1}_\alpha(S(\alpha,r))$$. I have made the change in the proof and updated the ePrint paper. Thank you for pointing out the typo.