Chris Peikert receives Crypto 2023 Test-of-Time Award

The award recognizes the sustained impact of Prof. Peikert’s research on oblivious transfer protocols and lattice-based encryption.
Chris Peikert
Prof. Chris Peikert

Chris Peikert, professor of computer science and engineering at University of Michigan, has been awarded the 2023 Test-of-Time Award at the International Cryptology Conference (Crypto). Prof. Peikert and his coauthors, Vinod Vaikuntanathan of MIT and Brent Waters of UT Austin, have been recognized for the lasting impact of their 2008 paper, A Framework for Efficient and Composable Oblivious Transfer.

Held annually for over 40 years, Crypto is a top international conference focused on cryptology held by the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR). The oldest conference in cryptology, Crypto seeks to support the advancement of research in this area by providing a forum for cryptology experts to share new ideas, innovations, and findings. The Crypto Test-of-Time Award is given to one paper a year that was published 15 years ago and has demonstrated a sustained influence on the field.

Prof. Peikert’s paper was selected for this honor due to its role in breaking new ground in secure multiparty computation. Specifically, he and his coauthors developed a new framework for constructing improved oblivious transfer (OT) protocols, in which one party (the sender) transfers one of many values to another party (the receiver), but the sender remains oblivious to the value received and the receiver is oblivious to the other values. Prof. Peikert and his collaborators introduced an unprecedented strategy for forming OT protocols that are secure and “universally composable” with any other protocol, efficient, and generally realizable.

Their research paved the way for the construction of stronger, safer, and more practical cryptographic protocols, and also made substantial improvements in the efficiency of lattice-based encryption. Their technique has inspired further developments in this area and has been used in many systems since, including NIST-selected quantum resistant cryptographic algorithm Kyber.