By Ryan Amiri, Robert Stárek, Michal Mičuda, Ladislav Mišta Jr, Miloslav Dušek, Petros Wallden, Erika Andersson.
Submitted to arXiv on 9 July 2020.
Oblivious transfer is an important primitive in modern cryptography. Applications include secure multiparty computation, oblivious sampling, e-voting, and signatures. Information-theoretically secure perfect 1-out-of 2 oblivious transfer is impossible to achieve. Imperfect variants, where both participants’ ability to cheat is still limited, are possible using quantum means while remaining classically impossible. Precisely what security parameters are attainable remains unknown. We introduce a theoretical framework for studying semi-random quantum oblivious transfer, which is shown equivalent to regular oblivious transfer in terms of cheating probabilities. We then use it to derive bounds on cheating. We also present a protocol with lower cheating probabilities than previous schemes, together with its optical realisation. We show that a lower bound of 2/3 on the minimum achievable cheating probability can be directly derived for semi-random protocols using a different method and definition of cheating than used previously. The lower bound increases from 2/3 to approximately 0.749 if the states output by the protocol are pure and symmetric. The oblivious transfer scheme we present uses unambiguous state elimination measurements and can be implemented with the same technological requirements as standard quantum cryptography. In particular, it does not require honest participants to prepare or measure entangled states. The cheating probabilities are 3/4 and approximately 0.729 for sender and receiver respectively, which is lower than in existing protocols. Using a photonic test-bed, we have implemented the protocol with honest parties, as well as optimal cheating strategies. Due to the asymmetry of the receiver’s and sender’s cheating probabilities, the protocol can be combined with a “trivial” protocol to achieve an overall protocol with lower average cheating probabilities of approximately 0.74 for both sender and receiver. This demonstrates that interestingly, protocols where the final output states are pure and symmetric are not optimal in terms of average cheating probability.