Proxy re-encryption (PRE) is a type of public-key encryption (PKE) that allows a proxy entity to transform or re-encrypt data from one public key to another, without having access to the underlying plain text or private keys. The proxy re-encryption operation process is as follows:
Proxy Re-encryption operation process
- 1.Publisher Alice encrypts the data m with her own public key into cA, then Alice sends the ciphertext cA to the proxy and generates a re-encryption key for her, which is calculated by Alice herself.
- 2.Next, the proxy uses the re-encryption key to convert the ciphertext cA into a ciphertext cB that can be decrypted by Bob with his secret key and sends it to Bob. The proxy only provides computing conversion services and cannot get plaintext.
- 3.Bob decrypts the plaintext m that Alice wants to share securely.
Proxy re-encryption plays a role in private data sharing in NuLink. Specifically, NuLink uses the Umbral Proxy Re-Encryption Scheme. Umbral is a threshold Proxy Re-Encryption scheme following a Key Encapsulation Mechanism (KEM) approach. It is inspired by ECIES KEM, and the BBS98 proxy re-encryption scheme. With Umbral, Alice – the generic name for data owners in NuLink KMS (Key Management System) – can delegate decryption rights to Bob for any ciphertext intended to her through a re-encryption process performed by a set of N semi-trusted proxies. When at least t of these proxies (out of N) participate by performing re-encryption, Bob is able to combine these independent re-encryptions and decrypt the original message using his private key.
Using Umbral, NuLink can not only easily realize single-user to single-user private data sharing – we emphasize again that Umbral is a threshold scheme – NuLink can also realize single-user to multi-user private data sharing.