Homomorphic Encryption Standardization Workshop


Homomorphic Encryption Standardization Workshop attendeesThis workshop brought together members of the Homomorphic Encryption (HE) community to spend two days working together toward a plan for standardization.

Homomorphic encryption schemes which can handle one “operation” have been known for a long time, such as RSA, Paillier, or BGN which can do a little bit more. With the breakthrough work by Gentry in 2009, the community embarked on a new direction, basing “Fully” Homomorphic Encryption Schemes on hard lattice problems. Now, 8 years later, we have multiple robust HE libraries available (HElib, SEAL, NFLlib, Palisade), which use schemes such as BGV and FV. With new optimizations and clever encoding techniques, they allow an amazing amount of practical computation to be done on encrypted data. Projects such as CryptoNets have already proved the feasibility of machine learning applications on encrypted data; the iDASH 2015 and 2016 competitions demonstrated computations on encrypted genomic data such as edit distance and string matching. Most applications follow the “leveled” approach, where parameters are set to allow the evaluation of limited—but arbitrarily high – depth circuits, making the computations practical, and avoiding costly bootstrapping operations. For that reason, we drop the word “Fully”, and simply refer to the area as Homomorphic Encryption (HE).

This workshop aimed to leverage this progress and to galvanize the community toward a common approach to standardization of Homomorphic Encryption.


Kristin Lauter, Microsoft Research

Kim Laine, Microsoft Research

Kurt Rohloff, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Lily Chen, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Roy Zimmermann, Microsoft Research



David Carroll, Microsoft Azure

Melissa Chase, Microsoft Research

Hao Chen, Microsoft Research

Ran Gilad-Bachrach, Microsoft Research

Ranjit Kumaresan, Microsoft Research

Kim Laine, Microsoft Research

Kristin Lauter, Microsoft Research

Satya Lokam, Microsoft Research India

Roy Zimmermann, Microsoft Research Outreach

Microsoft Interns

Kyoohyung Han, Seoul National University

Zhicong Huang, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Amir Jalali, Florida Atlantic University

Travis Morrison, Pennsylvania State University

Government Agencies

Lily Chen, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Roger Hallman, SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific

Dustin Moody, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Heidi Sofia, National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)


David Archer, Galois

Shai Halevi, IBM

Alex Malozemoff, Galois

Pascal Paillier, Crypto Experts


Brad Malin, Vanderbilt University-GenoPri

Michael Brenner, University of Hannover

Jung Hee Cheon, Seoul National University

Wei Dai, Worchester Polytechnic Institute

Jintai Ding, University of Cincinnati

Shafi Goldwasser, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sergey Gorbunov, University of Waterloo

Jeffrey Hoffstein, Brown University

Xiaoqian Jiang, University of California at San Diego-iDASH

Miran Kim, University of California at San Diego

Yuriy Polyakov, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Kurt Rohloff, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Amit Sahai, University of California at Los Angeles

Erkay Savas, Sabanci University

Yongsoo Song, Seoul National University

Berk Sunar, Worchester Polytechnic Institute

Vinod Vaikuntanathan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Shuang Wang, University of California at San Diego-iDASH

White Papers

These white papers were drafted by three working groups at the workshop:

APIs: This white paper discusses the design of API standards for homomorphic encryption.

Security: This white paper discusses the security standards for homomorphic encryption.

Applications: This white paper discusses the motivating applications for homomorphic encryption.

In the News

To Protect Genetic Privacy, Encrypt your DNA, Wired, August 23, 2017

Changing the security landscape for entrepreneurs, TechCrunch, August 17, 2017


Day 1 – July 13, 2017

Time (PDT) Session Description
8:30 AM–9:00 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM–9:15 AM Kickoff, Kristin Lauter Goals and structure: everyone involved in brainstorming progressing toward writing white papers that consolidate ideas, future research, standardization next steps.
9:15 AM–10:15 AM Intro lightning round: What I’m working on and what I’m excited to work on (two minutes/one slide). One PowerPoint slide describing who you are and what you are working on.
10:15 AM–10:30 AM Break
10:30 AM–12:00 PM Part 1: The State of the Art: A snapshot of the capabilities of today’s tools. 10-15 minutes with time for discussion. Leading into the issues related to workshop objectives. Demos of what HE can currently do
• SEAL: Kim Laine
• NFLlib: Pascal Pallier
• Palisade: Yuriy Polyakov
• cuHE: Berk Sunar
• Frontend for FHE: Alex Malozemoff
• HElib: Shai Halevi
12:00 PM–1:00 PM Working Lunch Lily & Pascal – the path toward standardization; overview of standardization process
1:00 PM–1:30 PM Introduction of the three tracks
• Security
• Apps
Facilitators each spend 10 minutes describing tracks and participants organize into tracks
1:30 PM–2:30 PM Facilitated Breakout Groups:

Three groups loosely organized around the objectives

• Kristin and Vinod: Security track
• Rani and Jung Hee: Apps track
• Kurt and Kim: API track
2:30 PM–2:45 PM Break
2:45 PM–4:30 PM Facilitated Breakout Groups:

Moving into more specificity for a path toward standardization

• Kristin and Vinod: Security track
• Rani and Jung Hee: Apps track
• Kurt and Kim: API track
4:30 PM–5:00 PM Day 1 wrap up: Groups report back What we saw and heard and a bit about tomorrow
5:00 PM–8:00 PM Wine, cheese, dinner Purple Café and Wine Bar

Day 2 – July 14, 2017

Time (PDT) Session Description
8:30 AM–9:00 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM–9:15 AM Expectations of the Day, Co-Chair By the end of the day, we will have accomplished…
9:15 AM–10:30 AM Outlines of a White Paper in groups • Kristin and Vinod: Security track
• Rani and Jung Hee: Apps track
• Kurt and Kim: API track
10:45 AM–12:00 PM Continue drafting outlines for White Papers Breakout groups working together
12:00 PM–1:00 PM Working Lunch Lily and Pascal follow up discussion
1:00 PM–3:00 PM White Papers: Moving from outline to text Writing!
3:00 PM–3:15 PM Break
3:15 PM–4:00 PM Each group develops go-forward plans What must happen next to make standardization happen.
4:00 PM–5:00 PM What’s missing & next steps for standardization How do you want to be engaged going forward?
5:00 PM–5:30 PM Close and Next Steps, Co-Chairs What happens over the next 6, 12, 18 months